The Korean War, 1950-53, is tidily wrapped up in only fifty-seven pages in this well-organized, attractive volume in the Voices from the Past series. Opening with a map and chronology, the text is further enhanced by good quality black-and-white and color photographs. The authors use a friendly, informative tone to present the facts without glorifying the United States or making monsters of the enemy. It reads at a comfortable, though progressively quickening pace; the last year of the war and peace efforts are not discussed in great detail. Although the index provided will be useful for reports, the text is quite readable and brief enough that interested readers would stick with it cover to cover. Because of its brevity, this clearly does not aim to be a complete history of the Korean War, and should not be relied upon to completely cover the topic in library collections. It will, however, be popular with readers seeking a short, readable account of "The Forgotten War." Index. Photos. Maps. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology. VOYA Codes: 4Q 2P M (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8).
Gr 7-9-The words of ordinary citizens and soldiers are used to convey the hardships and brutality of America's Asian wars. Both books follow the same design, beginning with a description of a dramatic event and then backtracking to provide an overview of each conflict. This is a promising format, but there are several weaknesses. There is not enough background information to help readers understand American involvement in these wars. While both books present an adequate survey of war operations, they do not devote enough space to post-war events (Vietnam does not even cover the fall of Saigon). They do not offer the analysis and historical perspective found in most other titles about these conflicts. Each book includes a single map, and the black-and-white and color photos add little to the text. Deborah Bachrach's The Korean War (Lucent, 1991) and Maurice Isserman's The Korean War (Facts on File, 1992) are more complete resources. Albert Marrin's powerful America in Vietnam (Viking, 1992) remains the best YA title on the subject, and David Detzer's An Asian Tragedy (Millbrook, 1992) is a good choice for younger readers.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO