This comprehensive, historical series on America's role in World War II is organized and written in a compelling "You Were There" style. Each volume covers one year of the war; entries are arranged in chronological order, although some dates are omitted, while a few have more than one entry. In this way, the reader gets caught up in what is happening all over the world, including on the homefront. Shameful events (such as the internment of Japanese American citizens) as well as clearly heroic deeds are included. The vivid, newspaper-like style is further enlivened by many direct quotes from primary sources. While the volumes are fascinating and exciting, the horror of war is often brought shockingly to the reader's attention. A prologue giving background information on the previous year, black and white photographs, maps, an index, bibliography, list of important dates, and several brief biographies of leaders of the time, add to the book's educational value.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-- Condensing the events of 1941 into one compact volume is not an easy task, but Devaney achieves his purpose. Through short, snapshot-like entries, he presents month-by-month, almost daily, accounts of the events in Europe, Asia, and the U. S. leading up to and including America's entry into the Second World War. An informative prologue sets the stage by covering Germany's 1939-40 attacks on Poland and Western Europe; this segues into a personal view of the Battle of Britain as seen by war correspondent Quentin Reynolds during the first days of January 1941. Devaney draws not only upon Reynolds but also on many different sources to give an informed view of those events that would have such far-reaching consequences on our nation. Attention is paid to the average civilians and service people caught up in the drama as well as to the politicians and military leaders who made the decisions; this is what makes the book real and relevant. An unremarkable set of historical photographs accompany the text, but the other strengths, as well as the inclusion of short sketches of eight world leaders, more than offset this minor flaw. While Devaney makes no new historical revelations, his book deserves a place in most collections. --David A. Lindsey, Lakewood Junior/Senior High School, WA