The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men

368p. bibliog. glossary. index. notes. photos. Scholastic. Jan. 2019. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338251197.
Gr 7 Up—In this adaptation for young readers, the author details how 11 dedicated Allied military men and one civilian French woman fought to rescue and preserve many of the world's most valuable works of art during World War II. These items had been systematically stolen from German, French, and Italian museums and prominent Jewish families under the direction of Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goring, and their henchmen. The text begins with a photo-biography of the cast of characters, both Allied and Axis. Edsel recounts the organized looting, often times describing and naming the works of art that were being stolen or being sought. Following tips from various sources, the Monuments Men, as they were known, were able to locate, even while the war raged, many of the clandestine depositories—damaged churches, warehouses, caves, or mines. Profusely illustrated with black-and-white photos of the heroes, villains, and many of the art objects, the narrative flows smoothly, if not always compellingly. Students with knowledge of the Second World War will find this title intriguing.
VERDICT A first purchase to bolster existing World War II collections or for students with an interest in art history.

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