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WAR IS... by Marc Aronson


Soldiers, Survivors, and Storytellers Talk About War

edited by Marc Aronson, Patty Campbell

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3625-8
Publisher: Candlewick

Two editors give this anthology of writing about war a split personality. In her introduction, Campbell describes her “passionate revulsion toward war”; in his, Aronson argues for the inevitability of war and the need to understand it. The pieces cover both angles but vary in power. Highlights include the fine reportage of Ernie Pyle and Chris Hedges, the anguished Nagasaki memoir of Fumiko Miura and strong short stories by Mark Twain, Rita Williams-Garcia and Margo Lanagan. Less powerful and literary in comparison are a “miliblog,” interviews and letters. Since many of the pieces are about the war in Iraq, oddly absent is a piece analyzing how the United States got involved in the first place. A Further Reading section, offering a long list of classic and young-adult literature about war categorized by particular wars, ancient to modern, is especially valuable. An essential resource for readers, librarians and teachers, with important writings they might not come across otherwise. (Anthology. 14 & up)