#Unbroken: Follows the story of one. Tells the story of thousands.

By: Laura Hillenbrand
My Rating: FIVE out of FIVE stars
Best for: Mature 16 and up

It’s Veteran’s Day in the US.  What a day to finish Unbroken.

I know I’m late to Unbroken, but I put it off until I was ready.  I expected it would be special.

I was ready, and I was right.

It was special.

Unbroken follows the broken path of Louis Zamperini, who was a broken hooligan destined for trouble, saved by sports.  An Olympic athlete poised to break unbreakable records, thwarted by war.  An airman in a broken plane, stranded for days in a broken raft.  A tortured, ravaged, depraved POW in Japan who almost broke, saved by a pair of nuclear bombs.  A broken soldier home from war, rescued by faith.

Louie’s story was incredible, to be sure.  But Unbroken is more than the story of one soldier.

It’s the story of thousands.

Hundreds of thousands, actually.

If you’re content with your comfortable life and feel inspired to give yourself a shot of perspective, nothing will put you in your place faster than a book describing the atrocities committed by the Empire of Japan against prisoners of war during WWII.

At least the Nazi’s followed the Geneva Convention.

Comfortable?  This story can help with that.

I hope everyone will read Unbroken, even if it’s just to gain a bit more understanding.  If enough people understand, maybe we can make sure it never happens again.

The Greatest Generation, indeed.

Thank you, Grandpa.  I wish you were still around so I could ask you about your experience.


This story includes a few instances of swearing and no sex.  There are many gruesome descriptions of violent acts of torture and depravity against humans.  This book is appropriate for mature high-school kids, but anyone who reads it will probably need to take some emotional breaks.

The author released a second version of Unbroken that is more accessible to YA audiences.  It still has some swearing, but uses smaller words and shorter sentences.  This version also either uses less dramatic visualizations or omits the more intense scenes of torture.  It’s 200 pages shorter than the first edition but is still quite intense.  Perhaps 14 and up for this version.

Thoughtful Reading!  (Happy Reading felt like it missed the mark this time…)

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