86 pages 2 hours read

Alan Gratz


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2019

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  • Genre: Fiction; young adult historical
  • Originally Published: 2019
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 780L; grades 6-10
  • Structure/Length: 57 chapters and author’s note; approx. 288 pages; approx. 6 hours, 17 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: The novel follows teen Dee Carpenter, a soldier from Philadelphia, and five other young characters as each tries to survive D-Day, the historic World War II Ally invasion of German-occupied France in 1944.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Wartime violence; death

Alan Gratz, Author

  • Bio: Born 1972; holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Tennessee; currently lives in the mountains of North Carolina; member of the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame; awarded the National Jewish Book Award, the Young Hoosier Book Award, and the Malka Penn Award for Human Rights Honor (2017) for his novel Refugee
  • Other Works: Prisoner B-3087 (2013); Projekt 1065 (2016); Refugee (2017); Ground Zero (2021); Two Degrees (2022)
  • Awards: Amazon.com Best Books of the Year (2019); TIME for Kids Recommended Books (2019)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • 1940s Discrimination Through Different Lenses
  • Parents’ Impacts on Their Adolescent Children
  • Solidarity as a Way of Overcoming Challenges

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the geographical and historical contexts of the Allied invasion (D-Day) that unify the narrators of this novel.