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D-Day: The World War II Invasion That Changed History Hardcover – 28 Aug 2018
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Praise for D-Day: The WWII Invasion that Changed History* "Hopkinson has compiled a comprehensive and absorbing overview . . . this insightful title, chock-full of primary sources, is a strong purchase." -- School Library Journal, starred review "Hopkinson is particularly adept at directing attention to the stories behind the heroic stories." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "How does an author sequentially chronicle multiple, rapidly developing, and simultaneous events and maintain not just coherence, but suspense? Hopkinson employs her signature kaleidoscopic style effectively here: synthesizing complex events into a compelling narrative arc, and sampling myriad voices to add texture and color to the story, while never losing sight of the bigger picture." -- The Horn Book "Such major figures as Dwight D. Eisenhower and Omar Bradley get plenty of attention, but more is given to the experiences of the soldiers who waded ashore under fire or parachuted behind enemy lines. Hopkinson weaves their personal accounts with those of observations by Ernie Pyle and others to bring the invasion vividly to life . . . An attractively packaged, engrossing history that will appeal to readers fascinated with military strategy." -- Kirkus Reviews "With thoroughness and clarity, this title brings D-Day into focus by breaking it down into components and focusing on human voices and perspectives . . . provides a wealth of information clearly presented alongside many black and white photos, resulting in an engaging read even for those who may not be interested in a book about military history. The complexity of the historical task undertaken, the challenges of the terrain, and the courage required of those involved is conveyed by the author without hyperbole and by allowing the participants to tell their own stories. Highly Recommended." -- School Library Connection Praise for Dive! World War II Stories of Sailors & Submarines in the Pacific * "Hopkinson crafts a gripping narrative... Fascinating World War II history for history buffs and browsers alike." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review * "Readers wait anxiously alongside crew members amid silence and dangerous heat and oxygen levels as the submariners narrowly escape enemy detection or brace for depth charge explosions that rattle bones, fray nerves, and signal possible death...With a fascinating blend of submarine mechanics and tales of courage, readers will dive in deep." -- Booklist, starred review * "It's an appealing, engrossing package for readers fascinated by heroism and military strategy." -- The Horn Book, starred review "The real appeal, of course, is danger and heroism, and in drawing liberally from first-person accounts by surviving veterans, Hopkinson often emulates the tone of Greatest Generation memoir... And kudos to Hopkinson, whose eagle eye even located the contingent of women nurses evacuated by sub from the Philippines." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books "A riveting narrative nonfiction selection for middle school collections." -- School Library Journal "The diverse individual stories... make the history come alive." -- School Library Connection Praise for Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark A Sydney Taylor Notable Book
An NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended Book
A Bank Street Center for Children's Literature Best Children's Book of the Year selection
A Cybils Award Finalist "[A] spirited, inspiring, and extremely well-researched book... ideal for both classroom use and independent reading." -- Booklist "With numerous pictures and illustrations accompanying the text, this is a fascinating look at a little-known corner of WWII." -- Publishers Weekly Praise for Titanic: Voices from the Disaster A Sibert Honor Book
A YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist
An ALA Notable Children's Book
An IRA Teacher's Choice
A Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Book of the Year
A Horn Book Fanfare Book
A Cybils Award Finalist "An affecting portrait of human ambition, folly and almost unbearable nobility in the face of death." -- The Wall Street Journal "A meticulous recounting of the disaster... Hopkinson's reporting is so rich with information that it will be equally fascinating to young readers and adults alike." -- Los Angeles Times * "Hopkinson knows precisely what's she doing in her coverage of the Titanic disaster... [A] fine book." -- The Horn Book, starred review * "Fascinating... A thorough and absorbing re-creation of the ill-fated voyage." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review * "Riveting." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review * "An absorbing and richly satisfying read." -- School Library Journal, starred review Praise for Up Before Daybreak * "Rarely have the links between northern industry, southern agriculture, slavery, war, child labor, and poverty been so skillfully distilled for this audience." -- Booklist, starred review * "Superb nonfiction writing." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review * "Excellent." -- School Library Journal, starred review Praise for Shutting Out the Sky
A Jane Addams Peace Award Honor Book
An Orbis Pictus Honor Book
An ALA Notable Book
A Sydney Taylor Notable Book * "Nonfiction at its best." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review * "[A] fascinating read." -- School Library Journal, starred review
About the Author
Deborah Hopkinson is the acclaimed author of over forty award-winning books, including Shutting Out the Sky, an NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book and a Jane Addams Peace Award Honor Book; Up Before Daybreak, a Carter G. Woodson Honor Award winner; Titanic: Voices from the Disaster, a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist and Sibert Honor Book; Courage & Defiance, Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark, a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and Orbis Pictus Recommended title; and Dive! World War II Stories of Sailors & Submarines in the Pacific. Deborah lives with her family near Portland, Oregon.
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I’m writing all of this to say that Hopkinson expertly conveys the gravity and enormity of the situation. She does not pretend to know the feelings or thoughts of individuals involved in this experience. Instead she uses well-established facts and primary sources including many quotes from oral histories to tell the story of this day. Honestly, I finished this book thinking, “OMG” and feeling incredibly indebted to these soldiers and any other person who has served our country.
IN A CLASSROOM – My first thought is “Why do we still rely on textbooks in any kind of high school history class?” Book talk this. And then recruit a group of students to read, engage in student-led conversations, learn from additional sources, and then share their learning (and even their gratitude). Questions that might serve as a guide:
• “What made this endeavor enormous?” This kind of question includes the literal numbers, but also thinking critically about the emotional and mental weight of this plan on key individuals that Hopkinson alludes to and thinking beyond the text to the planning that Hopkinson does not describe, but that must have had to happen to get the troops ready.
• “How does Hopkinson weave complex details together in a way that makes the enormity of what happened accessible to the reader?” This could include a discussion of how she includes statistics, but also oral histories. What is the role of each of these types of details?
• “What does Hopkinson leave out?” or “What choices did Hopkinson clearly make about what to include and what not to include?” or “How does Hopkinson establish accuracy and authority throughout the text?”
IF YOU BOOK TALK THIS, a couple of tips:
• I would not take for granted the value of students previewing this text before reading, of students thinking through the design of the text (looking carefully at the table of contents) and the PURPOSE of special features (e.g., sidebars like “reader’s invasion briefing” and “dispatch”). This will help them navigate and make sense of the information. Even sophisticated readers could benefit from this.
• Also, for me, the narrative really picked up in Part 2 after Hopkinson develops the context for D-Day and describes initial planning. Keep an eye on (striving) readers during Part 1 or until you feel like they are on a roll. It wouldn't hurt to provide extra scaffolds like a current map of Europe, readers can reference as they move through the book or a chance to explore the topic (with video, etc) before they read.
• The technical language that Hopkinson includes early on related to service members' rank, division, etc. may bog some readers down. Do not let this deter them. You may need to think aloud in front of students about how you make sense of these terms as a reader and continue moving forward. This lightens up and becomes easier to navigate a little bit into the book.
The courage it took to face that day (and many others that we have asked service members to face since then) is stunning. As a reader of this book, YOU FEEL THIS. Towards the end of reading this book, I went to lunch with family and as we entered the restaurant, I saw a group of service members eating at a table nearby. I couldn't help it...I quietly paid for their lunch. I asked to be anonymous, but the wait staff gave me away. When the service members came over to say thank you and shake my hand, I nearly wept. I live in a freaking silo—I know no one serving in the military. This book strengthened by gratitude to anyone who has served our country. Thank you, Deborah Hopkinson.
The book starts with the experience of a young man flying over France as one of the thousands of paratroopers proceeding the sea-based invasion. This makes for a great beginning as it pulls the reader right into the story. Following a brief description of what D-Day was and how the U.S. Army was organized (helpful for those with little military or World War II background), Hopkinson goes back and tells the story of the major events that led up to the invasion itself. The book is divided up into 7 parts as follows: The Plan, The Gods of War, Night Into Day, Utah, Omaha, Aftermath: More than Courage, Quartermaster's Department. Each section includes important information related to the general plans and some of the individuals involved in creating those plans. As this book is written for American youth, it focuses on the two invasion sites that the Americans helped invade, the beaches code named Utah and Omaha. I especially appreciated the widespread use of quotes and experiences from individuals who were there. The story feels more real when one reads the words of an actual person. The inclusion of 'dispatches' and 'Reader's Invasion Briefings' helped create context in relation to specific issues that came up during the invasion.
All in all Hopkinson has created a compelling account of a day that changed the world forever. A day that young history buffs will want to know about. This is a book that would be easy to recommend to young readers who want a glimpse into the experiences of those involved in both the planning and executing of D-Day.
The story is broken into small chunks with frequent "Look, Listen, Remember" sections that give links to further information about the current topic. Sections called "Briefings" and "Reader's Invasion Briefing" provide a wider context to the the eyewitness material. Other sections called "Reporter's Notebooks" give information about some of the men and women who were war photographers and correspondents. "Dispatches" are first person accounts.
The book is liberally illustrated with photos and maps. It also ends with an extensive "Quartermaster's Department" which includes a timeline, a list of the important people in the book, a glossary, a list of additional sources and detailed notes identifying and giving credit for all the quotes. The book will have an index which was not included in my ARC.
This book was compelling and fascinating. It is an excellent example of the best in current nonfiction and provides the reader with a basic understanding of this important battle and lots of pointers to where interested readers can get more information.