Secrets of the U.S. Civil War

9781515741381. ea vol: 32p. (Top Secret Files). further reading. glossary. illus. index. maps. photos. reprods. websites. Capstone. Jan. 2017. lib. ed. $27.99. pap. $7.95.
Gr 4–7—The "top secrets" in this series are clandestine, covert, or little-known incidents and operations in each war, most of which are now very well known and are routinely featured in most history books. Topics include the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, newly introduced weapons and equipment like German submarines in World War I, and spies, such as Nathan Hale in American Revolution. Books are organized into topical chapters about people, weapons and tactics, and battles. However, coverage is superficial, with most topics getting about a paragraph of text that offers little or no background. Brief "Fighting Fact" sidebars supply additional trivia. Illustrations are decidedly average, including drawings, the occasional map, and some period photos.
VERDICT Readers won't learn many "secrets" from this set, making it supplementary to most collections.
This book describes some lesser-known aspects of the Great War, with emphasis on secret plots and pacts, weapons, spies, and technology. Each topic, mainly illustrated with black-and-white photographs, is briefly covered; fact sidebars and definitions of technical terms provide supplemental information. The last chapter is an unfortunate hodgepodge of topics. Critical thinking questions using the Common Core are appended. Reading list. Glos., ind.

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