From School Library Journal
Grade 4-6-- Hargrove's text relates historic events in a simple but dramatic fashion. All of the major developments are covered, including the discoveries about the abuse of power in East Germany. Brief introductory material describes how Germany came to be divided and how the two societies developed; the joy of the Germans at reunification is included, but the major economic and social problems are not addressed. Oddly enough, the real hero of the story as told here is Mikhail Gorbachev. The full-color and black-and-white photos are clear and compelling. In Airlift , the denouement of the American experience in Vietnam is treated by Kent as a triumph of U. S. generosity toward that country's people. He begins with a brief history of the conflict, and the superficial presentation is unlikely to help readers' understanding of the events. The focus, however, is the April 1975 airlift, and here the account is straightforward, but the writing conveys little of the panic and chaos that reigned at the time. In addition, no attempt is made to assign responsibility for the debacle. Poignant sepia and black-and-white photos of refugees add some meaning to a text that fails to explain their desperation. Although the book closes with a brief description of how the many thousands of expatriates adapted to life in the U. S., there is nothing about the lives of those who remained behind. --David N. Pauli, Missoula Public Library, MT
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