Monday, January 14, 2019

MMGM- Medal of Honor

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Always in the Middle and #IMWAYR day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Spradlin, Michael. Jack Montgomery: World War II: Gallantry at Anzio
Published 15 Jaunary 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Based on the real-life events of Jack Montgomery, this book is an excellent mix of factual information about the war and fictionalized accounts of Montgomery's involvement in it. Montgomery was born in 1917 in Oklahoma. Because he was Cherokee, he was sent to an Indian school, but received a good education and graduated from college with a physical education degree. Unable to find a job, he joined the army and soon found himself embroiled in the war. Soon after his division, the 45th Infantry Thunderbirds came ashore at Anizio, Montgomery was involve in action near Padiglione, Italy, where he single-handedly took out several enemy positions and saved his men. He was wounded and sent home, but awarded the Medal of Honor. Not only do we follow Jack's activities during the war, but we learn additional information about all manner of topics-- trench foot, the Italian involvement in the war, and the treatment of Native Americans. Plentiful pictures and maps help highlight that this is biographical nonfiction, told in an intriguing way.
Strengths: Italy! I have read very few books about this are of WWII, and since Dondi was so interesting, I was always curious about it. The mix of story, facts, and supporting documents is wonderful and will make this super popular with my readers. Like Tod Olsen's narrative nonfiction, THIS is what middle grade books should be like!
Weaknesses: Occasionally I was irritated that Montgomery's narrative was interrupted, but I read this in one sitting, and my students will not.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing this entire series and may need some more room for Spradlin's books, since he has been on fire lately!


  1. This book sounds like a great retelling of history! Thanks so much for the review!

  2. These would've been hugely popular in the library that I volunteered in.

  3. You always make my TBR list grow, Karen. This one looks really good and I happen to LOVE historical fiction, so I hope to find Jack Montgomery: World War II: Gallantry at Anzio very soon. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I am not a real fan of war books but have been won over to some of them because the writing is good, or because the book focuses on the lives of women. I might even get to this one.

  5. What a great way for teens to learns about history. I haven't read any WWII stories about Native Americans serving. Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. It does sound good, Karen. Thanks for sharing. New to me!

  7. Kids are still very interested in WWII, so this one should be popular. Thanks for telling me about it.

  8. My students are always hungry for good historical fiction. I have seen a lot of talk about his books. I think I need to look into purchasing some!