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Studying the lives of real-life heroes is important for children. It gives them someone real to look up to. Role models show character qualities in real situations to help children learn how to emulate those qualities in their own lives. Michael P. Spradlin introduces us to real-life hero Meal of Honor: Jack Montgomery who fought in World War II at Anzio.
From the cover:
Jack C. Montgomery was a Cherokee from Oklahoma, and a first lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division Thunderbirds. On February 22, 1944, near Padiglione, Italy, Montgomery’s rifle platoon was under fire by three echelons of enemy forces when he single-handedly attacked all three positions, neutralizing the German machine-gunners and taking numerous prisoners in the process. Montgomery’s actions demoralized the enemy and saved the lives of many American soldiers.
The Medal of Honor series profiles the courage and accomplishments of recipients of the highest and most prestigious personal military decoration, awarded to recognize U.S. military service members who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary acts of valor.
What You Get:
A well-written story, that speaks not only to the actual action taken, but also to the life of the man leading up to that moment. So it’s not just a story of Mr. Montgomery being a hero, but how his life made him a hero.
Interspersed between the story is material about the US Army, or it’s ordinances, or people involved during the battle. For instance, readers learn about Mussolini, why the Cherokee symbol changes from a swastika to a thunderbird, the use of deception in battle and more.
Numerous black and white images dot the pages, showing us scenes from history that the hero might have seen, or relevant to the historical period. Some of the images: Hitler reviewing his troops, soldiers manning a machine gun, Montgomery receiving his medal and many more.
I’ve struggled reading this book. Part of it stemmed from I think a missing page. I reading and then the story just stopped mid-sentence and then picked up later. The other part was, the story itself kept being interrupted, so I couldn’t just read it from start to finish.
Was the story itself good? Yes! Resoundingly so. I would happily read more real-life stories like this. It was good to read. Good to know how men in the army have to take risks, and simply just do their job to the best of their abilities.
Jack Montgomery: World War II – Gallantry at Anzio
Michael P. Spradlin
Series: Medal of Honor
Farrar Straus Giroux
112 pages, paperback, 8-12 years
Military, Hero, World War 2, United States Army
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.