World War I

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
World War I claimed more than ten million lives and fundamentally changed the course of history. Fought at a time when a general sense of optimism and indomitability pervaded European culture, the war itself resulted in such devastation that for generations people never really recovered their belief in ongoing progress. In this illustrated volume of the "Facts at your Fingertips" series readers are afforded a concise look at the background, events and consequences of the Great War. Using a chronological approach, the author of this informative work offers snapshot looks at critical events that defined the course of World War One. Each event is supported by photographs, period illustrations, data tables, statistics, and human interest information. In an almost almanac fashion, Westwell traces the horrific timeline that included such ghastly battles as Verdun, the Somme, Paschendaele, and Ypres. Of particular value are the manifold photographs that give readers just a hint of what trench warfare might have been like. It is all too easy to forget the human cost of war. Perhaps no major war generated more human suffering for frontline soldiers than World War One. In this illustrated history Westwell has given middle and high school readers food for thought regarding a critical aspect of military history. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Though there is some variation in these slim volumes, the basic format is a two-column page. Each one is devoted to a description of one battle or offensive that took place during the war. Arranged chronologically, each narration is followed by a tinted fact box that lists location, date, commanders and forces, casualties, key actions, and key effects. There is an average of 13 maps per title, which is not enough for readers with limited background. Many of the maps, especially in World War I and World War II, are inadequate, as they don't show places indicated in the text. Others are sized so that there is no indication as to their location in relationship to the surrounding area. Each title is liberally illustrated with photos from the era. Those in Vietnam are in color. While the battle information contained herein appears to be accurate, wrong verb tenses and typos are found in all three titles. World War II correctly states that the Senate voted to declare war, but there is no mention of the House having done so. Vietnam refers to President John F. Kennedy, Jr. While entire volumes have been written about many of these battles, these titles may serve as brief introductions to specific battles. Need should definitely determine purchase.—Eldon Younce, formerly at Harper Elementary School, KS
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