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Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima (Youth Edition) Hardcover – May 8, 2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 956 customer reviews

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Realistic fiction for tweens
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the winter of 1945, on the tiny island of Iwo Jima, a ferocious, epic battle was fought, resulting in the loss of more than 48,000 lives and producing what was to become one of the most recognizable symbols of World War II: a photograph of six soldiers raising an American flag on the peak of Mount Suribachi. One of the six, Navy corpsman John Bradley, came away from this historical moment with a deep and mysterious silence about his role in the flag raising. Even his wife heard him speak of it only once in their 47-year marriage. After Bradley's death, his son James began to piece together the facts of his father's heroism, as well as that of the other five men, all of whom became reluctant heroes because of their presence during that fateful instant when the shutter clicked and created a wartime icon.

Based on James Bradley's Flags of Our Fathers for adults, this abridged version for younger readers retains the somewhat terse drama, intense heartbreak, and bittersweet triumph of the original narrative. Through his research on the event and the soldiers (three of the men were killed in combat within days of the flag raising), Bradley explores the dubious nature of heroism and the devastating effects of war. (Ages 14 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

Newly adapted from a bestseller for adults, Flags of Our Fathers: Heroes of Iwo Jima by James Bradley with Ron Powers, adapted by Michael French, focuses on one of the most famous of war photographs: the image of six marines raising the American flag on Iwo Jima. Bradley, son of one of those marines, investigates the lives (and deaths) of the six, closely examining their experiences to detail the brutal battle on the island, the contrast between the sense of victory projected by the photograph and the more ambiguous circumstances behind it, and the bond-raising value of the photo (and of its surviving subjects) to the Treasury Department. A photo insert adds to the immediacy of this memorable work.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (May 8, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385729324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385729321
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (956 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,809,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Theresa E. DaKay on May 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS is a brilliant work for so many reasons: it pays homage to the six men who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi on the island of Iwo Jima during WWII; it is a tribute to a father who felt strongly that the real heroes at Iwo were the boys who didn't come back; it is a testimonial to the USMC and its fighting men; it portrays a graphic and at times unimaginable description of the horrors of war; and, it depicts not only the indignities that we humans can suffer upon one another, but also the moments when common men (indeed, boys) are moved to perform acts of uncommon valor and courage. When reading this book, you will feel pride, grief, anger, sadness, and dismay. Its words will make you laugh, cry, mourn, and think hard. FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS is a good book---no, a great book---about a moment in our history and the ordinary men who performed extraordinary deeds and left their mark upon the annals of war. Read it...for the sake of the six flagraisers, the families left behind in all wars, and the whole human race.
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By A Customer on May 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
James Bradley's tale of the six boys who raised the Old Glory over the island of Iwo Jima (one of whom was his own dad) is a classic of war literature.
It is a father-son story. It is a war story. It is a story of patriotism and sacrifice. But ultimately it is the story about how ordinary people can rise to extraordinary heights in fantastically dangerous situations.
Inspired and inspirational, this book is must-reading for anyone even remotely interested in World War II, and in the sacrifices that certain Americans made in order to win it.
This Memorial Day, buy a copy for everyone you know!
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Format: Hardcover
Born in 1974, I can hardly claim to have experienced the terror and patriotism that surrounded WWII. By all accounts, the picture of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi has always existed for me. In ever history book through school, the six men hoisting the American flag on a makeshift pole atop this sawed-off "mountain" was printed as the epitome of American valor. Little was mentioned about the people or the event that surrounded this monumental photograph. Now, thankfully, we know.
This book is an absolute must-read. At once a biography of each of these six brave men, a history book, a war novel, and a tale of struggle, this book should find its way onto the bookshelf of every American. The lives of these men before, during, and after the battle of Iwo Jima is enough to fill you with great sadness and immense patriotic pride simultaneously.
This book is as relevant today as it could have been had it been published 55 years ago. While it is quite usual to hear words like honor, courage, and commitment strewn about by talking heads that pervade our society and media, it is rare to see these demonstrated by actual human beings. The stories of these men will show that that even under great strain the human spirit can thrive, and that occaisionally our heroes can be taken at face value.
However, as Bradley points out, these men were not heroes for raising that flag on Mount Suribachi. They, like every other American boy who set foot on foreign soil for God and country half a century ago, were heroes for the simple act of being there and doing the best they could.
Buy this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Stephen Ambrose said it himself on the back of this book, "The best battle book I ever read. These stories, from the time the six men who raised the flag at Iwo Jima enlisted, their training, and the landing and subsequent struggle, fill me with awe." This is a dramatic story of Iwo Jima; I absorbed every word of every page with intensity. It brought me to tears and, at times, made me laugh. I felt I was crawling with the Marines yard by yard as they moved across the small island under intense fire from the Japanese. The pictures James Bradley produce will stay in my mind for a long time, at least until I read the book again. I keep seeing his father, Doc, administering first aide to a wounded Marine. Knowing the wounded soldier could quickly bleed to death, Doc covered the soldier with his own body as he administered first aid while bullets exploded around him. Doc won the Navy Cross for this heroic action.
The book doesn't just cover the fighting on the island, but follows the survivors of the six flagraisers back to the states. Their heroic welcome home involved them as part of a push to sell war bonds. James Bradley finally brings to end myths of the raising of the flag, e.g. that it was staged and that it was at the end of the fight for Iwo Jima.
From the very beginning of the book I was thankful for his father and the others that fought for our freedom on that small island in the Pacific. I wish I could thank all the veterans for their sacrifises made on Iwo Jima. Since I can't, I can thank James Bradley for bringing the story of his father and the other five flagraisers into my life. You'll be thankful, too. Bradley should receive a Pulitzer Prize for this incredible book.
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Format: Hardcover
No, this isn't John Wayne and "Sands of Iwo Jima". This is a story of American youth and a time of American innocence.
Who were these six young, skinny kids in this photograph? A photograph that has become an icon of our times. Three of them would never know what impact this photo and their actions had on a country. Three others would know only too well.
I sincerely thank James Bradley for taking on this very personal and very emotional subject. His father, PM2C John Bradley, USN must have been made of greater stuff than most folks. His son's book is one of the most fitting tributes to a father's memory I could ever imagine.
My most heartfelt best wishes go out to James, his mother and all the Bradley's.
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