Children's LiteratureThis straightforward social-studies book tells all about the Korean War Veterans Memorial located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The author begins with a vivid description of a visit he made to the memorial on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. A later chapter details the history of the conflict in the early 1950's, lucidly explaining why America found itself at war so soon after World War II ended. There is a chapter about how the memorial was designed and funded, with particular attention paid to the statues and the reflecting wall. Large, clear, full-color photographs add to the book's value. A bibliography and chronology of the war are included. Easy-to-understand and attractively designed, this is a good choice for school libraries that need material about the topic. The book is the fifth in a series about American monuments. 2001, Twenty-first Century/Millbrook, $24.90. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer:Miriam Rinn
School Library JournalGr 5-10-This is an efficient and effective explanation of the background, need for, and creation of one of the newest monuments honoring America's past to be constructed on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Ashabranner opens with an emotional description of the 50th-anniversary commemoration of the Communist invasion of South Korea, seamlessly integrating details of the memorial with tales of its many visitors paying tribute to their own memories as well as to the 37,000 Americans who perished in the conflict. Next is a chapter dedicated to providing the historical context of the war itself, but lacking a map. The balance of the book tells of the laborious process involved in creating the Korean War Veterans Memorial-from a Congressional bill to site selection to the casting of the statues-and what all of this "says to America." High-quality photos by the author's daughter and striking archival pictures of those fighting in the conflict are featured throughout. Wrapping up with information on visiting the memorial, this short book will meet the needs of a wide range of users, from interested tourists to reluctant researchers.-Andrew Medlar, Chicago Public Library, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsThe Korean conflict, 1950-53, is called "America's forgotten war," although the thousands of people from several nations who were involved in it could not forget the long and bitter fighting under excruciating conditions. It took years for a truce to be declared and longer for a memorial to those who fought there to be constructed in Washington, D.C. Here, Ashabranner continues his Great American Memorials series with brief discussions of the history of Korea, and a once-over about the war itself. Unfortunately, no map of Korea is supplied and when place after place is mentioned, readers will have difficulty picturing the geography and topography without using other reference works to gain an idea of the land forms, as well as Korea's place on the globe. Archival photographs provide portraits of the military personnel who were in Korea and the conditions under which they existed. Most of the work, however, discusses the establishment of the Memorial, its difficulties, triumphs, planning, construction, materials, and a biography of the sculptor. But the text lacks an overall idea of its scope and dimensions-mainly because the photographer didn't supply one. In his history of the war, the author makes no mention of President Truman's firing of Douglas MacArthur, surely an important event in modern US history. Where there is an interest in memorials, the study is adequate. (index, bibliography, including the URL for the Memorial) (Nonfiction. 5-8)
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