cover image Allies


Alan Gratz. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-338-24572-1

Gratz (Grenade) delivers a tautly paced and multifaceted portrait of the D-Day invasion. This powerful historical novel begins just before dawn on June 6, 1944, as two American soldiers, 16-year-old Dee, from Philadelphia by way of Germany, and 17-year-old Sid, a Jewish American from New York, plunge from their boats into the chaos of the English Channel to storm the Normandy beaches. The nonstop, alternating narrative traces the invasion from diverse points of view, including French-Algerian Samira, 11, the daughter of a French Resistance member; Cree Indian Lance Corporal Sam, from Quebec; and African-American medic Henry, a 20-year-old corporal from Chicago. Gratz balances the carnage and fear of war with acts of bravery and heroism, and a plotline involving Dee’s status as a German immigrant heightens the tension as he fights against his former homeland and attempts to conceal his heritage. This gripping novel, set in a single day, about a WWII turning point offers memorable insights into the contributions and alliances of everyday people. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (Oct.) [/em]