Book Review: Remember World War II
The events of World War II seem distant and strange, especially to young readers; one way to help a young audience understand a complex issue is to introduce a young narrator and have that person describe what he or she saw first-hand; this book does exactly that.
After the fashion of the other excellent books Remember Pearl Harbor and Remember D-Day, this book focuses on kids who survived World War II and has them tell their stories in their own words. Included are children from all of the major countries, including these:
- A young Jewish girl who sees just how prejudiced her German friends can be
- A Jewish teen from Czechoslovakia who survived time in a concentration camp
- A 12-year-old boy who was a member of the Hitler Youth
- A young Belgian girl whose family endures the occupation of their home by German soldiers
- A Japanese boy and an American girl, who see the Pearl Harbor attack slightly differently
- A teen boy from Japan who, because of his ancestry, suffered ill treatment in California
- A young British girl living in the Philippines who sees just how tough it can be to find good food during wartime
- A young Japanese girl who is witness to the surrender that ended the war.
The author discusses the American home front as well, presenting this through the eyes of children, too. And the pictures, from National Geographic's vast library, are top-notch as always.
The full and arbitrary horrors of war come to full life in this book, as evidenced by children and teens who managed to survive these terrible events. The result is a well-rounded presentation of the basic conflicts of the war, along with a wealth of primary sources relating life-changing events that shaped a generation.
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