Published by Scholastic
Summary: 16-year-old Dee Carpenter isn’t quite sure what he’s doing landing on Omaha Beach at the start of D-Day. As the events of the day unfold, he has many narrow escapes and crosses paths with a wide variety of characters from Canada, France, Algeria, Germany, and, of course, the United States. The reader gradually learns about Dee’s early life and the events that brought him to D-Day–events that could easily have led him to be fighting for the other side. Although Dee is the main character, others get a few chapters so that readers get to know quite a few characters in depth before they all meet up on the evening of June 6. Includes a 14-page author’s note that gives additional information on many different aspects of D-Day and World War II that are touched upon in the story. 336 pages; grades 5-8.
Pros: This is sure to be popular with middle school readers, with non-stop action and narrow escapes starting almost immediately. I liked the inclusion of some strong female characters. The fact that Dee is 16 and the two main girls are 11 and 13 makes it relatable to kids.
Cons: I was expecting a story like Refugee in which the three characters were given equal billing. Instead, this was mostly Dee’s story, with a dizzying number of minor characters. I was interested in the French Resistance mother and daughter, but their story ended on page 72, and they didn’t reappear until the last chapter.