"While I thoroughly admired the intention, the level of detail, and the educational value of this book, at the same time it seemed to be both a little too short and a little too dense. Writing about history for a young audience is tough - I understand that - and from a historical perspective, it really did seem to tell the story of the time period from many angles and perspectives without sugarcoating or hiding challenging truths. It wasn't ALL history or ALL about soldiers, and the inclusion of gender, race, age, and political variation was very welcome!
However, trying to condense so many perspectives, years, ideas, threads, etc into a shorter and younger version also meant that it could be slightly confusing. A little bit too much detail to really read quickly, but not quite enough to follow the whole history as a stand-alone book, particularly since there is a lot of chronology used, but not necessarily in order.
I did love the extensive use of images, including very thorough and relevant captions. These were my favorite part of the book and probably increased my rating all by themselves." Brianna Westervelt said.
" Thoughtful, thought-provoking introduction to World War I, the war touted to be the War to End All Wars, Not just for middle grade readers--good for anyone who wants to better understand the era and how America came into the fight. " Ronda said.
" This book put World War I in perspective and highlighted, to me at least, exaggerations and inaccuracies I picked up from school about this war. It did a good job explaining new vocabulary for students not familiar with the terms so even if a student didn't have much background knowledge of World War I, they would still find this book accessible. " Cortney Mere said.
" This book sounds fascinating and I am hoping to read it soon. World War I is an era I do not know much about, but as it had such a large impact on my parents lives, and my mother just passed, I want to know more. The most education thing I have witnessed so far about World War I is a video game called Valiant Hearts, which truly showed me more than anything they taught me in school. " Irvina said.
"Disclaimer: I read this book as an advance copy from Netgalley. My thanks go to them, ABRAMS Kids and to the author, Linda Barrett Osborne, for this opportunity. The opinions stated in the review are my own.
This is a very interesting look at the events surrounding the United States involvement with World War I. I studied some US history several years ago, both at school and at University, and was fascinated by how the different US political approach to conflict contrasted to that of the European history that I also studied. This book focuses on the build up to and the fighting of World War I from a US perspective and gives an interesting and detailed account of this time in American history. The information is presented with clarity and insight that make it a illuminating read. The text is augmented by photographs which portray both military and civilian life as well as propaganda posters. The text never veers into stuffy fact recounting but gives a human look at the political decisions, the character of the decision makers involved, the prevailing attitudes and concerns to American citizens and the experience of fighting the markedly different form of warfare to any that preceded it.
I enjoyed the details that were included such as the victory garden grown in the White House, complete with sheep to trim the lawn. They certainly would wreak havoc with the security sensors of the modern day White House!
This book has a wide scope but it doesn't feel messy in any way, it balances the importance of the war, the impact it had in both human and social terms and is an excellent text. From reading this there are now areas I wish to learn about in greater details. As a text aimed at young people studying this period in history for the first time I think this would be very suitable." Violet Clouds said.
"This is a complete history of World War 1. How it started and how typical Americans felt about our participation in it. (Spoiler- we weren't all convinced it was a very good idea) The fact that we passed espionage laws for the first time was telling. The press was censored in all print forms. It should have been the war to end all wars as at was sold to the public but instead by studying this war it is easy to see why WW2 ended up happening. Germany was defeated, but they still occupied parts of France and Belgium.
I was also unaware of the amount and far reach of the propaganda that the US government rolled out to keep public opinion on the side of fighting the war. I think most kids reading this book will find parallels to some of the political issues of today.
The galley copy I read has lots of good photos, a very complete timeline and an excellent bibliography for fleshing out any rabbit trails you might encounter inside.
I'm adding it to my WW1 reading list, and I'll be pre- ordering it. I'll update this post if the print version turns out to be different than this galley." Jen Naughton said.
"Read the full review at An Inkling Reviews
This book was great! Where was it in 2014 when all of my students were writing about WW1 because of the centenary? It's absolutely perfect for a school library, and a good pick for budding history buffs.
What I liked
Covers different aspects of the war: Barrett Osborne provides information regarding the front lines, the home front, the roles of women and African Americans, weapons used, whether or not the US was actually neutral, and much more. Information on propaganda was mixed throughout the book. I really like that it covers violations of civil rights and the impact of the Espionage and Sedition Acts.
Good attempt at showing the viewpoints of the different sides involved: By presenting the point of view of other countries, Barrett Osborne gives a balanced and well rounded history lesson for middle school readers.
African Americans and Women: While there is only one chapter for each of the these topics, they are not ignored through the rest of the book. It's always been difficult to find quality age appropriate material on African Americans and women's life/rights/roles during this time period.
Pictures & propaganda posters: While I wish that there were more propaganda posters included, this book does use some great images that help readers connect with the time period.
This isn't a book that most families or kids will pick up for leisure reading, but it is an excellent book for libraries or teachers to pick up to support their curriculum. Middle Schoolers interested in military history, or this topic in general, will find this a great selection. I also recommend that any homeschooling family covering WW1get this book up from their local library. This is a great resource and tries to give a well rounded view of events and points of view in under 200 pages." Inkling Reviews said.
"E ARC From Edelweiss Above the Treeline
This was certainly very completed, well researched, and had a decent amount of pictures to accompany the text. However, since WWI is not a topic covered in our school curriculum, I have more need for shorter, more interesting books on the topic. The text in this was very dense, which is great for research or for high school students who want a complete overview, but I don't think my middle school students would pick it up to read for fun. I need a few more books on various topics concerning WWI, but this just didn't quite fit the bill. " Ms. Yingling said.