'Allies': Riveting historical fiction for young readers
"Mom! You have got to read this book!"
Who could turn down a recommendation like that?
Seizing at the chance to share an interest with my 11-year-old (and in need of a new read, anyway), I delved into "Allies" by Alan Gratz (brand new from Scholastic Press). A work of young-adult historical fiction, it tells the story of the 1944 D-Day invasion from multiple perspectives: a Canadian paratrooper; a French girl with parents in the Resistance; and a young U.S. soldier with a secret.
I found it a riveting read and a good introduction to World War II and D-Day. It did not gloss over the brutal realities of war, and particularly of the Allied invasion of Normandy. The storytelling includes many deaths, but I didn't find it gruesome or gratuitous.
My daughter couldn't put it down and frequently would share passages she found especially interesting. That's a sign of a good kids' book, isn't it?
Scholastic recommends it for ages 9-12, grades 4-7.
She also had loved Gratz's "Refugee," (2017) which, in a similar style, tells the stories of three young people fleeing their homes for various reasons: A Jewish boy in Nazi Germany, a Cuban girl in 1994 and a Syrian boy in 2015. That title is recommended for ages 8 and up. Like in "Allies," all is not happy or simple because it's a realistic take on actual events in history.