Children's LiteratureAt 9:02 a.m. on April 19, 1995, an explosion ripped open the front portion of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. The explosion destroyed the supports for the front of the Murrah Building and led to the total collapse of a large portion of that multi-story structure. Investigators would later piece together the facts in this case and discover that a large truck bomb stashed in a Ryder rental vehicle was the cause of the disaster. A terrorist act had occurred in America and had claimed 168 lives, including nineteen children. Eventually investigators would trace a tangled trail to a former American soldier, Timothy McVeigh, and his accomplices. McVeigh would stand trial and, in June of 2001, be executed for his terrible crime. A militant survivalist, McVeigh and his chief collaborator, Terry Nichols, saw the Federal Government as an oppressive force. They sought revenge for perceived misdeeds on the part of America's leaders and took their revenge out upon the innocent men, women, and children who happened to be in the Murrah Building on that fateful day. Author Geraldine Giordano recreates this chilling story in this volume of the "Terrorist Attacks" series. Giordano does an outstanding job of both retracing the steps in this horrific event as well as profiling the perpetrators. This is an excellent study of a deplorable act of domestic terrorism. The author offers her readers not only the facts of the case but the underlying implications for national security 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 Journal - School Library JournalGr 6-10-These informative titles tend to be rather graphic, both visually and verbally. Short chapters and simple vocabulary make them accessible to reluctant readers. Giordano concentrates on Timothy McVeigh's background, political views, role in the events leading to the actual bombing, and his trial and execution. Victoria Sherrow's The Oklahoma City Bombing (Enslow, 1998), written in a more straightforward style, examines the bombing and aftermath more, but focuses less on McVeigh and his accomplices. Sonneborn traces the sequence of events from the arrival in Munich of the Black September terrorists through the harrowing days of the hostage-taking, police negotiations, and final gun battle at the F rstenfeldbruck airport. The author also includes the later release of the surviving terrorists, the Israeli Operation Wrath of God, and more currently, the lawsuits filed by families of the slain athletes against the German government.-Cynthia M. Sturgis, Ledding Library, Milwaukie, OR Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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