In response to requests from teachers and school librarians, Hillenbrand offers a young-readers’ edition of her best-selling World War II tale of survival.
Louis Zamperini grew up in California and was headed toward juvenile delinquency. He smoked at 5, drank at 8, and went on to stealing and pranking, until older brother Pete got Louis into something more productive: running. Louis eventually became a world-class runner, ultimately competing at the 1936 Olympics. With World War II looming, Louis joined the Army Air Corps, and it was with the downing of his B-24 bomber that his harrowing journey began. Adrift in the Pacific Ocean in a raft, attacked by sharks, brutalized as a POW in Japanese slave-labor camps, Louis’ is a tale of survival against all odds. This solid adaptation is half the length of the original, more visual (with more, and sometimes larger, photographs), less descriptive and swifter paced, and it avoids such adult themes as the sexual sadism of evil Cpl. Watanabe, the man so intent on destroying Louis in the POW camp outside Tokyo. A fascinating appended interview with Louis Zamperini explores issues of survival and heroism.
This fine adaptation ably brings an inspiring tale to younger readers. (notes, index [not seen]) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)