Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The book Unbroken, is about an Olympic athlete named Louis Zamperini who overcomes the obstacles of his childhood life and war time. He didn’t fit in with the town he lived in because he was Italian and a thief. But his brother Pete convinced him that he wasn’t just merely nothing in the world like Louis thought he was.
Zamperini joined the track team in high school. He became the youngest athlete to beat the national record, and ended up competing in the Berlin Olympics, meeting Adolf Hitler himself. Zamperini joined the military after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and survived 46 days at sea after crashing.
The next two years after being rescued, he endured pain and suffering in Japanese POW (Prisoner of War) camps. Zamperini was frequently beaten by a Japanese man named, Watanabe, but known infamously as “the bird.” He even had the opportunity to talk on a Japanese radio talk show to inform the United States that he was indeed alive.
He managed to stay optimistic in the worst of conditions throughout WWII, and finally returned home after the war ended. He never competed in running again but held the torch and ran in the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan at the age of 80. Although he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, he was able to stop having bad dreams after committing himself to god. Zamperini got married and had two children. He died at the age of 97 even after all the things he has been through including malnourishment and his drinking problem.
The author, Laura Hillenbrand, described Zamperini’s life so vividly it was like you were along side him the whole entire way through the 408 page book (which has pictures, wow! A chapter book with pictures, how exciting!). If you don’t like long books and aren’t interested in reading about someone who fought in the war, I do not recommend this book to you. Then again, you can always watch the movie adaptation directed by Angelina Jolie. This book was definitely a good read nonetheless even though non-fiction is not a genre I like, this book was a page-turner (literally I read it in 3 days). I also watched the movie and it was definitely bringing the book to life, but was did not live up to my expectations.~Student Rachel N.
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