Hillenbrand, L. (2014). Unbroken. NY: Random House.
Unbroken is the biographical account of the life Louis Zamperini. It tells the tale of Louis growing up in California as a poor Italian immigrant that turns into a delinquent that is frequently in trouble. When his brother takes him under his wing and shows him how to be a competitive runner, Louis soon finds himself heading to the Berlin Olympics. But when World War II begins, Louis becomes an airman. His bomber crashes in the ocean and Louis, his best friend, and another airman are the only survivors. Louis and his best friend survive the perils of the ocean, only to be picked up by the Japanese soldiers and sent to a prison camp. This book details the brutality of a prisoner of war. It describes Louis’ strength and determination. Louis was eventually released at the end of the war and began the long road to overcoming what he went through. This was a book that I couldn’t put down. At every turn of the page I was amazed at the strength and positive attitude of Louis Zamperini. He is someone that we can all learn something from. This is a great example of a biography. Norton states, “Good biography and autobiography should first and foremost use many of the techniques of fiction to draw the reader into the life story of the subject.” This book is a prime example of that. It was extremely engaging. Students will be amazed by the strength and character of Louis Zamperini.
This book could be used with grades 9-12.To download a study guide for this book, click HERE!