School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—The books in this set open with two true or false questions (a signature of this series) that are answered in the text. Divided into four to six chapters, the titles focus on one aspect of each subject. A "Big Truth" chapter and a "True Statistics" page add interesting facts about weapons, armies, or statistics. The content is standard for middle-level books on World War II, and large black-and-white period photos appear throughout. Unfortunately, this series is marred by some weaknesses. There are few maps and no documentation of numbers and statistics scattered throughout the texts, and there are several errors (for instance, Battles mistakenly states that the Battle of the Bulge resulted in more deaths than any other battle, and both Weapons and Navy erroneously explain the tailhook mechanism on aircraft carriers. This set doesn't improve on extant World War II coverage, and most libraries will find other series to be better choices.
Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
World War II was fought by millions of people. Armies fighting in that historic conflict used automatic weapons previously unavailable to infantrymen. Tank commanders utilized mass armor formations and heavy armored vehicles as part of lightening war tactics. In the air, heavy bombers laid cities to waste with authority that eventually included the terrible power of nuclear energy. At sea, heavy battleships, aircraft carriers, and submarines created zones of death that claimed thousands of lives. The weaponry of World War II was unlike that used in prior wars. The end result of these industrial and technological advances was a death rate unmatched in earlier conflicts. This volume in Peter Benoit’s illustrated “True Books” history series focuses on the weapons of World War II. As is the case with other books in this fine series, The Weapons of World War II combines numerous illustrations, a well-crafted text, and thoughtful consideration of the topic. Benoit immerses his readers in the fighting at the core of World War II. In doing so Benoit also leaves his readers with the realization that these weapons were designed to kill people and were not just neat machinery. Part of the “True Book” series. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck; Ages 10 to 14.