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Apr 2014
Dear Ms. Doering,

     Over the past two months of free reading I have read the book, Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand. The genre of the book is biography since it retells the life of Louie Zamperini during World War II. The book contains 496 pages. I chose this book because my brother and mom read this book and absolutely loved it. They showed it to me, and I decided to give it a try.

     This book is about Louie Zamperini who rises to become a track star at UCLA and a member of the 1936 Olympic Team in Berlin. In Berlin he meets Adolf ****** and also steals one of ******’s personal flags. When WWII breaks out, he enlists in the Army Air Force division and becomes a crewman on a B-24 bomber. After passing training, he is sent overseas where he is shot down over the Pacific Ocean. He survives a record 47 days at sea on a life raft only to be captured by the Japanese. They move Louie to a training camp and somehow he lives despite horrible torture and treatment to be released after the war ends. One key topic in this story is how people from all walks of life, including superstar athletes, joined the war cause. This really stood out to me because nowadays you can barely get people to think about war let alone get professional athletes to join the army in a time of need. One literary element that stood out to me during the course of the book was indirect characterization. We learn about how Louie feels about going into war by his description of the setting. He describes the land by being “empty” and “ghastly” which tell us that he is somewhat scared and uncomfortable about the war.

     I found this book to be a lot more interesting than some other biography books that I have read in the past. Some biographies are very boring, but this one contained events you might see in an adventure thriller. This might possibly be the first biography that I really enjoyed reading. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an adventure book while also wanted to learn a little bit about the history of WWII. This book is a little long with a lot of words but isn’t a particularly hard read.

     One thing I noticed while reading this book is the constant loss of life there is during time of war. I always thought that death came in spurts during war but it seems like there is lots of death that the media and the common person doesn’t notice. I am doing great on my free reading goals this trimester and don’t see any reason to make adjustments. The book I plan to read next is, The Book Thief, Markus Zusak. My mom read this book and really enjoyed it so I thought I might as well give it a try.

Matt McDaniels
Written by
Matt McDaniels  Chelsea, MI
(Chelsea, MI)   
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