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Front Lines Hardcover – January 26, 2016
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From the Publisher
I write fiction. In writing this piece of fiction I have attempted to accurately capture the flavor and the feel and as much of the detail of actual historical events as is practical, but any conflicts between my version of events and the work of historians should unquestionably be resolved in favor of those worthy academics. In writing this book I have relied on dozens of histories, memoirs, newsreels, museum exhibits, and photographic archives, but all errors or deviations from fact are mine alone.
Operation Torch and the battle of Kasserine Pass?
Real. Tulsa? Real. New York City? I’m pretty sure that exists. Gedwell Falls is my own invention, though I suspect it’s located quite near Healdsburg, California. Similarly, Camps Maron and Szekely, while suspiciously close to Fort Benning, Georgia, are made up. Other things, things you might not expect, actually happened. A lot of American troops really did go to war on the luxury liner Queen 544 Mary. And the bit about a French soldier who erected a barricade symbolique? That scene is actually based on a true story. Nothing is more unexpected than reality.
In the course of portraying the attitudes and notions of social justice prevalent in the United States in those days, I have used language and portrayed attitudes that all good people now find abhorrent. But it was another time, and I can’t whitewash history. In those days, racism and sexism and anti-Semitism were all right out there in the open. Some people had begun to see beyond those destructively irrational notions, but it was very much a work in progress. The generation that won World War II saved the world—no, really, saved the world—but they were not saints.
There’s a bunch more to be found on our website and our Facebook page including videos, photos, maps, music, additional stories, and more. Thanks.
Please consider checking for digital shorts wherever you buy ebooks and stay tuned for book two of Front Lines.
“Fascinating and powerful. This alternate history of WWII is relevant to the American military today, where men and women serve side by side. Men have no monopoly on courage or determination, and they never did. A great book.” (Wayne K. Maynard, Major, USA (Ret.), Ph.D.)
“What if American women had fought alongside men in World War II? Michael Grant gives us a magnificent alternate history that feels so real and right and true it seems impossible that it wasn’t. Every one of these fictional soldiers has wrapped herself around my heart.” (Elizabeth Wein, Award-winning and New York Times Bestselling Author of Code Name Verity)
★ “The history is illuminating and fascinating, but where Grant excels even more is in the immersive storytelling and compelling bonds among the multifaceted characters. Just as classic war novels demonstrate how war can reveal common humanity, Grant’s exploration of women in battle is no different.” (Booklist (starred review))
★ “All of the protagonists are well-developed individuals, but also represent ‘every soldier girl who carried a rifle, dug a hole, slogged through mud, steamed or froze, prayed or cursed, raged or feared, ran away or ran toward.’ A gripping and heart-wrenching tale.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“The main characters are all well-drawn, strong women, and the wartime events are well researched and accurate. The alternative history and wartime plot, which reads like a movie, will appeal to many.” (School Library Journal)
“The experiences of female soldiers in the military are plainly and honestly depicted…an immersive, powerful tale.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“The fast pace of this novel, along with its relatable characters and engaging plot, will easily draw in reluctant readers. Grant’s well-researched details of living conditions that WWII soldiers endured will appeal to fans of historical fiction. Readers of this book will be anxiously awaiting the sequel.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“Michael Grant is a master of twists that not only tear at his readers’ consciences, they hold a mirror up to our here and now and insist we consider what might otherwise be. FRONT LINES is a masterpiece of speculative story crafting.” (Andrew Smith, Michael L. Printz Honor winning author of Grasshopper Jungle)
“Front Lines does what great epics are meant to do: tells us the human side of history with honesty, wit, and clarity. Just because it didn’t happen this way, doesn’t mean it isn’t true.” (C. Alexander London, author of Proxy and Dog Tags and Tides of War series)
From the Back Cover
1942 World War II
The most terrible war in human history. Millions are dead; millions more are still to die. The Nazis rampage across Europe and eye far-off America.
The green, untested American army is going up against the greatest fighting force ever assembled—the armed forces of Nazi Germany.
But something has changed. A court decision makes females subject to the draft and eligible for service. So in this World War II, women and girls fight, too.
As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, three girls sign up to fight. Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman are average girls, girls with dreams and aspirations, at the start of their lives, at the start of their loves. Each has her own reasons for volunteering. Not one expects to see actual combat. Not one expects to be on the front lines.
Rio, Frangie, and Rainy will play their parts in the war to defeat evil and save the future of the human race. They will fear and they will rage; they will suffer and they will inflict suffering; they will hate and they will love. They will fight the greatest war the world has ever known.
New York Times bestselling author Michael Grant has created a masterful alternate history of World War II in Front Lines, the first volume in a groundbreaking series.
“Michael Grant is a master of twists that not only tear at his readers’ consciences, they hold a mirror up to our here and now and insist we consider what might otherwise be. Front Lines is a masterpiece of speculative story crafting.”—Andrew Smith, Michael L. Printz Honor–Winning Author of Grasshopper Jungle
“What if American women had fought alongside men in World War II? Michael Grant gives us a magnificent alternate history that feels so real and right and true it seems impossible that it wasn’t. Every one of these fictional soldiers has wrapped herself around my heart.”—Elizabeth Wein, Michael L. Printz Honor Winner And New York Times Bestselling Author of Code Name Verity
“Front Lines does what great epics are meant to do: tells us the human side of history with honesty, wit, and clarity. Just because it didn’t happen this way doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”—C. Alexander London, Author of Proxy and The Dog Tags and Tides Of War Series
Top customer reviews
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The story is told from the perspective of three girls who find themselves pulled into the war. They come from very different backgrounds across the United States and Michael Grant has a way of writing rich prose that makes you feel like you're there with each of these girls as they try to find their place in the war effort. Front Lines is split into two parts, the first part known as "Volunteers and Draftees" follows Rio, Frangie, and Rainy as they get uprooted from their lives and enlist and the second part simply known as "War."
This book doesn't shy away from graphic descriptions of death, but I do find it funny that a YA novel still finds a way to censor words. In your mind you know what the words should be, but I don't think the softening of the words take away from the overall story. The book does not attempt to hide or erase words and situations that we find inappropriate and unacceptable in today's society. Front Lines does not hesitate to show the racism and sexism that would have been thrown around during those times by strangers and soldiers alike. I appreciate the research put into this book and the decision to not shy away from these topics.
There are moments that will make you cry, and scenes that will make you laugh. The book is longer and denser, perhaps, than your average YA novel, but there's a lot of story in Front Lines that tells the story of not only the fictional characters we read in this book, but of the men and women who really did serve in World War II.
With that all said, I can't wait to read Front Lines #2 when it comes out next year!
There's a lot of set up before they actually join the army. Normally that kind of thing tends to bore me and I lose interest but I genuinely enjoyed getting to know the trio before getting to the part why I bought this book in the first place—women being drafted during World War 2! The concept is new and I love it!
Frangie and Rainy I loved immediately. They were both smart and determined. I especially loved Rio, who become the biggest badass at the end! The depictions of the characters in battle are amazing and it's fun to see the three women grow more confident.
I'm excited to read the next book! I hope there's lots of focus on the war since we already know the characters.
This book is rare look into what the war would have been like had women been able to join the fight the same as men. Four women who contribute to the war effort in different ways tell their story as they volunteer into the military. Two on the front lines, one in intelligence, and black girl who is a medic. Front Lines does a great job showing what life was like during those times of war and what it was like for women and black people. I could not put this book down it was soo good.
Interesting read and at times factual..