69 pages 2 hours read

Laura Hillenbrand


Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 2010

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.

Before Reading

Reading Context

Use these questions or activities to help gauge students’ familiarity with and spark their interest in the context of the work, giving them an entry point into the text itself.

Short Answer

1. Who has a relative or close family friend who served in a war? Without violating their trust or sharing private details, what are some things they have shared about their experiences? How does this impact you and your relationship with them? What challenges have they faced in returning home?

Teaching Suggestion: As discussion of military service and POW experiences involves trauma, students may benefit from content warnings, reminders of pre-established SEL strategies and difficult discussion protocols.

  • Teachers may find these guidelines from the University of Michigan useful for facilitating sensitive discussions throughout the unit.
  • This website from the National WWII Museum offers articles detailing soldier and POW experiences for follow-up after discussion and for text extensions within the unit.

Short Activity

Research the experiences of POWs during WWII to answer the questions that follow. What major differences were there between POWs in Europe and the Pacific? What atrocities did POWs face? What protections were supposedly in place during WWII and why were these protections not followed? What steps have international law enforcers taken since then to better enforce protections?