Race Against Death
The Greatest POW Rescue of World War II
What is this book about?
A thrilling account of the most daring World War II rescue mission, liberating hundreds of American prisoners of war.
Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, America entered World War II, and a new theater of battle opened up in the Pacific. But US troops, along with thousands of Filipino soldiers who fought alongside them, were overtaken in the Philippines by a fiercely determined Japanese navy, and many Americans and Filipino fighters were killed or captured.
These American and Filipino prisoners of war were forced to endure the most horrific conditions on the deadly trek known as the Bataan Death March. Then, the American servicemen who were held captive by the Japanese military in Cabanatuan Camp and others in the Philippines, faced beatings, starvation, and tropical diseases, and lived constantly under the threat of death.
Unable to forget their comrades’ fate and concerned that these POWs would be brutally murdered as the tides of war shifted in the Pacific, the US Army Rangers undertook one of the most daring and dangerous rescue missions of all time. Aided by the “Angels of the Underground,” the Sixth Ranger Battalion and courageous Filipino guerrilla soldiers set out on an uncertain and treacherous assignment. Often called the Great Raid, this remarkable story remains largely forgotten.
Deborah Hopkinson presents an extraordinary and unflinching look at the heroic servicemen and women who courageously weathered the worst of circumstances and conditions in service to their country, as well as those who answered the call to save their fellow soldiers.
Awards and Recognition
- Junior Library Guild selection
“Told with great detail and through the perspectives of the individuals who lived the experience firsthand, this is an impactful book that will raise awareness and encourage young readers to seek more information; a must-buy for any public or school library.” (School Library Journal, starred review)
“Hopkinson’s brilliant account of this event is cinematic and irresistibly readable, as, indeed, is the entire book, which is beautifully written, generously illustrated with black-and-white period photographs, and enhanced by extensive back matter. The book will be invaluable for both classroom use and independent reading. And kudos to it for memorializing human courage and compassion.” (Michael Cart, Booklist, starred review)
“A fascinating, nuanced, and emotional historical narrative.”” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
author, Deborah Hopkinson
ages 9 and up, April 18, 2023
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