How They Serve, How They Defend | Government & Military Series Nonfiction

The Bill of Rights, the composition of the United States government, and federal protective agencies are all topics featured in this season's collection of government and military titles.

Books explaining the Bill of Rights, the composition of the United States government, and federal protective agencies are featured this season. Information about military weapons including tanks, jets, and robots are also included, as are volumes on various engagements in American wars. Most are illustrated and informative; some will entice readers with their content.



Knopp, Ezra E. Citizenship.ISBN 9781642828931.
––––. The Executive Branch.ISBN 9781642828962.
––––. The Judicial Branch.ISBN 9781642828993.
––––. The Legislative Branch.ISBN 9781642829020.
––––. Paying Taxes.ISBN 9781642829082.
––––. State and Local Governments.ISBN 9781642829112.
––––. The U.S. Constitution.ISBN 9781642829051.
––––. U.S. Elections.ISBN 9781642829143.
ea vol: 32p. (Discover More: Your Government). Rosen/Britannica Educational Publishing. Aug. 2023. Tr $29.53.
Gr 2-4–Various aspects of the United States government are covered in these eight volumes. Readers learn the importance and requirements of United States citizenship, why taxes are paid, the responsibilities of state and local governments, and the roles of the three branches of the federal government. They will also read about the history and content of the United States Constitution and the imperative of elections. Numerous color photographs accompany the concise, straightforward text. The information contained is accurate and age appropriate with photographs of the current Supreme Court, president, and vice-president featured. In addition, titles relate reasons for the existence of each government body or function. For instance, the Constitution came about because of the weakness of the Articles of Confederation and the two chambers of Congress were a result of a compromise. Likewise, “taxation without representation” is discussed in the title Paying Taxes. While there are many other volumes on these topics available, these benefit from being up-to-date. VERDICT The currency of these titles and the curriculum value they provide make this series worthy of consideration in school and public libraries.

Stratton, Connor. Congress.ISBN 9781637395905.
––––. Local Governments.ISBN 9781637395912.
––––. President.ISBN 9781637395929.
––––. State Governments.ISBN 9781637395936.
––––. Supreme Court.ISBN 9781637395943.
––––. Tribal Governments.ISBN 9781637395950.
ea vol: 24p. (American Government). North Star Editions/Focus Readers. Aug. 2023. Tr $28.50.
Gr 2-4–These six volumes provide neat and readable introductions to the various government bodies within the United States. In Congress, readers learn that Congress passes laws and is comprised of a Senate and House of Representatives. Local Governments explains the duties of cities and counties, such as taxation and the provision of courts, schools, and libraries. The requirements and duties of the United States president are outlined in President. State Governments explains how states are run by governors and make laws for licensing. Supreme Court relates the requirements of the appointed justices in fulfilling their duties. Tribal Governments informs readers that Native Nations within the United States create their own laws while respecting the United States government. Straightforward and appropriately informative, these volumes do a fine job of conveying necessary information on their respective topics. Photos and maps, including the newest Supreme Court justices and the 2024/2028 electoral college distribution maps complement the texts. Libraries will find the volume on trival governments especially useful, as there is little information out there on this topic. VERDICT The accessibility and currency of information herein make these volumes valuable; school and public libraries alike should consider for purchase.

Willis, John. Aircraft Carriers.ISBN 9781791155308.
––––. Fighter Jets.ISBN 9781791155353.
––––. Helicopters.ISBN 9781791155384.
––––. Humvees.ISBN 9781791155414.
––––. Submarines.ISBN 9781791155445.
––––. Tanks.ISBN 9781791155476.
ea vol: 24p. (Mega Military Machines). Lightbox Learning/AV2. Aug. 2023. Tr $31.41.
Gr 1-3–Young military enthusiasts will greatly appreciate these six volumes featuring vehicles employed by the various United States armed forces. Large photographs of the respective weapons encompass entire pages while boxes encase accompanying text. Interesting facts are related; readers learn aircraft carriers are huge ships with long, flat decks, jet engines help move fighter jets forward, and helicopters can fly backward. Brief mentions of the history of each vehicle include facts sure to captivate readers, such as that the first tanks were made over 100 years ago. Large, colorful photographs are the real draw, and the text and illustrations combine to make these titles excellent, age-appropriate introductions to the various craft currently used by the military. VERDICT The facts and photos will entice browsers; selectors should consider for elementary collections.


Upper Elementary to Middle School

Bolte, Mari. Aircraft Carriers in Action.ISBN 9781728491660.
––––. Drones in Action.ISBN 9781728491684.
––––. Fighter Jets in Action.ISBN 9781728491691.
––––. Helicopters in Action.ISBN 9781728491707.
––––. Military Robots in Action.ISBN 9781728491714.
––––. Submarines in Action.ISBN 9781728491721.
––––. Tanks in Action.ISBN 9781728491738.
––––. Warships in Action.ISBN 9781728491677.
ea vol: 32p. (Military Machines). Lerner. Aug. 2023. Tr $30.65.
Gr 4-6–Examinations of the various machines employed by the United States military are presented in these eight volumes. Readers learn the purpose of each machine, such as how aircraft carriers support missions at sea, drones provide real time information to help soldiers, and helicopters can carry tons of supplies. Statistical data is likewise provided; some fighter jets can obtain speeds of 1,875 miles per hour, submarines can dive more than 600 feet below the surface, and the United States Navy has 92 cruisers and destroyers. Fans of drones will be impressed by their military uses, including unmanned “ghost” ships employed by the navy. Robot enthusiasts will appreciate how robots can take over both boring and dangerous military missions. Text accompanying the colorful photographs of each machine is straightforward and informative. Young military fans are sure to appreciate these titles. VERDICT Colorful illustrations and interesting military topics make these volumes attractive to young enthusiasts. Recommended for purchase.

Boutland, Craig. Weapons and Machines of the Cold War.ISBN 9781502669155.
––––. Weapons and Machines of the Gulf War.ISBN 9781502669186.
––––. Weapons and Machines of the Vietnam War.ISBN 9781502669216.
––––. Weapons and Machines of World War I.ISBN 9781502669247.
––––. Weapons and Machines of World War II.ISBN 9781502669278.
ea vol: 48p. (Weapons and Machines in Warfare). Cavendish Square Publishing. Cavendish Square. Aug. 2023. Tr $33.07.
Gr 5-8–Overviews of weapons used in key 20th century conflicts are presented in these five volumes. Readers learn about aircraft, battleships, gas, pistols, rifles, and more. World War I combatants were the first to use planes and tanks, items that were improved upon greatly in later conflicts. Weapons in the Vietnam War included chemical weapons designed to destroy vegetation, the M79 Grenade Launcher, and the Cold War featured spy satellites. Enthusiasts of military history and weapons will appreciate the statistics included, such as that the F-15 Eagle had a 104-0 “kills” record, triplanes could climb to 20,000 feet, and the M79 Grenade Launcher could fire grenades up to 385 yards. The accompanying photographs complement the texts. Direct sentences and factual information make these volumes of value to military enthusiasts and report writers. VERDICT Informative and interesting, these titles provide serviceable descriptions of 20th-century weapons and should be considered for public and school collections.

Bow, James. Powerful Military Robots.ISBN 9781503816718.
Gagne, Tammy. Powerful Military Watercraft.ISBN 9781503816725.
Hamen, Susan E. Powerful Tanks.ISBN 9781503816671.
Henzel, Cynthia Kennedy. Powerful Machine Guns.ISBN 9781503816688.
––––. Powerful Military Aircraft.ISBN 9781503816695.
––––. Powerful Military Drones.ISBN 9781503816749.
––––. Powerful Military Technology.ISBN 9781503816701.
Ringstad, Arnold. Powerful Missiles and Bombs.ISBN 9781503816732.
ea vol: 24p. (Military’s Most Powerful). The Child’s World/Stride. Aug. 2023. Tr $32.79.
Gr 3-6–Robots, machine guns, drones, missiles, warships, and more are examined in these eight volumes. The authors discuss how the respective machines work and what they do. The underlying theme is safety for military personnel, highlighting how drones and robots handle dangerous jobs for humans. Readers learn that robots can put out fires on ships, the M249 can fire 850 rounds per minute, the C-5M Super Galaxy is the largest U.S. military aircraft, and the special paint used on the B-21 Raider bomber deflects radar. Some of the data included is quite detailed, and there is much for interested readers to glean. Photographs and diagrams complement the informative texts nicely. Future engineers will probably enjoy these titles as much as military enthusiasts, as they will find this technology quite impressive. VERDICT These well-written volumes will be appreciated by middle grade readers who are interested in the military as well as engineering and require more than nice photographs. Selectors should consider.

Gitlin, Marty. CIA.ISBN 9781623106164.
––––. FBI.ISBN 9781623106171.
––––. Federal Protective Service.ISBN 9781623106188.
Lowell, Barbara. NSA.ISBN 9781623106195.
––––. Secret Service.ISBN 9781623106201.
––––. U.S. Marshals.ISBN 9781623106218.
ea vol: 32p. (Federal Protectors). Black Rabbit Books. Bolt. Jul. 2023. Tr $37.10.
Gr 3-6–These six volumes, highlighting the various federal agencies created to protect people and tackle crime, provide a basic introduction for young readers. Both facts and figures are included; for example, one role of U.S. Marshals is to locate missing children, the FBI was formed in 1908 to investigate crimes, and the FPS was created to guard federal buildings. Training and educational requirements are highlighted as well. The narratives are straightforward and informative, and photographs of agents in action accompany the text. All in all, these titles provide solid introductions to these important security providers. VERDICT The accessible narratives and interesting subject matter should entice young readers, and librarians should consider where there is a demand.

Gitlin, Marty. F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.ISBN 9781680208573.
––––. F-14 Tomcat.ISBN 9781680208528.
––––. F-15E Strike Eagle.ISBN 9781680208535.
––––. F-16 Fighting Falcon.ISBN 9781680208542.
––––. F-22 Raptor.ISBN 9781680208559.
––––. F-35A Lightning II.ISBN 9781680208566.
ea vol: 24p. (America’s Fighter Jets). Mitchell Lane/Little Mitchie. Aug. 2023. Tr $34.28.
Gr 4-6–These six volumes share basic information on various fighter jets produced by the United States. Each begins with an exciting example of the specific fighter plane in action, such as a pilot shooting down a drone in an F-35A Lightning II or the F-16 Fighting Falcon strafing enemy forces in Afghanistan. Readers learn what companies produced them, how fast they flew, what armaments they contained, and in which wars they were engaged. All of these facts are combined with underwhelming photographs. There are at least a couple of notable errors. For instance, in the volume F-14 Tomcat, it is implied the United States and Iran shared friendly relations in 1985; a subsequent explanation that the United States and Iran have not been friendly since 1979 will cause confusion. Outside some statistical information that can be used for reports, these titles will not be given a second glance by most fighter jet enthusiasts as better books on this popular topic abound. VERDICT Mundane text and unexciting illustrations, combined with factual errors, mean librarians should pass.


Upper Middle School to High School

Bell, Samantha S. Freedom of Speech and the Press.ISBN 9781678206949.
Havemeyer, Janie. Individual Rights and Liberties.ISBN 9781678206963.
––––. Rule by the People.ISBN 9781678206987.
Mihaly, Christy. Separation of Government Powers.ISBN 9781678207007.
Normandeau, Sheryl. Fair Elections and Voting Rights.ISBN 9781678206925.
ea vol: 64p. (Understanding American Democracy). ReferencePoint/BrightPoint. Sept. 2023. Tr $32.95.
Gr 6-9–With a primary focus on the amendments to the United States Constitution, these five volumes explain the rights and freedoms of American citizens. An examination of two tenets of the First Amendment is provided in Freedom of Speech and the Press. Individual Rights and Liberties explains the meanings of the other amendments, such as the right to bear arms and the abolition of poll taxes. Rule by the People and Fair Elections and Voting Rights cover voting information and requirements for candidates. Separation of Government Powers discusses the three branches of government and the differing responsibilities of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The narratives employ simple, straightforward sentences making these easy reads, and the accompanying photographs complement the texts. Additionally, these volumes have an advantage of currency as they include events of the past few years and one contains a photograph of the current United States Supreme Court. VERDICT Informative if not exciting, these volumes will be suitable for reports and selectors should consider purchase where collections need refreshing.

Boutland, Craig. What Happened at Fort Sumter?ISBN 9781499474312.
––––. What Happened at Lexington and Concord?ISBN 9781499474343.
––––. What Happened at Pearl Harbor?ISBN 9781499474374.
––––. What Happened During the Cuban Missile Crisis?ISBN 9781499474404.
––––. What Happened on D-Day?ISBN 9781499474435.
ea vol: 48p. (Major Events in U.S. Military History). Rosen/Rosen Young Adult. Aug. 2023. Tr $33.47.
Gr 5-8–The events surrounding major milestones in United States military history are presented in these five volumes. Readers learn about the Confederate capture of Fort Sumter, the specifics of the battles at Lexington and Concord, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Russian attempts to place nuclear weapons close to United States borders, and the World War II invasion of Normandy. Included background information provides context, for example, national divisions over slavery led to the attack on Fort Sumter. Resulting occurrences, such as how the success of D-Day was a determining factor in ending World War II, are outlined as well. Photographs accompany the narratives. Though comprehensive, the texts are dense and dry. An error in What Happened during the Cuban Missile Crisis—“John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the 35th U.S. President on January 19, 1961”—might confuse some readers. VERDICT These topics are covered by many other sources that provide more interesting reads. Selectors may consider individual volumes as supplemental to curriculum; browsers will pass.

Keppeler, Jill. What Are States’ Rights?ISBN 9781499469820.
––––. What Is Free Speech?ISBN 9781499469646.
Klatte, Kathleen A. What Is Cruel and Unusual Punishment?ISBN 9781499469790.
––––. What Is the Right to Bear Arms?ISBN 9781499469677.
––––. What Is Unreasonable Search and Seizure?ISBN 9781499469707.
Tolli, Jenna. What Is “Pleading the Fifth”?ISBN 9781499469738.
––––. What Is the Right to a Trial by Jury?ISBN 9781499469769.
ea vol: 48p. (Rosen Verified: The Bill of Rights). Rosen/Rosen Young Adult. Aug. 2023. Tr $33.47.
Gr 5-9–This new seven-volume series highlights the rights guaranteed to United States’ citizens by the Bill of Rights. Readers learn the rights and limitations of free speech, how the Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches, and how the Fifth through Eighth amendments protect those accused of crimes. Each amendment is explained within the historical context of the Founding Fathers’ original grievances with Great Britain. The role of the Supreme Court is also featured. Overall these volumes offer balanced information, although the website to the ACLU is promoted in nearly all titles while the ACLJ is omitted. Much space in What Is the Right to Bear Arms? is dedicated to explaining the differences between the lifestyles of 18th century and 21st century Americans, slanting this narrative to the anti-gun side of the issue. What Is Cruel and Unusual Punishment? contains an error—it states that some of the convicted “witches” in Salem, Massachusetts were burned and drowned. Though fairly comprehensive, much of the information supplied in these volumes is covered elsewhere, frequently on educational websites and titles already owned in libraries. VERDICT Each title should be considered individually and only as a refresher to established collections.


Report writers will benefit from “American Government” (North Star Editions), “Discover More: Your Government” (Rosen) and “Understanding American Democracy” (ReferencePoint). Military enthusiasts will appreciate the photographs and text in “Mega Military Machines” (Lightbox Learning) and “Military Machines” (Lerner), while aspiring engineers will appreciate the technological features of “Military’s Most Powerful” (The Child’s World).



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