Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Tom Streissguth
Publisher: Essential Library
The khaki brown and red accents surrounding black and white war photographs on the cover of this book make it easily identifiable as a World War II text. This narration jumps right in to the Battle of Britain itself, later providing some brief contextualization to the war itself. Each glossy page features a full page photo depicting some aspect of the war accompanied by a sensitive narration of events occurring at the time. A bit lengthy for a traditional picture book, this text has some appeal for both primary and intermediate age children. Young children will be comfortable with the picture book style formatting, large pictures, and clean depictions of war, while the intermediate audience will better understand the context, vocabulary usage, and overall length of text.
Overall, the intended audience for this text is a bit difficult to place. While the pictures are intriguing and the information in the text is accented with alluring facts about the machinery used or stories of particularly fascinating individuals, the lack of contextualization for this story is a glaring issue opposing many young readers. This audience would benefit from a few more maps, definitions, and appendices in addition to the six short pages in the back of the book offering glossary terms, and a sparse timeline. This book would probably be best used as a supplementary resource to upper elementary students studying World War II as it presents additional information in an interesting way, but is not extremely helpful as a stand-alone text.
*Contains mild violence.