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Publisher's Summary

The number one New York Times best-seller, 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.

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 number one New York Times best-seller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a man’s breathtaking odyssey and the courage, cunning, and fortitude he found to endure and overcome.

©2014 Laura Hillenbrand (P)2014 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"This adaptation of Hillenbrand's adult best-seller is highly dramatic and exciting, as well as painful to read as it lays bare man's hellish inhumanity to man." (Booklist)
"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)

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Great Audio Book for Parents & Kids In The Car

This is a wonderful story of strength, faith and making it through extremely difficult times and coming out stronger on the other side. I read the original version and was happy to see the young adult version in an audio book format. My 10 year old son and I really enjoyed listening to it in the car. One word of warning for parents though; the F word is used in one place when they are talking about being in a Japanese POW Camp and they are telling how one of the Japanese guards made one of the American soldiers teach him English. The soldier taught the guard to say the F word as part of an everyday greeting. It was actually a funny tidbit, but just be ready for the one word in case you are listening with kids. Also, some of the descriptions if abuse in the Japanese POW Camps and the sharks trying to eat the men in the boat may be a little intense for young children. But not really worse than some of the popular stories many of us read as kids.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • K. Armann
  • Pennsylvania United States
  • 07-09-15

We all loved it!

I listened to this on a long car ride with three boys between 11 and 13. My thirteen year-old actually stopped playing a video game to listen (a first) and my eleven year-old didn't complain about the long trip even once (another first).
The story is fascinating, and the intense and gruesome parts from the adult version are toned down perfectly for older kids and still good for adults. I think I would have let my kids listen to this as young as 8 or 9 maybe.
One warning , if you are heading to the beach - there's a fair bit about shark attacks.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Wow!

I love this story! Very inspirational. Besides the one f word, it was just amazing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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It's the best book I ever read

It is really really really great

Yes
The part where he forgives the bird
Really good I like his voice

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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It was just, awesome, blew me away

The book is awesome, you follow the main character through his early life, into war, and even after. The book did really blow me away, and I hope you read it. Five stars on everything.

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Stand in the midst of adversity

This incredible story was well-narrated and occasionally I thought I heard twinges of emotion - maybe it was my empathy for Mr. Zamperini. Most of the story is between youth and POW days and it's nearly unbelievable. Nestled throughout this book are insights about us as modern Americans from the fear of sharks, how the A-bomb was relief for POWs, the desire for everyday pleasure in the 50s birthed from the horrors of war in the 40s. Runners will appreciate Louie's various stages in racing. Some of the account is very detailed and then quick brush over of life after the war. Kamamura was a minor character but his impact on Mr. Zamperini seemed to be deeper. The story of Mr. Zamperini on the life raft is unbelievable. At the end of the book I felt compelled to do more to honor the memory of our POWs.

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Brilliant!

Before Laura Hillenbrand’s book and major motion picture of Unbroken came out, why hadn’t I heard of Louis Zamperini before? This is one of the best told stories I have encountered. I was mesmerized by Louis and could not take a break from devouring his incredible life story. Edward Herrmann is the perfect narrator.

After a near-fatal plane crash in WWII, Olympian Louis Zamperini spends a harrowing 47 days in a raft with two fellow crewmen before he's caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp in Japan and survives unspeakable brutalities. My eyes were opened to the grim realities faced by POWs in Japan and have a heightened respect for our veterans after reading this book.

Hillenbrand’s writing brilliance goes beyond a strict narrative of wartime experience and transports us into the lives of people we may never know but intimately feel like we do: I found myself laughing at Louis’ shenanigans, cheering at his triumphs, crying over his and his colleagues sufferings and brutalities, praying for their rescue, and even plotting my revenge with them 😏.

I am completely amazed that after the brutality and sufferings Louis experienced, he was victorious over his demons. His life is an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human body and spirit! His courage and forgiveness is a tribute to the greatness of the ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. Unbroken is the perfect title!

Anyone who is inspired by courage, perseverance, endurance, forgiveness, and love will love this story. God bless Louis and all the brave souls that sacrificed so much.

—————-
Rating equivalent to PG-13/TV-14. This book contains one or more of the following: intense war-related violence and torture; killing of animals (V); one use of the F-bomb, brief racial slur, and obscenities (L).

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Amazing

As a person who has very little interest in nonfiction, I am glad to say this story is a masterpiece that had me gripping my bedsheets as I listened to it. The tales of the grueling trials that Louis Zamporini had to face were well detailed and painted vivid images of the events. I strongly encourage all readers to read and experience this thrilling tale.

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loved it?ll

I have seen the movie and now I have read the book. I loved it.

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Great narrative about persistence and forgiveness.

Loved the book. Remarkable story of survival, mistreatment, and the ability for the human spirit to forgive and find joy.