MIDDLE GRADE NONFICTION: Jack Montgomery: World War II Gallantry at Anzio by Michael P. Spradlin
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.
This short nonfiction chapter book tells the story of Jack C. Montgomery, a recipient of the Medal of Honor for gallantry in action during World War II. The book provides enough background for young readers to understand the context of Montgomery's actions without getting bogged down in too many details. I could have done with a bit more information about Montgomery himself, the background details are pretty basic, but for young readers it shouldn't be an issue. The focus of the book is on building up to the details of the events that lead to Montgomery's being awarded the Medal of Honor. And that part of the book is the best part, unsurprisingly. I was stunned to read of the remarkable actions that Montgomery took to protect those under his command. It's amazing he came out of it alive. Young readers who are into stories of the military and war are sure to appreciate this one. While it would have been nice to have more photographs of Montgomery, the few that are included are a nice addition. The other photographs help provide context for the circumstances that Montgomery found himself in.