From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-Invasion tells of the events of D-Day and the weeks immediately following from the perspective of Josiah Wedgewood, a young soldier in the U.S. Army's 29th infantry. Woody and his fellow battalion mates are only vaguely aware of what will be happening when they arrive at Omaha Beach. The landing, as history knows, is horrendous. Woody watches as dozens of his companions are killed. Immediately after, the men begin to fight their way inland. The action is nonstop and the losses are heartbreaking. The segregation of the U.S. Army is only lightly touched upon, as Woody runs into an African American he knew from his hometown; the majority of the novel is the 29th infantry's push across the French countryside. Myers eloquently conveys how exhausting war is physically and emotionally. He writes simple sentences that are often short, sharp, and blunt. The language is somewhat innocent, a bit gentler than what readers are used to now; but since it is a novel about war, there are some F-bombs and some earthy talk about bodies. Woody and his mates are thinking of home, while trying not to think in general. There is a subtle bit of reader manipulation; although the book is written in the past tense, the D-Day landing chapter is in present tense, adding to its tension. With the constant forward momentum of the soldiers, and the continuous battles they fight, this novel can be hard to read, but it is also hard to put down.-Geri Diorio, Ridgefield Library, CTα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* It’s June 6, 1944, D-Day, and 19-year-old Josiah “Woody” Wedgewood is part of the Allied invasion, huddled up with a group of other men against the cliffs on Omaha Beach. “We are in a killing zone,” he thinks in agony, “and we are dying.” All around him is a scene from hell: the beach filled with the dead and dying; more soldiers being mercilessly shot by the Germans as they attempt to land on the beach; the noise of war— shots and explosions—so loud that Woody can’t hear the screams all around him. “I will never be the same again,” he thinks. Myers’ excellent prequel to his two other war novels, Fallen Angels (1988) and Sunrise over Fallujah (2008), charts the course of war in the month following the invasion as Woody, who tells the compelling story in his own first-person voice, and his comrades continue to fight through the countryside in pursuit of the Germans. The reader sees the fear, confusion, horror, and brutality of war through Woody’s eyes. In a subplot involving Woody and his African American friend Marcus, the reader is also acquainted with the ugly segregation that was a daily fact of life during WWII. In this novel, Myers has done peace an inestimable service by showing so vividly what a truly terrible idea war is. Grades 9-12. --Michael Cart