My ten-year-old reads well above grade level, but is still reluctant. Like many boys, he just doesn't want to sit still long enough to get through a story! He likes adventure stories, so I thought he would enjoy listening to the audio version of "Unbroken," while following along in the book. No dice. I lost him at the word "dirigible."
So I was delighted to learn that a young adult version was on the horizon, and I immediately pre-ordered both the Kindle and audio versions. I am pleased to report that I think this will do the trick.
Of course, the first thing I did upon receiving the new version, was to turn to Chapter One to see if the word "dirigible" had been changed! It is now "airship." Then I went back to the beginning and did a side-by-side comparison of both. The changes were immediately apparent: On the first page, the previous version read: Somewhere on the endless expanse of the Pacific Ocean, Army Air Forces bombardier and Olympic runner Louie Zamperini lay across a small raft, drifting westward. The new version read: Somewhere on the Pacific Ocean, American military airman and Olympic runner Louie Zamperini lay on a small raft, drifting. In a nutshell, Hillenbrand deleted "the endless expanse of," and simplified Zamperini's title from "Army Air Forces bombardier," to "American military airman."
Looking randomly through the two books, I'm seeing other instances of abridgement, as well as simplified language. I have high hopes that my young reader will now enjoy this story. I'm excited at the prospect, as I think our children need to read more stories about people like Mr. Zamperini. He is easily the bravest, most remarkable person I've ever read about, and a fine example of what we hope our young people will choose to emulate.
A final thought: I'm an avid reader, but I wish this version had been out when I read the original. While still long, it is shorter than the first book, and I wouldn't consider this one to be at all "dumbed down." It would not be inappropriate for an adult to read this version instead of the other.
As a middle school librarian, I wanted to share this unbelievable, inspirational tale, but the more graphic & violent scenes in the adult version were disturbing and overwhelming.
Laura Hillenbrand has taken out some of those more graphically violent parts of her adult version, but still communicated the depravity and inhumane treatment of Allied POW's by the Japanese. Unlike the Nazis, the Japanese were never brought to trial for crimes against humanity, and continue to teach revisionist history to the generations since.
This book is amazing. I had previously read the full adult version and I was afraid that the "young readers' version" would skimp on the details. I read this book to my 9 year-old son and 12 year-old daughter. They could not wait until bedtime each night to hear more of Louis Zamperini's amazing story.
It has a great message about the power of forgiveness and faith in Jesus Christ.
Excellent story. Very disappointed that the "F" word had to be put in the young adult version. I purposely bought the young adult version for my 12 year old daughter to read hoping it would be a clean version. The word was only used once and could have been avoided all together. Other than that the book was excellent.
If one wants to understand the Greatest Generation, what they accomplished, and what they endured, this book provides insight as to why they became known as the Greatest Generation. Here is an example of complete, unrelenting dedication to his country, ready to make any sacrifice to save his country, and almost paid the ultimate price in doing so. This book is a revelation when it comes to showing what a prisoner of war experienced and the horrific treatment by the captors. It is also a revelation about resilience, forgiveness, and restoration of a life. Louie Zamperini is an inspiration, and he made this book well worth reading.
My teenagers needed a non-fiction book to read for school. I read it as well. All 3 of us enjoyed this book. Louis Zamperini had some serious odds to overcome. It's inspiring, sad, intense, everything you'd want to read in a book. It was the perfect choice for my high schoolers to get their grade and also some motivation to overcome challenges in their life. It promoted some good discussions at home - any good book that can get a teenager talking to their parents is great!
Im glad I read this book. I would recommend it to the more mature youth reader because of the content. Hillenbrand bring the reader to the verge of tears, fear, and tragedy over and over in this compelling version. I would highly recbyhis book for the young person interested in WWll history.
This purchase is for a book that my students will be reading this year. I am excited that the author has chosen to adapt this book for young readers as this helps me greatly. However, I am wishing to be able to get this book in a softcover format and for the moment, I am assuming that this is not existing - I have a feeling because it is being used by many teachers in the 7th-8th grades. This makes it very hard on us to supply our classes with this book.
The story is good. It gets rough in some places, but most teachers skip over those pages and tell their students to do so - Of course, we all know what happens at that point - so if you're a teaching and using this book I would 1. make sure you've read the whole thing so that you know what could come up, and 2. Prepare a letter home. It's always good to give parents a "head's up" sort of thing.
I don't think the book should be censored. I think we spend too much time worrying and "protecting" our children over stuff when they've seen and heard worse on the local news or on Friday night at the ballgames. If you're a worried parent, then read the book yourself, and discuss it with your children. Don't down the teacher for choosing it - in some cases, she may not have had a choice.
I was 7 when WW II began and lived near a Air Force training field so my fascination with WW II planes was instilled in me as a youngster. My brother ended up in the 8th Air Force and saw active duty in Europe doing exactly what the book depicts. My wife’s uncle was a P.O.W in Japan so we saw first hand what occurred to these captives and how it affected there entire post war lives. In addition I loved running track in HS. Book really hit home. Should be required reading for all current students.
From the good feeling parts to the bad feelings, this book kept a very precise way of providing important information allowing readers to experience the moment personally. It was an intense story really allowing a reader to feel for Louis Zamperini. Though, it was well developed to take you deep in to the life of Louis Zamperini, it offered little dialogue, not taking away from the experience, but feeling as an overview of the events. Highly recommend this book, it offered a great amount of new views on life.