Children's LiteratureBeginning with the history of the U.S. Naval Special Operations, this title in the "U.S. Armed Forces" series discusses units such as the SEALs, combat demolition units, underwater demolition teams (frogmen), and Naval Special Warfare forces. These mostly secret organizations often work out of sight, in small, tightly focused groups, with specific tasks. Chapters deal with recruitment, training, and life within special ops. A page on uniforms, another on typical naval gear, a spread on insignias and what they indicate, a structural chart, and a timeline all provide concise information for the interested reader. Color photographs show men and women of many hues in many roles, although the text states that women are not assigned combat positions in this command. The sidebars are a particularly compelling feature as they are substantial enough for the general reader but short enough to assist less able readers; topics include information on the names of big military operations, standing watch, a "warning" or the often oblique orders for an upcoming mission, and other matters. End matter includes a glossary, timeline, biographical sketches of famous people in this branch of the service, further reading, bibliography, related websites, and an index. All in all, it is informative coverage of a high-interest topic, with a presentation that is sure to satisfy high school-aged potential recruits, as well as anyone else interested in the nuts and bolts of this branch of the armed forces. 2005, Lerner, Ages 12 to 16.
Susan Hepler, Ph.D.