April 19, 2018

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Come On in, America: The United States in World War I by Linda Osborne | SLJ Review

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redstarOSBORNE, Linda Barrett. Come On in, America: The United States in World War I. 176p. bibliog. index. photos. reprods. Abrams. Mar. 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781419723780.

NF-Osborne-ComeOnInAmericaGr 9 Up –What begins as an overview of U.S. involvement in World War I expands into how the Great War impacted the lives of Americans at home and on the battlefield. Osborne effectively juxtaposes issues such as censorship, propaganda, prejudice, discrimination, and violence that arose in the United States against the democratic ideals for which U.S. troops went to war. The Allies and the Central Powers are consistently written as multidimensional. Chapters that focus on the contributions of African Americans and women to the war effort are illuminating and adeptly contextualized. When expounding on the war’s legacy, Osborne links the League of Nations, isolationism, and the Treaty of Versailles to other historical and current events. Familiar and lesser-known photographs and posters, some depicting casualties, engage readers with a sense of time and place. The occasional explanation of words (e.g., posthumously and deported) and a few awkward sentences distract from the otherwise skillfully written text. Osborne’s title, while similar in scope to Russell Freedman’s The War To End All Wars: World War I and Ann Bausum’s Unraveling Freedom: The Battle for Democracy on the Home Front During World War I, provides more depth on the experience of African Americans and women. VERDICT Osborne succeeds in creating an informative book that is worthy of shelf space in all high school history collections.–Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY

This review was published in the School Library Journal March 2017 issue.