Gratz, Alan. Allies: D-Day. One Chance to Unite, Everything to Lose. Fiction. Scholastic, 10/2019. 307[+17]pp. $17.99. 978-1-338-24572-1. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 4-7.
Fast-paced and well-researched, this historical fiction centers around D-Day, June 6, 1944 and the Allied invasion of occupied France. Alan Gratz gracefully weaves storylines together, following a U.S. soldier landing on a boat, a Canadian paratrooper, a French-born Algerian member of the French Resistance, an American medic, and a local girl as they struggle to survive in the violence and chaos of the invasion. While some facts and timelines have been altered, the base of research Gratz draws on is extensive, and both the body of this book and the back matter will give readers a broad grounding in the causes and actual events of this historically significant day. Gratz also explores issues of racism ranging from black-white prejudice in the U.S. army to anti-Semitism both in Europe and beyond, as well as examining anti-Algerian sentiment in France, and the Canadian legislation that marginalized First Nations tribal members. In addition to being fact-based and exciting, the material is clearly written and accessible to a youth audience.
Lesley Mandros Bell, Oakland Library Advisory Commission