Author: Alan Gratz

Year: 2019

For a young audience, Gratz does the leg work and summarizes the WWII D-Day experience in a way that is easy to understand and easy to feel a part of.  His hit book, Refuge, brought audiences into a real-life experience so that they could see it from the inside, and now he has done the same with perhaps the most important event in the history of our culture.  Allies is an opportunity to live through an incredibly dangerous and meaningful day, and for kids to be excited about history in a way text books just can’t duplicate.

D-Day has come, and the Allied forces have arrayed themselves to invade & retake France, pushing the Nazis back in what could be the beginning of the end of the most horrible war in human history.  Thousands of people from many different countries are brought together for a single purpose; to take the beaches of Normandy, to find a foothold for the Allies, and to begin the push through Europe into Berlin.  Every tale connected, every act important, event shot fired a shot at survival; this is a day that we will never forget.

Gratz takes fictional accounts from many different angles and aims them all at the beach, at the fight to turn the tide.  American infantry, Canadian paratroopers, British tankers, French resistance fighters; so many groups had so many roles to play, and although none of them went perfectly smoothly, the vast number of pieces that had to fall into place for D-Day to go right is staggering.  This is a great chance to relive history, and for kids to understand what was happening, to step into the shoes of those involved and march forward with them.  Not a propaganda piece, but definitely a show of Western fortitude, Allies is a look into something both awesome and very sad, and I’m happy (my son was as well) to have read something so simple and so helpful.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils