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Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive

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Overview

The #1 New York Times bestseller, which is also a major motion picture directed by Angelina Jolie, has now been adapted by the author for young adults. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this riveting biography includes more than 100 black-and-white photos, as well as exclusive content, "In Conversation," with Laura Hillenbrand and Louie Zamperini.
 
On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane crashed into the Pacific ...

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Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive

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Overview

The #1 New York Times bestseller, which is also a major motion picture directed by Angelina Jolie, has now been adapted by the author for young adults. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this riveting biography includes more than 100 black-and-white photos, as well as exclusive content, "In Conversation," with Laura Hillenbrand and Louie Zamperini.
 
On a May afternoon in 1943, an American military plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary sagas of the Second World War.
 
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. As a boy, he had been a clever delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and stealing. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a supreme talent that carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when war came, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
 
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a sinking raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would respond to desperation with ingenuity, suffering with hope and humor, brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would hang on the fraying wire of his will.
 
In this captivating young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a man’s breathtaking odyssey and the courage, cunning, and fortitude he found to endure and overcome. Lavishly illustrated with more than one hundred photographs and featuring an exclusive interview with Zamperini, Unbroken will introduce a new generation to one of history’s most thrilling survival epics.

Praise for Unbroken

"This adaptation of Hillenbrand's adult bestseller is highly dramatic and exciting, as well as painful to read as it lays bare man's hellish inhumanity to man."—Booklist, STARRED

"This captivating book emphasizes the importance of determination, the will to survive against impossible odds, and support from family and friends. A strong, well-written work."—School Library Journal

"This fine adaptation ably brings an inspiring tale to young readers."—Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Lauren Hillenbrand's Unbroken was published in 2010; in 2014, it was still on national bestseller lists, including ours. This well-told, epic renders the true story of Louie Zamperini, the long-lived (1917-2014) man who transformed himself from a youthful delinquent into an Olympic long-distance runner and a World War II airman lieutenant. From those heights, he was plunged by mechanical difficulties to being a life raft castaway and then a Japanese war captive. This young adult adaptation of his astonishing story contains more than one photographs and an exclusive Lauren Hillenbrand with Zamperini. Editor's recommendation.

Kirkus Reviews
2014-08-20
In response to requests from teachers and school librarians, Hillenbrand offers a young-readers' edition of her best-selling World War II tale of survival. Louis Zamperini grew up in California and was headed toward juvenile delinquency. He smoked at 5, drank at 8, and went on to stealing and pranking, until older brother Pete got Louis into something more productive: running. Louis eventually became a world-class runner, ultimately competing at the 1936 Olympics. With World War II looming, Louis joined the Army Air Corps, and it was with the downing of his B-24 bomber that his harrowing journey began. Adrift in the Pacific Ocean in a raft, attacked by sharks, brutalized as a POW in Japanese slave-labor camps, Louis' is a tale of survival against all odds. This solid adaptation is half the length of the original, more visual (with more, and sometimes larger, photographs), less descriptive and swifter paced, and it avoids such adult themes as the sexual sadism of evil Cpl. Watanabe, the man so intent on destroying Louis in the POW camp outside Tokyo. A fascinating appended interview with Louis Zamperini explores issues of survival and heroism. This fine adaptation ably brings an inspiring tale to younger readers. (notes, index [not seen]) (Nonfiction. 12 & up)
From the Publisher
“This adaptation of Hillenbrand’s adult best-seller is highly dramatic and exciting, as well as painful to read as it lays bare man’s hellish inhumanity to man.”—Booklist, STARRED

"This captivating book emphasizes the importance of determination, the will to survive against impossible odds, and support from family and friends. A strong, well-written work."—School Library Journal

"This fine adaptation ably brings an inspiring tale to young readers."—Kirkus Reviews

"A humdinger of a page-turner: a noble story about the courage of America's Greatest Generation, personified."—The Horn Book Review
 

School Library Journal
09/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Adapted from the best-selling adult book of the same name, this riveting account tells the story of Louis Zamperini, a thief turned track star, Olympian, airman, castaway, and prisoner of war. Born to Italian immigrants in 1917, Zamperini was heading down a path of crime (stealing, fighting) until his older brother Pete stepped in, encouraging him to join the track team. It wasn't long before Zamperini was winning every race, eventually going on to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The book details how the 1940 Olympics were canceled due to World War II and describes how Zamperini was drafted into the U.S. Air Force. Writing in a gripping, intense tone, Hillenbrand relates how tragedy struck when Zamperini's plane was shot down and he and two other men spent 47 days in a life boat in the Pacific Ocean, fighting sharks, starvation, and dehydration, before being captured by the Japanese navy as prisoners of war. More than 100 engaging photographs appear throughout. This captivating book emphasizes the importance of determination, the will to survive against impossible odds, and support from family and friends. This adaptation softens some of the harsh details of POW life found in the adult version and has shortened the book by about a third. Though this is a strong, well-written work, the adult version is accessible and engaging; students are better off sticking with the original.—Stephanie Farnlacher, Trace Crossings Elementary School, Hoover, AL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385742511
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 11/11/2014
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 139
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 850L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Hillenbrand is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption and Seabiscuit: An American Legend, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, won the Book Sense Nonfiction Book of the Year award and the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award, landed on more than fifteen best-of-the-year lists, and inspired the film Seabiscuit, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  She is serving as a consultant on the Universal Pictures feature film based on Unbroken. Hillenbrand’s New Yorker article, “A Sudden Illness,” won the National Magazine Award. Her work has also appeared in such publications as the New York Times, Vanity Fair, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. She and actor Gary Sinise were cofounders of Operation International Children, a charity that provided school supplies to children through American troops. 

Biography

Laura Hillenbrand has been writing about history and Thoroughbred racing since 1988 and has been a contributing writer/editor for Equus magazine since 1989. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Talk, American Heritage, Reader's Digest, ABC Sports Online, The New York Post, The Week, Attache, The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Times, The Backstretch, and many other publications.

Her 1998 American Heritage article on Seabiscuit won the Eclipse Award for Magazine Writing, the highest journalistic award for Thoroughbred racing.

She served as a consultant on the Universal Pictures movie based on Seabiscuit as well as a PBS documentary on Seabiscuit's life. An alumna of Kenyon College, Laura lives in Washington, D.C.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Good To Know

Days after Hillenbrand's literary agent first put out a proposal for Seabiscuit to publishers in August 1998, a Hollywood producer called her to talk movie rights; she hadn't written a word of the book yet.

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    1. Hometown:
      Washington, D.C.
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 15, 1967
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fairfax, Virginia
    1. Education:
      B.A., Kenyon College

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