*Starred Review* This handsome anthology, expressing Americans’ varied experience during wartime, is a fine selection of poems accessible to children. Each poem appears on one or two pages, accompanied by strong, yet graceful illustrations. Though not all content is tied to a particular conflict and not all the poets are American, the poems work well together to represent book’s sections: the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq. Each section begins with a short quote from a philosopher, political leader, or military officer and a few brief comments on the conflict. Once the poems begin, though, readers will be transported from the broad view to the particulars by the thoughts, words, and experiences of people affected by war in different ways. The poems will touch readers with their sharp poignancy and undeniable power. Throughout the well-designed book, the expressive watercolor artwork enhances the poetry and gives a sweeping sense of unity and dignity to diverse points of view. Grades 5-8. --Carolyn Phelan
About the Author
LEE BENNETT HOPKINS
is a distinguished poet, writer, and anthologist whose poetry collections include the highly acclaimed Hand in Hand: An American History Through Poetry
, illustrated by Peter Fiore, and My America: A Poetry Atlas of the United States
, and America at War
, both illustrated by Stephen Alcorn. Mr. Hopkins’s numerous awards include the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for “lasting contributions to children’s literature” and both the Christopher Award and a Golden Kite Honor for his verse novel Been to Yesterdays: Poems of a Life
. He lives in Cape Coral, Florida.
Born in the United States, Stephen Alcorn
spent his formative, teenage years in Florence, Italy, where he attended the Istituto Statale d'Arte, an experience that infused his work with an appreciation for history and a passion for experimentation in a multitude of mediums. Since then he has embraced an equally broad spectrum of themes and subjects, including the interpretation of literary classics, interpretation of poetry, nineteenth-century American history, and notably, the African-American experience -- resulting in a stream of award-winning projects for adult, young adult, and young readers alike. America at War
is Alcorn's fifth collaboration with Lee Bennett Hopkins.
Mr. Alcorn lives with his wife, Sabina, and four cats in an eighteenth-century farmhouse in the heart of Cambridge, New York, surrounded by the pastoral farmland of Washington County. An overview of his work may be viewed at www.alcorngallery.com.