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FRENCH-AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP RE-VISITED IN MEMOIRS
A first-person account, excerpted memoirs from a gentleman who, at the age of 15, experienced World War II when Allied forces landed on the beaches near his home in Caen, Normandy.
MY NORMANDY: A TEENAGER LIVES THROUGH WORLD WAR II by Armand Idrac; translated & edited by Joanne S. Silver ($12.95, softcover, October 11, 2005). Foreword by historian Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie. Includes discussion questions and updated chapter “My Own United States of America.” Appropriate for middle school through adult.
In these excerpts from Memoirs from Normandy: Childhood, War & Life’s Adventures (May 2004), the author uses his engaging, humor-laced style to show us 1930’s France through his eyes. From very young childhood, he moves to his hilarious school years, to adolescence interrupted by the war, to an adulthood in full appreciation of the sacrifices made by the Allies.
Armand Idrac was born in the city of Caen in 1928, and became the de facto head of family after his father’s death in 1942. Remembering that his friend François Le Roy Ladurie (brother of the noted historian, Emmanual LRLD) had offered shelter from the bombings in the family château, Armand shared in his mother’s decision to abandon their home. Later, German soldiers took up residence in the château, and the refugees found themselves obliged to share lodging with the enemy.
Seventy-five per cent of Caen was destroyed-but rebuilt-as were the survivors’ lives, after “those unforgettable days from Landing to Liberation” (p. 33).
Armand’s chapters “Occupation” and “Landing” should be mandatory reading for youngsters of middle school age when studying France, French language or World War II. He brings the stark reality of war to that level of understanding; moreover, his memories of that time ring true today.
-Frances W. Mongiello, Retired Teacher, Southeast Delco School District
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|My Normandy: A Teenager Lives through World War II by Armand Idrac
Translated from the French & edited by Joanne S. Silver
Softcover, 5.5 x 8.5 ins., 92 pp. 13 black & white photographs, maps and charts; annotations, references, discussion questions. $12.95
ISBN: 978-0-9743158-1-2, 0-9743158-1-8
Library of Congress Control Number: 2005929958