The Unbreakable Zamperini
Louis Zamperini was an Olympic distance runner who went on to enlist and serve as a bombardier during World War II. While at war, Zamperini survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific Ocean after his plane crashed. Rescued by the Japanese army, he then experienced two years in brutal Japanese prison camps. Despite cruel and inhumane treatment, Zamperini refused to be defeated.
The Unbreakable Zamperini depicts not only the violence that war can inspire, but also the brokenness that many war veterans experience. For Zamperini, it was a post-war revival that turned his life around from anger, bitterness, and despair to full forgiveness toward his abusers. Due to the candid nature of this story, parents of young children may wish to pre-read this graphic novel.
About Graphic Novels:
Experienced parents know that the amount of reading their child does will have a direct and positive impact on his reading fluency and vocabulary development. That is why graphic novels - which we used to refer to as comic books - though once relegated to the category of lowbrow reading, are now experiencing a surge in popularity.
You may think that the comic book medium is primarily for mainstream American children who are peppered by snack-size visual and audio bombardment. If you desire that your children slow down and feast on the written word, then you may cringe at the idea of a graphic novel version of Moby Dick. But before you issue a home-wide ban on these books, consider the following.
If you have a reluctant or beginning reader, your first concern should be for fluidity and competency. You will find that the graphic novel's illustrations draw your child in even as the vocabulary becomes more complex. Then, because the graphics are so attention-grabbing, children often find themselves reading for pleasure.
If your reluctant reader is an older child, your main concern may be making sure that he is culturally savvy. With graphic novels, vocabulary is introduced via contextual clues, making great literature accessible to more children. The interesting pictures and snappy dialogue, with little-to-no narration to bog the reader down, will encourage independent reading and learning. As the child's competence and confidence grow, so will his joy of literacy.
Even if your older child is a competent reader, he will enjoy taking a break from the verbally intense books characteristic of higher-level learning to enjoy a more visual form of storytelling. A 2006 study found that the amount of reading children did for fun decreased from the time they were eight through the teen years. Graphic books can re-engage them in the delights of reading for leisure as well as for learning.
There are children who may never read for pleasure; God just might have wired them differently. But most children, from the reluctant, faltering reader to the brilliant but easily bored adolescent, will find graphic novels intriguing.
Illustrator: Rafal Szlapa
Number of Pages: 32
Publisher: Capstone Press
Made In: USA
Age Recommendation: 8-14 years
I never thought I would see the day that my reluctant reader would enjoy a book on his own... But these graphic novels are amazing! He loves learning in a fun way, the text isn't daunting or dry and boring, I will be buying some more of these for friends with reluctant readers!
My son greatly enjoyed this book. He finished it in a single day and said he would love to have the complete set. My youngest son just started it. He absolutely loves graphic novels. I appreciate the effort to engage our children in history in a new and exciting, more personal way.
This book is very informative along with being a nice change from just reading a regular style book.
I read this book with my 4 and 6 year old boys. They were riveted by the story within and looked forward to reading more of it whenever we stopped reading for the day. We also happened to be learning about WW2 so this book was perfect for my kids to find out what it was like for a POW at that time.
Great tool for home schooling