Written by Alan Gratz

I love historical fiction for kids. It’s such a great way for them to learn and read simultaneously—and in regard to books about wars, help kids understand the sacrifices their ancestors made so that they could live in peace and freedom. This story focuses on World War II, specifically D-Day in Normandy. The book is well-written and appropriate for kids, tastefully writing about a tragic and horrible subject without graphically adding scenes of violence that was present everywhere.

Can one day, one 24-hour period, effect the course of the entire world? With this historical fiction book about the events of of June 6, 1944, Alan Gratz answers that question. He introduces four main young-adult characters from very different backgrounds, but all with the same goal; to defeat the Nazis at all costs. Their stories of the responsibilities they take upon themselves on D-Day are woven together with the themes of loyalty and courage in the midst of horrific events.

I think this book belongs in every middle-grade and Y.A. history classroom. The intended audience is middle-grade, but many of the characters are young adult age. Boys and girls alike will be drawn to this book because of how the author shows throughout that young people can make a great difference in their world.

I’ve read many books about D-Day, and this was one of the very best. I learned many fascinating things that I had not heard about before, such as “If Day”. The author’s notes at the end were very helpful in extinguishing the factual events from the fiction.

Memorable Quotes:
(Pg 132)-“Nobody should have to live like this, under the boot of Nazi rule, anywhere in the world, James thought. A deep, freeing calm came over James, and suddenly he understood why he was here. He was going to keep fighting the Nazis as hard as he could until all of France was liberated. And then he was going to move on to free Belgium, and the Netherlands, and everywhere else the Nazis had conquered. He was going to free every last country where If Day had come horribly true….But he couldn’t do it alone.”

Reviewed by Marcia Ingram, LMETS, Eisenhower Jr. High
Review shared in 04/20/2021
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Middle School

Written by Alan Gratz
Scholastic Press
322 pages
Release Date: October 15, 2019
ISBN: 9781338245721
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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