Did you love Alan Gratz’s novel Refugee? He writes another winner with his newest book Allies. In this book, Gratz tells six separate stories following six different D-Day operations through six different perspectives. If you are looking for a novel your students will love, look no further.
Operation Neptune – Dee
Sid and Dee arrive at Omaha Beach. As soon as the door to the Higgins boat opens, German machine guns blast the soldiers. When Dee gets out of the boat, he realizes they are in deep water. Sergeant Taylor yells for help because he can’t swim. Dee goes to help him. By the time the two reach shore, Taylor has died from a gunshot wound in Dee’s arms…
Operation Tortoise – Samari
Samira and her mother, Kenza, leave the house after curfew to deliver a coded message to a rural guerrilla band of French Resistance fighters, the Maquis. When they spot German soldiers arresting French villagers from their homes, Kenza, rushes to help. Kenza sends Samira to quiet the barking dog, so they won’t be caught. Kenza is arrested with the others. Samira barely escapes by hiding in the doghouse. So, just how can she help her mother escape?
Operation Tonga – James
James rides in the airplane with the other paratroopers from Canada several hours before the foot soldiers arrive on the beaches of Normandy. After landing in Normandy, James realizes he is seven miles away from his mission…
Operation Amiens – Bill
Bill crosses the English Channel with three tank crews. When the boat reaches shore, one tank Coventry’s Revenge is hit by a big gun and explodes. Achilles makes it through the surf, but Valiant becomes stuck. Up the beach a ways, a German 88 fires at Achilles disabling the treads and creating a large crater in front of the tank…
Operation Integration – Henry
Henry comes to Omaha Beach with the all black 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion. Their mission is to raise balloons after the beach invasion is over. The wires supporting the balloons would disable planes that tried to fly into Normandy.
The balloons are damaged in transport, so the battalion decides to help in the invasion wherever they can. This leaves Henry, a medic, to help the wounded men on the beach. Henry sets up a lean-to clinic and gets to work…
Operation Bathing Suit – Monique
Thirteen year old Monique spends twelve hours hiding out in a small beach hut while gunfire and explosions take place on the nearby beach. She had been swimming the day before and left her swimsuit in the beach hut. Monique had returned to get it just as the battle on the beach started. Monique spends the day singing to drown out the sounds of fighting.
When Monique comes out of the safety of the beach hut at eight o’clock that night, she hears a man calling out for help. Monique knells by a wounded soldier and diagnoses that he is in shock….
Activities for Allies
- Alan Gratz creates a fantastic book trailer.
Book Unit Sample for Allies Novel Study