Jack Ciambra Letter Essay #3: Projekt 1065

                                                                                                Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Dear Blog- reading audience,


Recently, I finished reading Projekt 1065, a 309-page novel by Alan Gratz. Alan Gratz is a New York Times bestselling author of a number of novels for young readers, and in 2007 he was picked for the best author by young adult readers. The genre of this book is historical fiction. Projekt 1065 was published in October of 2016 and has sold thousands of copies worldwide. The novel is well written and features very deep descriptions as if you were there experiencing that moment in real time. The book consists of many pulse pounding chapters and has you waiting for the next. I mainly chose this book because I previously finished reading Prisoner B-3087 and enjoyed it. It was another historical fiction 200 page novel by Alan Gratz and was awarded the Truman Readers Award back in 2012.


This book is about the son of the Irish ambassador to Germany, who poses as a member of the Hitler Youth, in order to support the Allies during World War II.

The main character, 13-year-old Michael O’Shaunessey, from the neutral country of Ireland, becomes a spy in Nazi Germany. His parents were also spies. When a downed British pilot alerts him to the existence of Projekt 1065 a secret project by Nazi Germany to build a faster warplane that works without propellers. Michael soon discovers that his classmate Fritz’s father is designing the plane, which gives him access to the blueprints. Michael’s photographic memory comes in handy for remembering enemy codes and mathematics. When, as a junior Gestapo, he joins the group assigned to assassinate a Jewish scientist who is working on developing an American atomic bomb, he soon ends up in a complex drama of death and betrayal.


I really liked the way the author wrote in such a thought provoking way, how the sacrifices of war impact a person, and how “good people must die in order to win a battle”. Towards the end of the book Michael soon realizes that what he has done and what he is doing is nothing but Infiltrate befriend and sabotage over and over and soon becomes the motto for the book. Alan Gratz’s novel mostly centers around Projekt 1065 which had begun prior to the second world war. Projekt 1065 was a real program followed out by Germany to build an aircraft that used a turbojet engine, meaning it could fly faster than propeller craft which was currently in use. When Michael’s friend stole a blueprint from his dad’s office and brought it to school to show Michael, he soon became on high alert and began to investigate on whether or not it was actually true.


What I really enjoy about the book is its author’s craft and it’s amazing dialogue that really represents the book as a whole. If I were to rate this book out of ten I would give it a 9/10 for its amazing ending. There were many passages throughout the book, but the one that really stuck out to me was when Michael was heading home from school and described what the streets looked like and what it was really like living under a cruel dictatorship. The authors descriptive way of writing gave me such a clear image of what things actually looked like, “people kept their eyes down, whispered if they had to talk, crossed the street to avoid having to give the Hitler salute to someone they knew in case they didn’t say ‘Heil Hitler!’” This quote gave me a different point of view of the citizens who really struggled through those hardships.



Jack Ciambra

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3 thoughts on “Jack Ciambra Letter Essay #3: Projekt 1065

  1. I think the book sounds interesting and action packed and a kid with the guts to become a spy. You made the book sound fun to read about and makes this book more desirable to read. Now I would like to read the book

  2. I love how there is a kid from Ireland in the book and he becomes a spy in Nazi Germany. it would sound like the plane is working with out a propellers, but he has a friends father works on planes , and he can get the blue prints . it sounds so mischief and secret, but there is some history in the book about world war 2.

    Brian Forde

  3. Dear Jack,
    Thank you for displaying your Letter-Essay on Projekt 1065 on the blog so that everybody can see it. It was very well-written and you even used lots of detail and observations that you noticed from the book in order to back up your analysis. One thing you could do to improve your writing next time is to add more quotes so that your writing is backed up by the text and the reader can know exactly why you thought the way you did. My favorite part in your letter essay was when you identified the theme saying that “…what he is doing is nothing but infiltrate befriend and sabotage over and over and soon becomes the motto for the book.” This shows that you are using your close reading to identify the theme which is a good reading for writing strategy.


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