On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary sagas of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. As a boy, he had been a clever delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and stealing. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a supreme talent that carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when war came, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a sinking raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would respond to desperation with ingenuity, suffering with hope and humor, brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would hang on the fraying wire of his will.
Featuring more than one hundred photographs plus an exclusive interview with Zamperini, this breathtaking odyssey—also captured on film by director Angelina Jolie—is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the ability to endure against the unlikeliest of odds.
Praise for Unbroken
"This adaptation of Hillenbrand's adult bestseller is highly dramatic and exciting, as well as painful to read as it lays bare man's hellish inhumanity to man."—Booklist, STARRED
"This captivating book emphasizes the importance of determination, the will to survive against impossible odds, and support from family and friends. A strong, well-written work."—SLJ
"This fine adaptation ably brings an inspiring tale to young readers."—Kirkus
From the Hardcover edition.
His training began with his selection for Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S)—the toughest and longest military training in the world. After graduating, Wasdin saw combat in Operation Desert Storm as a member of SEAL Team Two. But he was driven to be the best of the best—he wanted to join the legendary SEAL Team Six, and at long last he reached his goal and became one of the best snipers on the planet.
Soon he was fighting for his life in Africa, hunting the Somalian warlord Aidid. But the mission fell apart when his small band of soldiers found themselves cut off from help and desperately trying to rescue downed comrades during a routine mission. The Battle of Mogadishu, as it become known, left 18 American soldiers dead and 73 wounded.
This is Howard Wasdin's story of overcoming numerous obstacles to become an elite American warrior.
This is no ordinary teenager’s story. Instead of opting for college life, Ryan Smithson joined the Army Reserve when he was seventeen. Two years later, he was deployed to Iraq as an Army engineer.
His story—and the stories of thousands of other soldiers—is nothing like what you see on CNN or read about in the New York Times. This unforgettable story about combat, friendship, fear, and a soldier’s commitment to his country peels back the curtain on the realities of war in a story all Americans should read.
Bomb is a 2012 National Book Awards finalist for Young People's Literature.
Bomb is a 2012 Washington Post Best Kids Books of the Year title.
Bomb is a 2013 Newbery Honor book.
From the author of Team Dog, Trident K9 Warriors gave readers an inside look at the Navy SEAL teams' elite K9 warriors-who they are, how they are trained, and the extreme missions they undertake to save lives. From detecting explosives to eliminating the bad guys, these powerful dogs are also some of the smartest and highest skilled working animals on the planet. Mike Ritland's job is to train them.
This special edition re-telling presents the dramatic tale of how Ritland discovered his passion and grew up to become the trainer of the nation's most elite military working dogs. Ritland was a smaller-than-average kid who was often picked-on at school-which led him to spend more time with dogs at a young age. After graduating BUD/S training-the toughest military training in the world-to become a SEAL, he was on combat deployment in Iraq when he saw a military working dog in action and instantly knew he'd found his true calling.
Ritland started his own company to train and supply working and protection dogs for the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, and other clients. He also started the Warrior Dog Foundation to help retired Special Operations dogs live long and happy lives after their service.
Navy SEAL Dogs is the true story of how Mike Ritland grew from a skinny, bullied child, to a member of our nation's most elite SEAL Teams, to the trainer of the world's most highly skilled K9 warriors.
In February 1945, American Marines plunged into the surf at Iwo Jima–and into history. The son of one of the flag raisers has written a powerful account of six very different men who came together in the heroic battle for the Pacific’s most crucial island.
What would you do if you lived in a community without a library, hospital, post office, or fire department? If you were Benjamin Franklin, you'd set up these organizations yourself. Franklin also designed the lightning rod, suggested the idea of daylight savings time, and invented bifocals-all inspired by his common sense and intelligence. In this informative book, Gene Barretta brings Benjamin Franklin's genius to life, deepening our appreciation for one of the most influential figures in American history.
Now & Ben is a 2007 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Superb stories, daring deeds, fantastic adventures! Learn all about Roald Dahl's encounters with the enemy, his worldwide travels, the life-threatening injuries he sustained in a plane accident, and the rest of his sometimes bizarre, often unnerving, and always colorful adventures. Told with the same irresistible appeal that has made Roald Dahl one of the world's best-loved writers, Going Solo brings you directly into the action and into the mind of this fascinating man.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Hitler's Last Days is a gripping account of the death of one of the most reviled villains of the 20th century—a man whose regime of murder and terror haunts the world even today. Adapted from Bill O'Reilly's historical thriller Killing Patton, this book will have young readers—and grown-ups too—hooked on history.
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
"Entire books have been written about the causes of the American Revolution. This isn't one of them." What it is, instead, is utterly interesting, antedotes (John Hancock fixates on salmon), from the inside out (at the Battle of Eutaw Springs, hundreds of soldiers plunged into battle "naked as they were born") close-up narrative filled with little-known details, lots of quotes that capture the spirit and voices of the principals ("If need be, I will raise one thousand men, subsist them at my own expense, and march myself at their head for the relief of Boston" -- George Washington), and action, It's the story of the birth of our nation, complete with soldiers, spies, salmon sandwiches, and real facts you can't help but want to tell to everyone you know.
King George: What Was His Problem? is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Brandon Webb's experiences in the world's most elite sniper corps are the stuff of legend. From his grueling years of training in Naval Special Operations to his combat tours in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan, The Making of a Navy SEAL provides a rare and riveting look at the inner workings of the U.S. military through the eyes of a covert operations specialist.
Yet it is Webb's distinguished second career as a lead instructor for the shadowy "sniper cell" and Course Manager of the Navy SEAL Sniper Program that trained some of America's finest and deadliest warriors—including Marcus Luttrell and Chris Kyle—that makes his story so compelling. Luttrell credits Webb's training with his own survival during the ill-fated 2005 Operation Redwing in Afghanistan. Kyle went on to become the U.S. military's top marksman, with more than 150 confirmed kills.
From a candid chronicle of his student days, going through the sniper course himself, to his hair-raising close calls with Taliban and al Qaeda forces in the northern Afghanistan wilderness, to his vivid account of designing new sniper standards and training some of the most accomplished snipers of the twenty-first century, Webb provides a rare look at the making of the Special Operations warriors who are at the forefront of today's military.
Explosive, revealing, and intelligent, The Making of a Navy SEAL provides a uniquely personal glimpse into one of the most challenging and secretive military training courses in the world.
The Notorious Benedict Arnold is the winner of the 2011 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Nonfiction.
One Dead Spy tackles the story of Hale himself, who was an officer and spy for the American rebels during the Revolutionary War. Author Hale highlights the unusual, gruesome, and just plain unbelievable truth of historical Nathan Hale—from his early unlucky days at Yale to his later unlucky days as an officer—and America during the Revolutionary War.
Praise for Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy
"An innovative approach to history that will have young people reading with pleasure."
"Readers interested in American history will enjoy these graphic novels... Comic panels of varying sizes enhance the real-life events and support the stories’ over-the-top humor... the writing is accessible and entertaining; author Hale’s style gives readers an insider-y, you-are-there-type scoop."
In September 1941, Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history—almost three years of bombardment and starvation that culminated in the harsh winter of 1943–1944. More than a million citizens perished. Survivors recall corpses littering the frozen streets, their relatives having neither the means nor the strength to bury them. Residents burned books, furniture, and floorboards to keep warm; they ate family pets and—eventually—one another to stay alive. Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Soviet government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who would write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogized, and commemorated his fellow citizens—the Leningrad Symphony, which came to occupy a surprising place of prominence in the eventual Allied victory. This is the true story of a city under siege: the triumph of bravery and defiance in the face of terrifying odds. It is also a look at the power—and layered meaning—of music in beleaguered lives. Symphony for the City of the Dead is a masterwork thrillingly told and impeccably researched by National Book Award–winning author M. T. Anderson.
A corresponding exhibit, also called Written in Bone, opens at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in February 2009.
When twelve-year-old Jack Mandelbaum is separated from his family and shipped off to the Blechhammer concentration camp, his life becomes a never-ending nightmare. With minimal food to eat and harsh living conditions threatening his health, Jack manages to survive by thinking of his family.
Supports the Common Core State Standards
The book is illustrated with archival photographs and includes an index, glossary, and timeline.
Praise for Pure Grit
"Details of many nurses’ individual trials combine to form a memorable portrayal of their shared experience, one which will emotionally impact readers."
--Booklist, starred review
"Primary source materials, especially the movingly matter-of-fact recollections of several of the nurses and personal snapshots, bring the story to life."
"Farrell doesn’t spare her young readers any grim details . . . She includes the challenges these women faced and the joy they felt on returning home. As awful as history can be, now might be the right time to introduce the next generation to this important period."
--The Washington Post
"In addition to photographs and helpful maps, the page layouts include facsimiles of the nurses’ letters and diaries. Young readers who enjoyed Tanya Lee Stone’s Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream will also appreciate this story of courageous women whose story was nearly forgotten."
--School Library Journal
On December 7, 1941, Japanese war planes appeared out of nowhere to bomb the American base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It was a highly secretive and devastating attack: four battleships sunk, more than two thousand servicemen died, and the United States was propelled into World War II. In a compelling, easy-to-read narrative, children will learn all about a pivotal moment in American history.
Track the facts with Jack and Annie!
When Jack and Annie got back from their adventure in Magic Tree House #22: Revolutionary War on Wednesday, they had lots of questions. What was it like to live in colonial times? Why did the stamp Act make the colonists so angry? Who were the Minutemen? What happened at the Boston Tea Party? Find out the answers to these questions and more as Jack and Annie track the facts.
Filled with up-to-date information, photos, illustrations, and fun tidbits from Jack and Annie, the Magic Tree House Fact Trackers are the perfect way for kids to find out more about the topics they discovered in their favorite Magic Tree House adventures. And teachers can use Fact Trackers alongside their Magic Tree House fiction companions to meet common core text pairing needs.
Did you know that there’s a Magic Tree House book for every kid?
Magic Tree House: Adventures with Jack and Annie, perfect for readers who are just beginning chapter books
Merlin Missions: More challenging adventures for the experienced reader
Super Edition: A longer and more dangerous adventure
Fact Trackers: Nonfiction companions to your favorite Magic Tree House adventures
Have more fun with Jack and Annie at MagicTreeHouse.com!
--Alia Muhammad Baker
Alia Muhammad Baker is a librarian in Basra, Iraq. For fourteen years, her library has been a meeting place for those who love books. Until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library--along with the thirty thousand books within it--will be destroyed forever.
In a war-stricken country where civilians--especially women--have little power, this true story about a librarian's struggle to save her community's priceless collection of books reminds us all how, throughout the world, the love of literature and the respect for knowledge know no boundaries. Illustrated by Jeanette Winter in bright acrylic and ink.
Includes an author's note.
*From the New York Times, July 27, 2003
Over a million South Vietnamese children were orphaned by the Vietnam War. This affecting true account tells the story of Long, who, like more than 40,000 other orphans, is Amerasian -- a mixed-race child -- with little future in Vietnam. Escape from Saigon allows readers to experience Long's struggle to survive in war-torn Vietnam, his dramatic escape to America as part of "Operation Babylift" during the last chaotic days before the fall of Saigon, and his life in the United States as "Matt," part of a loving Ohio family. Finally, as a young doctor, he journeys back to Vietnam, ready to reconcile his Vietnamese past with his American present.
As the thirtieth anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War approaches, this compelling account provides a fascinating introduction to the war and the plight of children caught in the middle of it.
On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.
This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.
This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Bruce Catton explores the life and legacy of one of the nation’s most misunderstood heroes: Ulysses S. Grant. In this classic work, Grant emerges as a complicated figure whose accomplishments have all too often been downplayed or overlooked.
Catton begins with Grant’s youth and his service as a young lieutenant under General Zachary Taylor in the Mexican-American War. He recounts Grant’s subsequent disgrace, from his forced resignation for drinking to his failures as a citizen farmer and salesman. He then chronicles his redemption during the Civil War, as Grant rose from the rank of an unknown solider to commanding general of the US Army and savior of the Union.
U. S. Grant and the American Military Tradition details all of his signature campaigns: From Fort Henry, Shiloh, and the Siege of Vicksburg to Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, Grant won national renown. Then, as a two-term president, Grant achieved a number of underrated successes that must figure into any telling of his life.
From Grant’s childhood in Ohio to his final days in New York, this succinct and illuminating biography is required reading for anyone interested in American history.
In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the city's residents, relating the epidemic to the major social and political events of the day and to 18th-century medical beliefs and practices. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Murphy spotlights the heroic role of Philadelphia's free blacks in combating the disease, and the Constitutional crisis that President Washington faced when he was forced to leave the city—and all his papers—while escaping the deadly contagion. The search for the fever's causes and cure, not found for more than a century afterward, provides a suspenseful counterpoint to this riveting true story of a city under siege.
An American Plague's numerous awards include a Sibert Medal, a Newbery Honor, and designation as a National Book Award Finalist. Thoroughly researched, generously illustrated with fascinating archival prints, and unflinching in its discussion of medical details, this book offers a glimpse into the conditions of American cities at the time of our nation's birth while drawing timely parallels to modern-day epidemics. Bibliography, map, index.
Webster’s American Dictionary is the second most popular book ever printed in English. But who was that Webster? Noah Webster (1758–1843) was a bookish Connecticut farm boy who became obsessed with uniting America through language. He spent twenty years writing two thousand pages to accomplish that, and the first 100 percent American dictionary was published in 1828 when he was seventy years old. This clever, hilariously illustrated account shines a light on early American history and the life of a man who could not rest until he’d achieved his dream. An illustrated chronology of Webster’s life makes this a picture perfect bi-og-ra-phy [noun: a written history of a person's life].
Tara is an ordinary teenager. Although her country, Kurdistan, is caught up in a war, the fighting seems far away. It hasn't really touched her. Until now.
The secret police are closing in. Tara and her family must flee to the mountains with only the few things they can carry. It is a hard and dangerous journey - but their struggles have only just begun. Will anywhere feel like home again?
** George Washington is considered to be the father of our country. This book tells why! **
This first book in the American Presidents Series covers the amazing life of America's first president, George Washington.
Filled with tons of facts and illustrations, this book covers Washington's entire life from Virginia farm boy to first president of a new nation.
We cover Washington's early days as a surveyor, his service during the French and Indian War, his actions as Commander of the Continental Army, as well as his service to the nation as America's first president.
This history of George Washington provides a handy timeline of important dates, a short quiz, and kid safe links to our online content that includes videos, quizzes and games!
About the American Presidents Series
Each volume of the American Presidents Series provides a kid friendly introduction to the life and times of one of the American Presidents. I started this series when I noticed that beyond George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy, there was a lack of good books for children on the other presidents. We have an aggressive release schedule, and hope to have all 44 books in the series done before the end of the year. Collect them all!
This popular topic is a perfect addition to the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales brand, and a great showcase for Hale’s storytelling skills.
Praise for Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Donner Dinner Party
"This informative graphic novel capitalizes on enticingly gross history to great effect, balancing raw facts with strong storytelling."
YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens List 2014
New York Public Library’s list: Children’s Books list: 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2013
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2014
Christopher just needed a job to kill time the summer after graduation. He didn’t expect to stumble across a murder cover-up when he was hired as a janitor at the morgue. With the sheriff as his prime suspect, he turns to Tina, a gorgeous newspaper reporter, to help him get to the bottom of the case. Suddenly they find themselves in a full-blown investigation involving bribery, kidnappings, more murders…and his best friend.
With plenty of plot twists, red herrings, and dry wit, The Morgue and Me is a page-turning modern take on the classic detective genre perfect for fans of Veronica Mars and Shelter.
“A dark and stellar debut.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Fast-paced and full of red herrings, it’ll keep you guessing.” —New York Post
Edgar Award nominee
Agatha Award nominee
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults nominee
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Hardcover edition.