Bomb and Mine Disposal Officers

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Teachers and librarians may be surprised to find this "World's Most Dangerous Jobs" series coming from Crabtree, a publisher known for its high-quality books (many about world cultures) for young readers. Author Loveless, a journalist and photographer specializing in defense-related subjects, is fascinated by the culture of violence and military hardware. This volume offers information about the training and techniques of bomb and mine disposal officers in the armed forced of the U.S. and UK. A British officer explains: "All Ammunitions Technicians are soldiers first and foremost." In the U.S., disposal technicians also come from the FBI or police departments. For this highly dangerous job, hardware consists of protective body armor and complex mechanisms like the "wheelbarrow," a robot device that can approach, move, and disarm bombs in war zones. The job is exceedingly dangerous; Loveless reports that 40% of all coalition deaths in Iraq are caused by improvised explosive devices. Booby-trapped mines and bombs in unusual locations require close, terror-inspiring work but one RAF technician shrugs, "It's a tough job, but someone has to do it." A majority of the images come from the Department of Defense (though it's not specified whose); recommended Internet sites turn out to be mostly military recruiting websites. Apparently aimed at nine- to twelve-year-olds, the content seems inappropriate for this age group—or even for older students. Adults need to check this series carefully to decide if the values, expressed and implied, are compatible with their community's and whether they choose to spend limited resources on furthering military recruiting. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—These titles contain just enough information to impress upon readers the risks involved in these occupations. Appropriate vocabulary is used to describe some of the basic duties and the dangers encountered by individuals at work in these fields. The main text is printed in black while lengthy quotations by pilots and EODs (Explosive Ordnance Disposal engineers) are printed in white. (The identities of those quoted have been changed for their protection since most are in currently active military situations.) The quotations are somewhat difficult to read because of the lack of contrast. High-quality color photos, most of them furnished by the Department of Defense, vary from half to full page. Informative captions are printed in a contrasting color on the photo. A light yellow bar containing additional information is sometimes superimposed at the top or bottom of the full-page photos. These are among the best titles of this genre to come along since Keith Greenberg's "Risky Business" series (Gale) in the mid '90s. They are sure to be popular.—Eldon Younce, Harper Elementary School, KS
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778751090
  • Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/1/2009
  • Series: The World's Most Dangerous Jobs
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: NC1040L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

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