Review of: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Reviewed by: Graham

unbrokenIncredible, amazing, and shocking are all words to describe to miraculous life of Louie Zamperini. In Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, Louie Zamperini is unbreakable. Louie was a total rebel when he was little. He stole things, ran from the police, and even drank and smoked ate the age of 8, just to get attention! Pete, his brother, changed him. He turned Louie into a strong, determined runner. Louie even made it to the 1936 Olympics, and planned to run in the 1940 Olympics. However, the 1940 Olympics were cancelled, he joined the army to be a bombardier. This is when things went downhill. On a rescue mission he crashed in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and was stranded for 47 days. He and his friend, Phil, were rescued by Japanese soldiers; they were taken to prisoner-of-war (POW) camps. There, Louie was beaten mercilessly by the “Bird”, a Japanese officer named Mitsuhiro Watanabe. The Bird singled Louie out everyday; he treated Louie the worst. He never beat someone as hard as he beat Louie; he made Louie do very hard work. For instance, he made Louie hold a six-foot long wooden pole over his head for 37 minuets A couple of years later, Louie and the other prisoners were saved by U.S. soldiers at the end of the war. Louie returned home and saw his family again, but this wasn’t the end of his horrors. He was tormented by dreams, visions, and flashbacks. To try to end this, Louie drank. This didn’t work; it just made things worse. He became drunk every night. His wife, Cynthia, was scared, but she knew he needed her and convinced him to go listen to Billy Graham. Will Louie ever get over the wretched memories? Will he ever turn to God?

Unbroken is one of my favorite books ever. It is breathtaking, heart-wrenching, and unbelievable. Louie Zamperini had unique characteristics; he was stubborn and he had persistence. In the POW camps, the Bird tried to kill him, but he never gave in by knowing that the Bird wasn’t going to defeat him. He also had perseverance, and most of the time he believed that he was going to get out of the POW camps alive, but he struggled with staying positive. I also loved this book because Louie had changes in his life that would make a difference forever.

I recommend this book to boys and girls ages 10-15. I’m in 6th grade and I read the young adult version. Also, Unbroken has some gruesome words included in ugly scenes that are not appropriate for younger children. Unbroken is a biography about Louie Zamperini’s life, so all of it happened and it describes the harsh treatment of the war. This book was very hard to put down, Louie never gave up even in the hardest times.