Posts Tagged ‘american girl’

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

It was a hot and sunny day out on the endless ocean, but he definitely wasn’t enjoying it. It had been over a month since he had seen anyone besides the men with him. He had been drifting on his life raft for thousands of miles, and he was weak, starving, and helpless.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand is the true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic runner and later airman who served in World War II. Now I know you’re thinking, “Ugh, Bella’s buzzing about another World War II book, here we go…” and yes, I am obsessed with the World War II era, however if you do not read any of the other WWII books I have buzzed about, PLEASE read this one!

unbroken adult

When Louis was at his peak in his running career, he was drafted for World War II, and became a bombardier in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Unfortunately, on one of his bomb squad’s missions, their plane was downed and most of the crew died, except for Louis and two of his crew members. The men drifted for almost two months, with little to no food or water. They were finally captured by the Japanese and taken to POW camp after POW camp, and were tortured by various Japanese generals. It wasn’t until after two years of endless labor and torture that the POW camp that Louis was located at was finally liberated.

louis zamperini

This book was pretty hard to keep reading at some points, just because of how gruesome and awful it was. Some of you will not want to read this book for this reason. However, if I may ease your conscience ever so slightly, you can read the original version, but then Laura Hillenbrand wrote a second version that was adapted for young adults. I read the adapted version, and I am glad I stuck with that. Based on what you think you can handle, you can choose your version.

unbroken young adult

One of my favorite parts of the book is Louis Zamperini’s perspective of D-Day. After hearing about the two years of endless torture that Louis and his friends endured, I almost felt like I was the one being rescued alongside Louis.

Unbroken is a really amazing book, and I really encourage everyone to read it at some point in their life. However, it’s pretty mature content, so I would have to recommend it to ages 11 and up, just because of the intensity of the torture and abuse at the Japanese POW camps. But overall it is an amazing story and has really given me strength and courage to face each day. It also really gave me perspective on my problems. If Louis can get through two whole years of torture, then I can overcome the challenges that I am faced with each day.

There is also a movie that is awesome that I also encourage you to watch AFTER you read the book!

American Girl Series

Step back in time and fight in the Civil War or put on some moccasins as you read The American Girl series by various authors. Enjoy stories that you’ll never forget!

The American Girl series is a group of 6-book series that star 12 different girls in 11 different time periods. There is a different girl in each of the books

  • Kirsten, who lived as a pioneer in the 1800’s
  • Samantha, who lived in a Victorian home during the turn of the century
  • Molly, who fights along with her country during World War 2
  • Kaya, who is a hardworking American Indian
  • Cecile and Marie-Grace, who develop a friendship as they walk the streets of New Orleans during the 1850’s
  • Addy, who fights for her rights as a black person during the Civil War
  •  Felicity, who bears her obnoxious petticoats during the Revolutionary War
  •  Julie, a young girl growing up in the turbulent times of the 1970’s
  • Josefina a Hispanic-American growing up during the 1820’s
  • Kit, who dreams of being a reporter during the Great Depression
  • Rebecca, a girl growing up in a Jewish family living during 1914.

My favorite character is probably Molly, because I’m particularly interested in that time period. The reading level for the basic series is 8-12, though there are American Girl Mysteries, which continue some of the girls’ lives with a bit of mystery. Those books are best suited for ages 10 and up, and are some of my favorites.  If you are more interested in modern-day girls, every year beginning in 2003, the American Girl franchise has released a “Girl of the Year,” complete with her modern day issues that girls from the 2000’s can relate to.

Like the title suggests, these books really are better for girls, but I have heard of some boys enjoying them as well, because in the end, they are just good stories.

If you really get into the American Girl world, you can buy dolls (and all their accessories) at the American Girl stores, or play games and do other activities on their website, www.americangirl.com.