Guts and Glory WWII

Guts and Glory World War II

Written by Ben Thompson

Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (March 1, 2016)
Format: Hardcover

We enjoyed Guts and Glory Vikings when we read it last year and so am familiar with this author’s style. I’d call it “middle school boys speak.”

I can see how this chatty style could lure a nonreader into this historical account of World War II. Any kid that thinks history is boring needs to read a book like this. The way the narratives play out you get a sense of just how fast Hitler took power. France fell in just six weeks despite the fact that their military should have been stronger than Germany’s.

The book includes around twenty battle descriptions from all over the world from many soldiers. There is a vehicle chapter which was helpful to me because I had no idea what was what on that front. My 11yo loved the Definition-ism section as it defined standard terms you’d find in a WWII history without going over his head.

My only real criticism of the book would be that there are no maps. It’s already pretty long at 372 pages, and I imagine that there were only so many graphics that would fit.

Overall I liked it and am adding it to my American History Booklist. For my fellow homeschoolers out there- this book would go well with The Kingfisher Encyclopedia to flesh out the details of the war. It would be easy to narrate and outline.

I borrowed this book from the Chicago Public Library to review because it was nominated for the Cybils Awards.


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