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ARLINGTON by Chris Demarest


The Story of Our Nation's Cemetery

by Chris Demarest, illustrated by Chris Demarest

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 26th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59643-517-9
Publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook

Fascinating historical details open a new picture book about Arlington National Cemetery. Demarest, the son of an Arlington-interred veteran, lovingly covers his subject, from its early beginnings as George Washington Parke Custis’s and then Robert E. Lee’s homes to its inauguration as a cemetery during the Civil War to the rituals and pageantry that are as much a part of Arlington as its history. Deeply pigmented watercolors tell the story, showing Arlington in every season, from all perspectives. Some of the human faces miss the mark, but the iconic image of the lone soldier saluting the flagged graves is spot-on. It is not the author’s fault that current events, particularly the scandal surrounding mishandling of remains, have become front-page news, but it does make part of this homage seem dated. Young historians and D.C. travelers will embrace this detailed, loving tribute to a very sacred place. Three pages of backmatter include a detailed timeline, information on Freedman’s Village, a personal author’s note, further reading and websites (including, strangely enough, the author’s personal photography and school-visit site). (Informational picture book. 6-10)