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Review of Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam

Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge Middle School, High School    Viking    212 pp.    g 4/18    978-0-670-78506-3    $22.99 e-book ed.  978-0-425-29178-8    $11.99 The Vietnam War was a time of virulent political divisiveness, profound cultural upheaval, and horrific events. It can be challenging to understand, especially for young people born decades afterward, […]

Finding the Right Shoes: Reading War Stories with Kids

It was the late 1980s, during a period known for car bombs in the Lebanese civil war. I was a child living in suburban Chicago, but the majority of my extended family was still in Beirut, experiencing a horrific war. I heard stories of the war in newspapers, letters, and over scratchy long-distance phone calls. […]

Memorial Day 2017

Collier, Peter  Choosing Courage: Inspiring Stories of What It Means to Be a Hero Middle school, high school     226 pp.     Artisan Ranging from World War II through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, this book offers compelling stories of selected Medal of Honor recipients who performed heroic acts in battle; vignettes of civilians awarded the […]

History of war

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The following books for middle schoolers describe the horrors of twentieth-century wars and urge readers to learn from history’s mistakes. Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin opens briefly with a prologue set on the day of the attack […]

War and peace

Anderson, M. T.  Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad Middle school, high school     424 pp.     Candlewick This ambitious work encompasses the life of composer Shostakovich, the early political history of the U.S.S.R., and the nation’s suffering during WWII. Initially inspired by the Bolshevik Revolution, Shostakovich’s music changed […]

Reading about WWI

One hundred years ago today, the first shots of World War I were fired. These books about the WWI era — fiction and nonfiction for a range of ages — are all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide. Picture Books The text of Timothy Decker’s unusual picture book The Letter […]

World War I Interactive app review

World War I Interactive (2012) is part of Touchzing Media‘s interactive history app series (other entries cover the American Revolution, the Civil War, WWII, the Vietnam War, general American history, and the lives of Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Gandhi). Since my own WWI knowledge comes largely from Downton Abbey and Legends of the Fall, I […]