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D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944 [The Young Readers Adaptation] Hardcover – May 6, 2014
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—This fine adaptation of Atkinson's adult The Guns at Last Light is a readable, and even suspenseful, account of the final preparations for and successful execution of the D-Day invasion. The author gives readers a comprehensive overview of the operation, using primary-source excerpts to personalize the action, from the planning of the highest commanders, to the bravery shown by individual men who went ashore on June 6, 1944. He describes the stages of the invasion, including the transport of troops, air support and airborne operations, and ground operations conducted under withering German resistance. The author separates the five Allied landing forces into individual chapters, which allows for plenty of detail and continuity of narrative about their missions, and the varying amounts of German defenses and resistance they encountered. Although a brief epilogue summarizes the remainder of the war in Western Europe and Germany's defeat, the book focuses on the invasion and the bravery and sacrifices of the men who fought. The text is supplemented by solid area and battle maps, captioned period photos, and an informative appendix with accessible data about equipment and weapons, medical care, troops and their battle gear, and general statistics about the war. This book matches the quality of Earle Rice Jr.'s Normandy (Chelsea House, 2002) but is intended for a slightly older readership, making it an excellent choice for high school World War II buffs and report writers.—Mary Mueller, Rolla Public Schools, MO
Adapted from Atkinson’s adult history of the latter part of WWII, The Guns at Last Light (2013), this is a brisk, busy, gutsy look at modern warfare’s most famous offensive. It begins, rather cunningly, with orientational front matter: country-by-country chains of command, a time line, and quick bios of key players. Then the authors dive into the planning behind Operation Overlord, so extensive that it began to feel like “an overrehearsed play.” Readers will feel the tension as world leaders fret about weather conditions and speculate upon casualties. The June 6 invasion plays out in short chapters crammed with detail and festooned with helmet icons offering important definitions. There are no main characters per se; rather, we are given short introductions to everyone from commanders to frontline grunts—for example, Edward “Cannonball” Krause, who liberated the first French town. The layout is nothing splashy, but the ample, sobering photographs are well chosen and extensive, and unusual back matter (clothing issued to new GIs, pay rates, etc.) rounds off this substantial and readable package. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Atkinson’s three-volume adult history of America’s involvement in WWII Europe was a massive and popular undertaking, lending this adaptation an attention-grabbing gravitas. Grades 6-9. --Daniel Kraus
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turning the Germany spies was. Hitler kept expecting Patton to cross further north, the deception kept many alive.
It's a keeper, though, if for not other reason than it an excellent selection of photos in it, and maybe it will be a handy tool for me to loan to some unsuspecting high schooler wonders what all the fuss is about on some patriotic occasion or other.
You at Amazon might have been more forthcoming in your promotion of the book.
It is a compelling and horrific story that enables young people to "live" the history.