June 6, 1944. D-Day.
Nearly 160,000 troops crossed the English Channel to invade German-occupied France, most of them from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Thousands more in France fought the Nazis at home. It was a day of unprecedented unity and cooperation.
But many people played heroic roles on D-Day only to return to lives after the war filled with prejudice, segregation, and injustice. Algerian Muslim soldiers fought in the French Resistance and the Free French Army, only to have to wage a bloody war for independence after the war. Jewish soldiers fighting for the liberation of concentration camps dealt with anti-Semitism among the very men who fought alongside them. African-American soldiers fought on the beaches at D-Day but remained segregated from white soldiers throughout the war, and returned home to find German prisoners of war treated better than they were in their hometowns.
Their stories and others are told in Allies, a novel that, like D-Day itself, proves we are stronger together.
Scholastic | October 15, 2019 | Ages 8 and Up
The horrors of war and the decisions and emotions it entails are presented with unflinching honesty through characters readers can feel for…. Both an excellent, inclusive narration of important historical events and a fast-paced, entertaining read.
—Kirkus - STARRED REVIEW
Gratz does a brilliant job of bringing the invasion to visceral life…. [A] tour de force of war fiction.
—Booklist - STARRED REVIEW
A tautly paced and multifaceted portrait of the D-Day invasion.
—Publishers Weekly - STARRED REVIEW
The stories and characters are meticulously researched, honest, and do not avoid the horror of the invasion. As well, despite the historical time setting, the issues the characters face are still timely.
—School Library Journal - STARRED REVIEW
A rousing and humane tribute to D-Day troops
—New York Times Book Review
Gratz manages to provide distinct, complex personalities and a nail-biting plot.
Riveting historical fiction for young readers.
ALLIES is timely, not merely because of this year’s 75th anniversary of D-Day but also for its contributions to discussions of how individuals, communities and nations can be allies in today’s world.
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