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?
Gratz (Grenade) delivers a tautly paced and multifaceted portrait of the D-Day invasion. This powerful historical novel begins just before dawn on June 6, 1944, as two American soldiers, 16-year-old Dee, from Philadelphia by way of Germany, and 17-year-old Sid, a Jewish American from New York, plunge from their boats into the chaos of the English Channel to storm the Normandy beaches. The nonstop, alternating narrative traces the invasion from diverse points of view, including French-Algerian Samira, 11, the daughter of a French Resistance member; Cree Indian Lance Corporal Sam, from Quebec; and African-American medic Henry, a 20-year-old corporal from Chicago. Gratz balances the carnage and fear of war with acts of bravery and heroism, and a plotline involving Dee's status as a German immigrant heightens the tension as he fights against his former homeland and attempts to conceal his heritage. This gripping novel, set in a single day, about a WWII turning point offers memorable insights into the contributions and alliances of everyday people. Ages 8 12.