Children's LiteratureOn December 7, 1941 the naval forces of Imperial Japan launched a devastating surprise attack upon Americans stationed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. On that Sunday, Japanese airmen struck at the heart of the American Pacific fleet and crippled U.S. naval capacity in the region. Over 340 Japanese carrier planes were involved and the toll was great. 2,403 American servicemen were killed with nearly 1,200 more being wounded. While this assault provided a momentary Japanese advantage, it was an incomplete victory. Several of the American battleships sunk were later refloated and used again in combat. Additionally, the American aircraft carrier fleet was not at Pearl Harbor, saving some of America's most important naval weapons from the attack. Nonetheless, the American defeat at Pearl Harbor was shocking for U.S. citizens. Following the attack President Roosevelt called for a declaration of war against Japan. Four years later, that declaration culminated in the total defeat not only of Japan but also of its Axis ally, Nazi Germany. The story of the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor is presented by author Theresa De Angelis in this compact, illustrated history book. De Angelis traces the assault with an emphasis on the experiences of common folks. Numerous photographs bring to life the destruction of that terrible day and augment the well-researched text. This is a fine introduction to a violent and infamous day in American history. 2002, Enslow, Romaneck
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-6-A brief introduction to a complex event. The basic story of the world situation and the actions of both countries leading up to the attack is accurate, but extremely simplified. Most of the captions add some information to the vintage photos, which are printed in monochromatic dusty hues of blue, green, and pink. Two full-color reproductions of World War II posters and two present-day color photos are included. With only one sparsely labeled map of the Pacific, it is assumed that readers know the locations of the warring European countries mentioned in the text, as well as the locations of Manchuria, Russia, and the Philippines. De Angelis states that the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines all had bases at Pearl Harbor in 1941. However, the U.S. Air Force did not exist at that time; it was still part of the Army. She also credits Admiral Yamamoto with the initial concept of the surprise attack and states that "Most experts- agree that Yamamoto greatly misjudged how fiercely Americans would react to a surprise attack." However, other sources suggest that he believed that if the attack was not absolutely fatal, Japan could not survive a protracted war with the U.S. The memorial at Pearl Harbor is briefly discussed and the text concludes rather suddenly with the dropping of the atomic bombs. New is not necessarily better. Stick with standard titles on the subject.-Eldon Younce, Harper Elementary School, KS Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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