Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Guts and Glory: World War II by Ben Thompson –ESSENTIAL

Thompson, Ben Guts and Glory: World War II 348 pgs. Little Brown 2016. $14.99 Content: Language: PG (lots of halfy swears like Hell); Mature Content: PG13 Violence: PG13

While this book is not a comprehensive history of World War II it clearly presents background, factions, and moves through a timeline without missing important events. But its true focus is the accomplished people, both sung and unsung, male and female, outrageous and outmatched. Examples are Lydia Litvyak the white rose of Stalingrad, Voytek the bear, and of course many many more, this is a very long book!

I took both honors and AP history in high school as well as minored in history in college, and I learned more from this book than I have ever known about World War II. This is one of the most interesting and readable authors I have ever had the privilege of reading. Where I am drawing the line is that its rated for 8-12 year olds. NO WAY. It is too complex, intense, and inappropriate for elementary students (unless they are a serious war buff). The author goes to great lengths to explain complex things and make things clear, but I am here to tell you, that besides your own genius child, in my experience with upper elementary, they could not handle this much information. Again, I think it’s a must must must have for middle school and high school libraries.

MS, HS –ESSENTIAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

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