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In this captivating and lavishly illustrated young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a former Olympian's courage, cunning, and fortitude following his plane crash in enemy territory. This adaptation of Unbroken introduces a new generation to one of history's most thrilling survival epics.
On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary sagas of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. As a boy, he had been a clever delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and stealing. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a supreme talent that carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when war came, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a sinking raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would respond to desperation with ingenuity, suffering with hope and humor, brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would hang on the fraying wire of his will.
Featuring more than one hundred photographs plus an exclusive interview with Zamperini, this breathtaking odyssey—also captured on film by director Angelina Jolie—is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the ability to endure against the unlikeliest of odds.
Praise for Unbroken
"This adaptation of Hillenbrand's adult bestseller is highly dramatic and exciting, as well as painful to read as it lays bare man's hellish inhumanity to man."—Booklist, STARRED
"This captivating book emphasizes the importance of determination, the will to survive against impossible odds, and support from family and friends. A strong, well-written work."—SLJ
"This fine adaptation ably brings an inspiring tale to young readers."—Kirkus
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Laura Hillenbrand is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption and Seabiscuit: An American Legend, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, won the Book Sense Nonfiction Book of the Year award and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, landed on more than fifteen best-of-the-year lists, and inspired the film Seabiscuit, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. She served as a consultant on the Universal Pictures feature film based on Unbroken. Hillenbrand’s New Yorker article, “A Sudden Illness,” won the National Magazine Award. Her work has also appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Vanity Fair, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. She and actor Gary Sinise were cofounders of Operation International Children, a charity that provided school supplies to children through American troops.From School Library Journal:
Gr 9 Up—Adapted from the best-selling adult book of the same name, this riveting account tells the story of Louis Zamperini, a thief turned track star, Olympian, airman, castaway, and prisoner of war. Born to Italian immigrants in 1917, Zamperini was heading down a path of crime (stealing, fighting) until his older brother Pete stepped in, encouraging him to join the track team. It wasn't long before Zamperini was winning every race, eventually going on to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The book details how the 1940 Olympics were canceled due to World War II and describes how Zamperini was drafted into the U.S. Air Force. Writing in a gripping, intense tone, Hillenbrand relates how tragedy struck when Zamperini's plane was shot down and he and two other men spent 47 days in a life boat in the Pacific Ocean, fighting sharks, starvation, and dehydration, before being captured by the Japanese navy as prisoners of war. More than 100 engaging photographs appear throughout. This captivating book emphasizes the importance of determination, the will to survive against impossible odds, and support from family and friends. This adaptation softens some of the harsh details of POW life found in the adult version and has shortened the book by about a third. Though this is a strong, well-written work, the adult version is accessible and engaging; students are better off sticking with the original.—Stephanie Farnlacher, Trace Crossings Elementary School, Hoover, AL
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