86 pages 2 hours read

Alan Gratz


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2019

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Chapters 1-15Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary: “A Hunting We Will Go”

The book begins with a section entitled “Operation Neptune: June 6, 1944, Just Before Dawn on the English Channel.”

Dee Carpenter, the protagonist, is a 16-year-old US soldier from Philadelphia whose unit is at sea rendezvousing with other Ally forces to storm the Omaha beach in Normandy. Dee and his friend Sid, who is Jewish, are nervous as they get into the small boat that will take them to shore. Another soldier calls Sid a Jewish ethnic slur, and Dee stands up for his friend. However, Dee is hiding something from his friend—he is actually a German named Dietrich Zimmermann.

Chapters 2-3 Summary: “Night and Fog” and “Dee-Day”

As the small boat begins to head toward shore, Dee reflects on the circumstances that led him to this point. He was born in Germany and lives in the US as an “enemy alien.” Germans are allowed to fight for the US Army, but Dee, at 16, is too young to do so without his parents’ permission. However, he wants to fight Hitler, and he forges his documents to be allowed into the army, a relatively common practice at the time. The recruiting officer who processes his paperwork gives him an American alias, Douglas (“Dee”) Carpenter, in case he is captured by German soldiers.