Invasion
Invasion

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Annotation: Josiah and Marcus were friends at home in Virginia, but as World War II soldiers they are driven apart: Josiah, who is white, is an infantryman, while Marcus, who is black, is a transport driver, the only job available to him in the segregated U.S. Army.
Catalog Number: #75214
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2013
Edition Date: 2013
Pages: 212 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-545-38428-1 Perma-Bound: 0-605-72982-4
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-545-38428-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-72982-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2013005595
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
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
Gr 8 Up&12; 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.&12; Geri Diorio, Ridgefield Library, CT
Starred Review ALA 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 hots and explosions 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 WWII. In this novel, Myers has done peace an inestimable service by showing so vividly what a truly terrible idea war is.
Word Count: 51,151
Reading Level: 4.9
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.9 / points: 8.0 / quiz: 160810 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.6 / points:14.0 / quiz:Q60830
Lexile: 760L

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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