Inspiring and Educational ... Readers will want to know more about Louis Zamperini

Summary:

Louis Zamperini, son of Italian immigrants, lived in Torrance, California.  As a boy, he was quite mischievous and, as he grew older, a thief. Had his brother not stepped in, Louis' stealing and running from the cops would have ruined his life. Instead, he became a distance runner, and tied for 8th place in the 5,000 meter race at the Olympics in Berlin (1936). Upon returning to the United States, he attended the University of Southern California, where he ran track.

In 1941, Zamperini enlisted and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. In April 1943, during a bombing mission, the plane he was in was attacked by 3 Japanese Zeros. He and two other crew members escaped the crash and were adrift in the ocean for more than 40 days. Upon reaching land, they were captured by the Japanese Navy and treated harshly. It was two years before they were declared Prisoners of War, though their treatment and conditions did not improve.

BTSYA / Teen Reader (16):
This is a really interesting book, and after reading it, I understand why the title is named Unbroken. Anyone interested in learning about World War II would love this book. I was never interested in history but this book made me more curious about it. I rate the book an 8 out of 10. It is not something I thought I would read about. I wouldn’t want to imagine how badly PTSD affected most of those innocent lives that got ruined.

I didn't like how the concentration camps officers got life sentences for abusing and killing a lot of people and dumping the bodies in random forests near the bunkers. Some who were not executed were freed after 20 years. A prison guard known as "The Bird," was the most wanted after the war. He hid out, pretended he was dead, moved to Tokyo, and lived with a farmer by doing hard labor. I didn't like how he wasn't in prison instead of the people who started the camps.

 


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers who enjoy inspirational stories or are interested in history, will find this a compelling hard-to-put-down read. 

Content Awareness Factors:

Violence (World War II).


Type of Book:
This is a book that is part biography and par World War II history.
Educational Themes:

This is part biography, part World War II history, and part immigrant story. Readers will find plenty to unpack in this book.

Reading Level:
6.4
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
14 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
14 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer 's Age: 16
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. This is an amazing story, but it isn't one you'll read more than once.

Title Unbroken: An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive (Young Adult Adaptation)
Author Laura Hillenbrand
Publisher Delacorte Books for Young Readers © 2014
ISBN 9780385742511
Material Hard Cover
Cost $19.99
Genres Sports, History, War
be the star you are Cybils
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