Children's LiteratureIn the 1980s, confrontations between the United States and the military forces of Libyan ruler Muammar al Qaddafi occurred. Disputes over a variety of issues led to several armed clashes including an American air strike on the Libyan leader's presidential compound that resulted in the fatal wounding of Qaddafi's daughter. As an act of revenge, Qaddafi mobilized elements of his secret police and sponsored a dreadful terrorist strike. A bomb smuggled onto Flight 103 by a Libyan intelligence officer exploded while the plane was flying over Scotland and resulted in the death of 259 people. Debris rained down from the sky in a fiery way and crashed into the quiet Scottish countryside. Much of Flight 103's structure landed in Lockerbie where eleven more victims were claimed. In the end, a painstaking investigation pinpointed two Libyan men as the accused perpetrators. A neutral court in Holland ultimately tried these men and one of them was found guilty. The story of the terrorist strike on Pan Am Flight 103, its tragic cost, and the amazing investigation that followed are all presented in great detail in this volume of the "Terrorist Attacks" series. Author R. Doug Wicker does a stellar job of describing the tragic sequence of events that led to the deaths of all those innocent people. This is a sad story but one worthy of remembrance. This fine book does justice to not only the facts of the case but the human cost as well. 2003, Rosen, Romaneck
VOYAEach book in this "Terrorist Attacks" series has six chapters plus an introduction that varies with each volume but generally sets the scene for the specific terrorist action described. Background information, descriptions of the people involved, and details of the event and what happened following the attack are included, accompanied by pertinent photographs and fact boxes. The large-size print, easy vocabulary, and numerous photos, as well as the fascinating albeit horrifying subject matter, make for fast reading. The facts and details build up and readers will find that the pace quickens as they reach the moment of the attack. In addition to reading for personal interest, these books can be used as an overview when researching the topic. As an example, the Tokyo subway attack volume starts with the mysterious disappearances of several people opposed to the growing cult of Aum Shinrikyo led by the charismatic Shoko Asahara. Descriptions of Asahara's background, the changing spiritual climate in Japan, the interest of the cult in the nerve gas sarin, the subway attacks, and the capture and trial of Asahara are provided. A flaw in the series is the lack of an essay defining terrorism and the absence of a brief history of terrorism, items that are found in Mitch Frank's Understanding September 11th (Viking, 2002/VOYA December 2002). There are bits and pieces in several volumes: a fact box on why people use terrorism and its drawbacks appears in Pan Am Flight 103; further delving into the purpose of terrorism appears in Tokyo Subway; and a good definition of terrorism is included in the glossary of Kenya and Tanzania. Combining this information and exploring it in more depth would haveincreased the value of the series. In addition, there is no explanation as to why these events were chosen and not other acts of terrorism, such as Omagh, Northern Ireland, and Air India 182. Helpful references to a Web site set up by the publisher that is updated regularly and contains other Web sites about the terrorist attacks under discussion add to the value of series. Glossary. Index. Photos. Biblio. Further Reading. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P M J (Readable without serious defects; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2003, Rosen, 64p. PLB Levine
School Library JournalGr 6-10-These titles discuss the background dynamics, motivation and planning, and rationale behind these attacks, and the management of the incidents. The actual event and its aftermath are presented along with the detective work involved in finding the responsible individuals. Poolos discusses the counterattacks on the cult members responsible for placing the nerve gas in the Tokyo subway. Wicker describes the families' involvement in bringing the terrorists responsible for the Lockerbie crash of Flight 103 to justice. Each volume concludes with the capture and trial of the guilty parties. Color photographs and essential documentation appear in both books. Useful additions where there is a demand for material on terrorism.-Elizabeth Stumpf, Clearfield Middle School, PA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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