UNBROKEN: AN OLYMPIAN’S JOURNEY FROM AIRMAN TO CASTAWAY TO CAPTIVE by Laura Hillenbrand is part of trend toward young adult adaptations of popular aduUNBROKEN: AN OLYMPIAN’S JOURNEY FROM AIRMAN TO CASTAWAY TO CAPTIVE by Laura Hillenbrand is part of trend toward young adult adaptations of popular adult works. Based on the award-winning novel, UNBROKEN: A WORLD WAR II STORY OF SURVIVAL, RESILIENCE, AND REDEMPTION, the book traces the real-world experiences of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who becomes a prisoner of war in Japan during World War II.
Both the original nonfiction narrative and the adaptation chronicle Zamperini’s life by highlighting key events including his time as a high school runner, Olympian, bombardier, crash survivor, and prisoner. The use of a series of short, focused narratives keeps the reader engaged. More than one hundred photographs from the time period along with personal photos from the Zamperini family collection immerse readers in the story.
Although the adaptation lacks some of the depth of the original, it maintains the emotion of this breathtaking odyssey. While some of the beauty of Hillenbrand’s writing style is lost in the book’s attempt at brevity, the feelings of desperation, suffering, and hope still ring true. Background information woven through narrative help young readers understanding the context of story.
While many high school history teachers focus on the European Theatre, this book provides a wonderful opportunity for educators to explore the war in the Pacific Theatre. Consider offering both the adult version and the adaptation as options for student readers.
Teens enjoy making connections between books and movies. The movie version of the book titled UNBROKEN rated PG-13 opens December 25, 2014. To learn more about the movie, go to http://www.unbrokenfilm.com/. The movie website encourages visitors to add their own stories of resilient heroes. Learn more at http://www.iamunbroken.com/.
Recipes for favorite drinks of the stars from the 'golden age' of Hollywood. Laced with heavy shots of boozing and carousing by the stars. Brief biogrRecipes for favorite drinks of the stars from the 'golden age' of Hollywood. Laced with heavy shots of boozing and carousing by the stars. Brief biographical and often ribald stores are coupled with the history of select bars and restaurant hangouts. Photos included. A great coffee table or bathroom book with short episodes for reading and re-reading....more
PASSENGER ON THE PEARL by Winifred Conkling tells the true story of Emily Edmonson’s flight from slavery. The work of nonfiction for youth is an authePASSENGER ON THE PEARL by Winifred Conkling tells the true story of Emily Edmonson’s flight from slavery. The work of nonfiction for youth is an authentic portrayal of the heartbreaking reality of slavery. Readers are immediately immersed in the story as Emily and her sibling’s attempt to escape on a ship called the Pearl. After their unsuccessful quest for freedom, the story continues to follow Emily’s life in slavery as well as the plight of the abolitionists who planned the escape. Ultimately, Emily and her sister are freed, educated, and became abolitionists themselves. They even develop a friendship with Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.[return][return]The book includes a variety of compelling primary source documents including photographs, paintings, manifests, and posters that dramatically visualize the story. Graphic elements including maps, a timeline, and a family tree that help orient readers. The source notes, bibliography, and index are helpful to young researchers.[return][return]Focused fact sheets interwoven into the story help readers understand the laws and practical threats to slaves seeking freedom in the mid 19th century.[return][return]Conkling does a masterful job merging the real-world story of Emily with background information about the time period and specific events associated with the famous failed escape. The combination creates both empathy for the runaway slaves as well as an understanding of the context of the escape.[return][return]To learn more about author Winifred Conkling, go to http://www.winifredconkling.com/.[ret... reading this wonderful book for youth, some teens might be interested in a more in-depth examination of the attempted escape and the aftermath. Read ESCAPE ON THE PEARL (2007) by Mary Kay Ricks, a work of nonfiction for adults....more
THE RIGHT WORD: ROGET AND HIS THESAURUS authored by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is a picture book biography for children focusing on tTHE RIGHT WORD: ROGET AND HIS THESAURUS authored by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is a picture book biography for children focusing on the life of Peter Roget and his magnificent thesaurus. Known for their award-winning work A SPLASH OF RED, this author-illustrator team once again delivers an inspiring masterpiece.
This beautifully written biography celebrates the power of language. Through brilliantly selected words, this author/poet is able to bring the life of Roget alive for young readers.
The creatively illustrated book uses the technique of collage to tell the story of the author’s life. The picture book focuses on the author’s passion for making lists and selecting just the right words. The illustrator does an exceptional job incorporating visual representations of words and word lists into the story.
A timeline, information sources, further readings, and an illustrator’s note add depth to the work.
I highly recommend this book for library collections. Look for this book on Caldecott shortlists this year.