Children's Literature - Greg M. RomaneckThroughout the history of the United States the Marine Corps has taken on some of the hardest challenges imaginable. In recent years the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have further tested the resolve of Marines in faraway landscapes and theaters of combat. Taking part in some of the hardest fighting in American history, Marines have been called upon to show valor in ways that are hard to comprehend. In this title from the illustrated "Acts of Courage: Inside America's Military" series, Sandler tells the stories of a handful of Marines whose courage under fire remains noteworthy. In some instances the heroic actions described in this slim book resulted in the saving of lives. In other cases, the heroes that Sandler brings forth to his readers die in order to accomplish a mission or save their comrades. Medals alone do not determine valor. Rather, the stories of bravery that inspire courage in others are the true currency of heroism. By telling such stories Michael Sandler offers readers lessons in sacrifice that are worthy of reflection. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library JournalGr 2�4—This series shares the combat stories of individual soldiers from diverse backgrounds and rank. The profiled service members committed outstanding acts of bravery and were decorated accordingly, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice, a fact that is emphasized throughout. The volumes start with a quick description of 9/11 or, in the case of Coast Guard, a story of a rescue mission. They move on to combat in the Middle East, and/or disaster-relief missions. Action-filled color photos enliven every spread. While the justification for war in Afghanistan is clearly explained, the explanation for the conflict in Iraq is oversimplified to the point of bias: "...government officials believed that Saddam Hussein...was building powerful weapons...Though the weapons were never found, the U.S. and its allies were able to remove Saddam Hussein from power." This series will have the most appeal in areas with high military interest.
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