(Middle-Grade Reading Level - Content warning - death, war, gun violence, racism, racial slurs, antisemitism, bullying, medical procedures)
With Allies, Gratz once again combined several disparate perspectives to tell the story of a major historical event. Although this book touches on several topics related to WWII - including the French occupation, the Holocaust, and the treatment of Black soldiers - the book's central focus is the D-Day invasion of Normandy beach. Given the brutality and enormity of that invasion, Gratz made the wise decision to just tell the story of the main characters without trying to tackle all the death that occurred on that day. I do feel that Gratz tried to incorporate too many narratives into the plot and it appeared that some of the characters were dropped along the way. Despite that flaw, Gratz once again delivered an adrenaline-inducing narrative that deftly combined historical detail with interwoven points of view. This book is perfect for the student who's always asking you, "When are you going to teach about WWII?"
From the publisher, “June 6, 1944: The Nazis are terrorizing Europe, on their evil quest to conquer the world. The only way to stop them? The biggest, most top-secret operation ever, with the Allied nations coming together to storm German-occupied France.
Welcome to D-Day.
Dee, a young U.S. soldier, is on a boat racing toward the French coast. And Dee — along with his brothers-in-arms — is terrified. He feels the weight of World War II on his shoulders.
But Dee is not alone. Behind enemy lines in France, a girl named Samira works as a spy, trying to sabotage the German army. Meanwhile, paratrooper James leaps from his plane to join a daring midnight raid. And in the thick of battle, Henry, a medic, searches for lives to save.
In a breathtaking race against time, they all must fight to complete their high-stakes missions. But with betrayals and deadly risks at every turn, can the Allies do what it takes to win?”