by Rick Atkinson with Kate Waters
Henry Holt, 2014. 202 pgs. Nonfiction
Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer prize winning author of the World War II Liberation Trilogy books, has, with the assistance of Kate Waters, adapted the final volume in the series to create this fine book about D-Day for young people. Since this year marks the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France, this is a particularly good time to introduce young people to one of the most significant battles in history, and Atkinson/Waters do a fine job of it. The book begins with helpful charts and lists of map legends, the nations involved, and their governmental and military leaders, and a timeline of World War II. As the narrative unfolds, Atkinson does his usual fine job of mingling overview with specific recollections of soldiers who were there. Young people should be interested to learn of the Allies' meticulous efforts to mislead the Axis about when and where the invasion would take place, including inflatable tanks, and humbled by the sorrows of the battle itself, and the courage of those who fought. This is as fine a one-volume history of D-Day for young people as I have ever seen--nothing is dumbed down, and the book is both horrifying and inspiring. Recommended for fifth grade and up.