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

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.
 
“Every young person should have the chance to read this book. It’s easy to think, growing up, that bravery is for other people, who are simply born heroic. But nothing about Louis marked him out for greatness. He started out as a misfit and troublemaker, but became a great man because of his choices. His story shows that everyone has the potential to rise above obstacles. It is not where you start out in life that counts the most, it is how you choose to face it.”—Angelina Jolie

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

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. This will do the trick! Yay! 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.” 

  2. great book Although I am only 12, I read way above my reading level. I read the original book and it was stunning. It showed the cruelty of war and what war does to people. I loves the first book so much that I decided to read this version. This version is obviously meant for a younger audience, but it still displays the effects of war (although not as much in depth). I would recommend this book specifically to younger audiences because if you are an adult you should read the more complex version as it is…

  3. Outstanding Adaptation UNBROKEN: AN OLYMPIAN’S JOURNEY FROM AIRMAN TO CASTAWAY TO CAPTIVE by Laura Hillenbrand is part of trend toward young adult adaptations of popular adult works. Based on the award-winning novel, UNBROKEN: A WORLD WAR II STORY OF SURVIVAL, RESILIENCE, AND REDEMPTION, the book traces the real-world experiences of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic athlete who becomes a prisoner of war in Japan during World War II. 

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