Invasion

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Overview


Walter Dean Myers brilliantly renders the realities of World War II.

Josiah Wedgewood and Marcus Perry are on their way to an uncertain future. Their whole lives are ahead of them, yet at the same time, death's whisper is everywhere.

One white, one black, these young men have nothing in common and everything in common as they approach an experience that will change them forever.

It's May 1944. World War II is...

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Invasion

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Overview


Walter Dean Myers brilliantly renders the realities of World War II.

Josiah Wedgewood and Marcus Perry are on their way to an uncertain future. Their whole lives are ahead of them, yet at the same time, death's whisper is everywhere.

One white, one black, these young men have nothing in common and everything in common as they approach an experience that will change them forever.

It's May 1944. World War II is ramping up, and so are these young recruits, ready and eager. In small towns and big cities all over the globe, people are filled with fear. When Josiah and Marcus come together in what will be the greatest test of their lives, they learn hard lessons about race, friendship, and what it really means to fight. Set on the front lines of the Normandy invasion, this novel, rendered with heart-in-the-throat precision, is a cinematic masterpiece. Here we see the bold terror of war, and also the nuanced havoc that affects a young person's psyche while living in a barrack, not knowing if today he will end up dead or alive.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for FALLEN ANGELS

[star] "War-story fans will find enough action here, though it isn't glorified . . . Readers will be haunted." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

[star] "A riveting account of the Vietnam War." -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

[star] "This gut-wrenching Vietnam War novel . . . breaks uncharted ground." -- BOOKLIST, starred review

Praise for SUNRISE OVER FALLUJAH

"Astonishing." -- THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

"Superb." -- SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

Praise for THE GLORY FIELD

[star] "This series of resonant stories shows how each generation comes of age by taking a stand against oppression. In his typically taut, economic prose, Myers illuminates shadowy corners of history." -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review

[star] "A stunning novel . . . a must read for absolutely everyone." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review

"When Josiah “Woody” Wedgwood enlists in the army, he is immediately sent to England to prepare for the Normandy invasion, harboring only vague ideas about the nature of war. But when he lands on the beach in France, the reality of battle hits him. “We are at the water’s edge. A soldier runs past us onto the sand. Suddenly he falls to his knees and clutches his belly. As his body bends forward, I see the bullets rip into his bowed back. We move away from him. Move away from the terrible bullets.” Facing terror, Woody questions what he’s doing, makes desperate pleas to God, and worries about when and where to go to the bathroom. The brutal battle scenes and wartime musings are vividly told. But there’s also a sense of the times, such as the naive feelings Woody has for a girl back home or the racist and xenophobic attitudes among his fellow soldiers in the 29th Infantry Division. These Myers delivers, along with his themes, subtly through Woody’s matter-of-fact observations as his ragged battalion fights its way through Normandy. Woody, who is white, volunteered with hometown acquaintance (and important wartime friend) Marcus Perry, Robin Perry’s grandfather in Sunrise over Fallujah (rev. 5/08) and Richard Perry’s uncle in Fallen Angels (rev. 7/88). Marcus, a black soldier, faces grave danger driving a truck but doesn’t participate in direct combat (although the book jacket art seems to belie this fact); in 1944, troops were segregated and menial jobs frequently relegated to black soldiers. And this was the Good War." - Betty Carter, Hornbook Magazine starred review

Booklist Starred Review
It’s June 6, 1944, D-Day, and 19-year-old Josiah (Woody) Wedgewood is part of the Allied Invasion, huddled up with a group of other men against the cliffs on Omaha Beach. “We are in a killing zone,” he thinks in agony, “and we are dying.” All around him is a scene from hell: the beach filled with the dead and dying; more soldiers being mercilessly shot by the Germans as they attempt to land on the beach; the noise of war, shots and explosions ,so loud that Woody can’t hear the screams all around him. “I will never be the same again,” he thinks. Myers’ excellent prequel to his two other war novels, Fallen Angels (1988) and Sunrise over Fallujah (2008), charts the course of war in the month following the invasion as Woody, who tells the compelling story in his own first-person voice, and his comrades continue to fight through the countryside in pursuit of the Germans. The reader sees the fear, confusion, horror, and brutality of war through Woody’s eyes. In a subplot involving Woody and his African American friend Marcus, the reader is also acquainted with the ugly segregation that was a daily fact of life during WW II. In Invasion, Meyrs has done peace an inestimable service by showing so vividly what a truly terrible idea war is.

VOYA - Amy Wyckoff
It is May 1944, and Josiah Wedgewood and Marcus Perry are about to march right into the gruesome face of war. The two young men grew up in the small town of Bedford, Virginia, but Marcus attended a nearby school for black students. On the battlefield, they are both part of the 29th and eager to see some action. After weeks of waiting, the 29th finally faces combat on the beaches of Normandy, and Josiah realizes that he will never be the same again—war has forever changed him into a fearful version of himself. In order to cope with the atrocities all around him, Josiah daydreams about returning home to his mother's cooking, his peaceful hometown, and a sweetheart to whom he writes letters. He knows the fallen men around him also had mothers and sweethearts and homes they dreamed of returning to one day, even those who are fighting for the Nazis. Myers presents a brutal portrait of life as a soldier during WWII and describes the thoughts of one soldier as he fights to stay alive. Josiah's first-person perspective holds nothing back, allowing readers to witness his emotional response to his surroundings, including the sight of dead bodies or the rush of entering the battlefield alongside his fellow soldiers. This frank portrayal of the invasion of Normandy will appeal to readers, especially boys, who are interested in military history or battlefield stories. Reviewer: Amy Wyckoff
Children's Literature - Shirley Nelson
Nineteen year old Josiah Wedgewood leaves art school in New York to return home to Virginia so that he can enlist and help fight the Germans. Now he is in England awaiting orders for the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. Josiah, or Woody as he is called, and the other members of 29th are excited to be protecting the United States. They have practiced the beach landing over and over, sure they know what will happen when they land and are able to kill the Germans. But reality is altogether different. They watch as their comrades are killed and left behind. Marching away from the beaches into the French countryside, they are cold and hungry as they try to avoid German fire. Woody and his remaining comrades must face and admit their fear as they learn the truth about war; that it is an ugly and terrifying experience. They must also recognize that the enemy soldiers are young men just like them. Woody's occasional meetings with Marcus Perry, a young African-American from his hometown, enable him to maintain the hope that he will go home. Marcus's appearance shows the segregation that existed in the military. He also connects this novel with Myers' other war novels, Fallen Angels and Sunrise Over Fallujah. Myers' World War II novel is a riveting read that is difficult at times in its graphic descriptions. Reviewer: Shirley Nelson
Kirkus Reviews
D-Day, June 6, 1944, is the setting for Myers' powerful prequel to Fallen Angels (1988) and Sunrise over Fallujah (2008). Old friends Josiah "Woody" Wedgewood and Marcus Perry see each other in England prior to the invasion of Normandy. Woody is with the 29th Infantry, and Marcus, who's black, is with the Transportation Corps, the segregation of their Virginia hometown following them right into wartime. Their friendship frames the story, as the two occasionally encounter each other in the horrific days ahead. Woody survives the slaughter on Omaha Beach to continue marching across fields, through forests and on to the town of St. Lo, though there is no town anymore: "We hadn't liberated anything, or anyone. We had destroyed the city, killed or chased away most of the people in it, and were claiming a victory." Woody's first-person account focuses on action scenes, cinematically developed and graphic enough to reveal something of the brutality and frequent futility of war, while his friendship with Marcus, peripheral to the central narrative, reminds him of home. "June sixth changed us all," says Woody, and he understands that, if he survives, he will never be able to convey what war really is to those who stayed on the homefront. An author's note goes into greater depth about integration in the U.S. Army in the 1940s. An action-packed novel that will help young readers understand the brutality of war. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
10/01/2013
Gr 8 Up—Invasion tells of the events of D-Day and the weeks immediately following from the perspective of Josiah Wedgewood, a young soldier in the U.S. Army's 29th infantry. Woody and his fellow battalion mates are only vaguely aware of what will be happening when they arrive at Omaha Beach. The landing, as history knows, is horrendous. Woody watches as dozens of his companions are killed. Immediately after, the men begin to fight their way inland. The action is nonstop and the losses are heartbreaking. The segregation of the U.S. Army is only lightly touched upon, as Woody runs into an African American he knew from his hometown; the majority of the novel is the 29th infantry's push across the French countryside. Myers eloquently conveys how exhausting war is physically and emotionally. He writes simple sentences that are often short, sharp, and blunt. The language is somewhat innocent, a bit gentler than what readers are used to now; but since it is a novel about war, there are some F-bombs and some earthy talk about bodies. Woody and his mates are thinking of home, while trying not to think in general. There is a subtle bit of reader manipulation; although the book is written in the past tense, the D-Day landing chapter is in present tense, adding to its tension. With the constant forward momentum of the soldiers, and the continuous battles they fight, this novel can be hard to read, but it is also hard to put down.—Geri Diorio, Ridgefield Library, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545384285
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 42,306
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Walter Dean Myers is the 2012 - 2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He is the critically acclaimed NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author an award-winning body of work which includes SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS, SLAM!, and MONSTER. Mr. Myers has received two Newbery Honor medals, five Coretta Scott King Author Book Awards, and three National Book Award Finalist citations. In addition, he is the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    Good.

    Its Walter Dean meyers. What else needs to be said?

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