A thrilling account of the most daring American P.O.W. rescue mission of World War II.
Scholastic Focus is the premier home of thoroughly researched, beautifully written, and thoughtfully designed works of narrative nonfiction aimed at middle-grade and young adult readers. These books help readers learn about the world in which they live and develop their critical thinking skills so that they may become dynamic citizens who are able to analyze and understand our past, participate in essential discussions about our present, and work to grow and build our future.
Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, America entered World War II, and a new theater of battle opened up in the Pacific. But US troops, along with thousands of Filipino soldiers who fought alongside them, were overtaken in the Philippines by a fiercely determined Japanese navy, and many Americans and Filipino fighters were killed or captured.
These American and Filipino prisoners of war were forced to endure the most horrific conditions on the deadly trek known as the Bataan Death March. Then, the American servicemen who were held captive by the Japanese military in Cabanatuan Camp and others in the Philippines, faced beatings, starvation, and tropical diseases, and lived constantly under the threat of death.
Unable to forget their comrades' fate and concerned that these POWs would be brutally murdered as the tides of war shifted in the Pacific, the US Army Rangers undertook one of the most daring and dangerous rescue missions of all time. Aided by the "Angels of the Underground," the Sixth Ranger Battalion and courageous Filipino guerrilla soldiers set out on an uncertain and treacherous assignment. Often called the Great Raid, this remarkable story remains largely forgotten.
Sibert Honor author Deborah Hopkinson presents an extraordinary and unflinching look at the heroic servicemen and women who courageously weathered the worst of circumstances and conditions in service to their country, as well as those who answered the call to save their fellow soldiers.
Gr 4-6--Told through oral histories, letters, and firsthand written accounts, the rescue of World War II prisoners of war from the Cabanatuan Camp in the Philippines is a harrowing story of unimaginable hardship, courage, and ingenuity. Beginning with the attacks on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1942, Hopkinson guides readers through the events that lead to tens of thousands of American and Filipino soldiers and civilians being forced on a 65-mile trek known as the Bataan Death March. Once the survivors arrive at their final destination of Cabanatuan, readers are exposed to the realities of life as prisoners of war. A generous number of black-and-white photographs and maps provide engaging visual aids that assist in bringing this extraordinary account to life. A bibliography is included and extra resources, including links to relevant websites, are shared throughout. Hopkinson also works in stories of the predominantly Latino 200th Coast Artillery from New Mexico along with stories of white and Filipino civilians. All other soldiers mentioned are white and Filipino. VERDICT Told with great detail and through the perspectives of the individuals who lived the experience firsthand, this is an impactful book that will raise awareness and encourage young readers to seek more information; a must-buy for any public or school library.--Maryjean RiouCopyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
This well-researched work chronicles the experiences of American prisoners of war in the Philippines during WWII, beginning just after the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor and continuing through the 1945 Cabanatuan prison camp raid. Hopkinson (We Must Not Forget) interweaves eyewitness accounts and archived testimonies, maps and b&w photographs, and a lively third-person narrative history across three sections, lending a feeling of immediacy to the work; interstitials ("Before We Head to Bataan: A Bit of Background") contextualize specific aspects of the conflict. While the title highlights the rescue, the telling surveys the U.S. retreat from the Philippines, the fall of Bataan and the Bataan Death March, and the POW prison camp rescue, incorporating experiences of American and Filipino citizens, nurses, and soldiers, among others. Never shying away from the brutal realities ("In Germany in WWII, POWs died at a rate of 1.2%.... In the Philippines, POWs died at a rate of 40%"), this work of narrative nonfiction directly relates conditions endured--including sickness, starvation, and acts of war and torture--and the risks of the subsequent rescue mission, making for an informative look at this under-reported part of WWII. An author's note offers context; an epilogue and extensive back matter conclude. Ages 9-12. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Apr.)Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
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