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'Unbroken' YA adaptation follows original book to the bestseller lists

This past November, author Laura Hillenbrand published a young adult version of her 2010 bestseller 'Unbroken' (itself still on bestseller lists). The book for younger readers is also selling well, though reviewers disagree on whether it's necessary.

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    'Unbroken' is by Laura Hillenbrand.
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“Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand has long been a bestseller and has been adapted into an upcoming film directed by Angelina Jolie. Now a version of “Unbroken” for younger readers is doing well in sales as well.

“Unbroken,” which was first published in 2010, tells the true story of Louis Zamperini, a former Olympic athlete whose plane crashed in the Pacific during World War II and who was brought to a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

The young adult adaptation of “Unbroken” was released this past November through Delacorte Press, which is an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. According to Random House, Hillenbrand herself edited the story for a younger audience. The book is shorter by around a third, according to School Library Journal.

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“The saga of a man’s bravery, ingenuity, and unwavering will in the face of almost unimaginable challenges, Louie Zamperini’s story is spellbinding to people of every age,” Hillenbrand said in a statement. “At the urging of librarians, teachers, and parents, I’ve created this edition specifically for younger readers. I’m delighted to bring Louie’s inspiring, exhilarating story to a new generation.” 

The new version of “Unbroken” is currently doing well in sales – on the IndieBound bestseller list for the week of Dec. 11, the YA adaptation of “Unbroken” is ranked at number two on the Children’s Interest list. 

However, this new version has received mixed reviews. Barnes & Noble gave it an editor’s recommendation and Kirkus Reviews wrote of the book, “This fine adaptation ably brings an inspiring tale to younger readers,” but School Library Journal reviewer Stephanie Farnlacher of Alabama’s Trace Crossings Elementary School wrote, “Though this is a strong, well-written work, the adult version is accessible and engaging; students are better off sticking with the original.” 

The film adaptation of “Unbroken” stars actor Jack O’Connell and will be released on Dec. 25. 

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