Scholastic. Oct. 2019. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338245721.
Gr 4-8–June 6, 1944. D-Day. The Allied Invasion of Nazi-occupied France was the largest and most secretive war operation ever, requiring numerous groups to work together, to be allies, despite numerous differences among them. Dee Carpenter, a young US soldier, hides his German heritage from his Jewish best friend. Samira, an Algerian member of the French Resistance, fights the Nazis because she knows a free Algeria is not possible under Nazi rule. James, a Canadian paratrooper, can’t fully explain why he volunteered to fight, but knows there is now no turning back. Henry, a black American medic, must face racism from his allies, all while also trying to save their lives on Omaha Beach. Gratz interweaves these stories and others to provide a vivid and detailed snapshot of the D-day Invasion from multiple complex and diverse characters. Much like Gratz’s Refugee, the character point of view changes and allows readers to visualize multiple facets of the invasion. The stories and characters are meticulously researched, honest, and do not avoid the horror of the invasion. As well, despite the historical time setting, the issues the characters face are still timely.
VERDICT A complex moment of history is deftly explored. Give to readers who enjoyed Refugee, Gratz’s other World War II novels, or Eric Walters’s Fly Boy.

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