Teachers love incorporating Alan Gratz books into their curriculum. Featuring emotionally charged, complex subject matter told in a way children can understand, Gratz expertly treads a fine line of incorporating informative, real-world scenarios and events with relatable characters and narratives. 

Gratz brings powerful tales of survival and endurance of will from society’s most vulnerable, presenting the background of wars, disasters, and economic crises. Each devastating problem forces his main characters to flee or try to survive horrors in the hopes of a better life on the other side in a way that is easy to grasp for young readers.

  • In the heart-pounding book, Ground Zero, Gratz regales readers with the story of Brandon, a nine-year-old boy who accompanies his father to work at the World Trade Center — on September 11, 2001. Readers also experience the tale of eleven-year-old Reshmina, who along with her family, harbors a wounded American soldier in Afghanistan during the war.  
  • In Refugee, Gratz tells the tale of three different children spanning three different wars, decades, and means of survival. When reading the stories of Josef, a Jewish boy surviving World War II in the 1930s; Isabel, a Cuban girl escaping civil unrest with her family aboard a raft in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy fleeing violence and destruction toward Europe in 2015, children will begin to grasp what other people their age have had to endure. 
  • Prisoner B-3087 presents the story of young Yanek Gruener, a Jewish boy surviving 10 different concentration camps in 1930s Poland. Based on true events, Gratz weaves tales of hope through the darkness and despair of Yanek’s survival, capturing the young boy’s enduring will and strong spirit. 
  • In Projekt 1065, readers experience the story of Michael O’Shaunessy, son of an Irish ambassador to Nazi Germany working with his family as covert spies. As Michael faces countless dangers in navigating how to convince the Hitler Youth that he is, in fact, one of them while secretly hating everything they stand for, he brings invaluable information back to the British Secret Service. 

Plus, for fans of graphic novels and superheroes, Alan Gratz's Captain America: The Ghost Army will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the last page. 

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