Our Military, Our Presidents | Government & Military Series Nonfiction

This season’s government and military series separate myth from fact in titles about American culture, presidents, and armed forces.

Presidents, United States military forces, and American cultural icons are featured in this season’s government and military series. Readers will learn how presidential myths differ from the facts, the roles and history of the American armed forces, and facets of American culture. Some titles will be enjoyed by subject enthusiasts while others will be useful for reports.



ADAMSON, Thomas K. The American Revolution. ISBN 9781503880535.
––––. The Civil War. ISBN 9781503880542.
––––. World War I. ISBN 9781503880580.
––––. World War II. ISBN 9781503880597.
STREISSGUTH, Tom. The Korean War. ISBN 9781503880566.
––––. The Vietnam War. ISBN 9781503880573.
WINTER, Max. The Afghanistan War. ISBN 9781503880528.
YASUDA, Anita. The Gulf War. ISBN 9781503880559.
ea vol: 32p. (Fighting for Freedom). Child’s World/Stride. Jan. 2024. Tr. $35.64.
Gr 1-3–Basic overviews of wars involving the United States are featured in these eight volumes. Each title includes background, battles, personalities involved, and conclusions. Readers learn about Washington’s strategy during the American Revolution, how slavery was a primary factor in the Civil War, that the United States entered World War I due to attacks on shipping, and the progression of World War II in Europe and the Pacific. The United States’ involvement in the conflicts between the divided countries of Korea and Vietnam is covered in those titles. Likewise, the events up to and including the Gulf War and The Afghanistan War are neatly presented. Illustrations and photographs are provided to enhance the text. Each volume contains age-appropriate information, although some errors may throw off readers. The Civil War mistakenly refers to Atlanta as the capital of Georgia in 1864. In World War II a photograph of a destroyer is mislabeled as a battleship. World War II also omits references to the campaigns in Africa, Italy, and much of the Pacific, thus rendering this volume less comprehensive than the others. VERDICT Excepting the volume on World War II, these volumes provide adequate introductions of the wars to younger audiences and should be considered for purchase where collections need to be refreshed.

BABY PROFESSOR. The Modern American: Teaching Patriotism in Grade 2 Students. ISBN 9781541989979.
––––. Older Than Granny: Historic Buildings, Statues and Monuments in the USA. ISBN 9781541998223.
––––. Sonya and Her Fiestas: Understanding Cultural Holidays in America Grade 2. ISBN 9781541998230.
––––. Why Do We Have National Holidays? The Origins of National Holidays in the US. ISBN 9781541989986.
ea vol: 72p. (US National Identity Collection). Speedy/Baby Professor. Feb. 2024. Tr. $31.99.
Gr 1-3–Various aspects of the United States’ cultural identity are explored in these four titles. In Older than Granny, readers are provided brief overviews of the American flag, the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, and sites in Washington, D.C. Sonya and Her Fiestas focuses on ethnic and religious holidays such as Chinese New Year, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. The Modern American defines patriotism and relates facts on the flag, the Star-Spangled Banner, and the Pledge of Allegiance. Why Do We Have National Holidays? discusses Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Independence Day. Serviceable illustrations accompany the text, which is laid out in two-page spreads. Mostly factual and neatly presented, there are some errors and misspellings that might throw off young readers. Most of this age-appropriate information can be found in many other volumes that are probably already on library shelves. VERDICT Given errors contained and the fact that the presented information is available elsewhere, selectors should pass on these.

KNOPP, Ezra E.Myths and Facts About Abraham Lincoln. ISBN 9781499444025.
––––. Myths and Facts About George Washington. ISBN 9781499444056.
––––. Myths and Facts About John F. Kennedy. ISBN 9781499444117.
––––. Myths and Facts About Theodore Roosevelt. ISBN 9781499444148.
––––. Myths and Facts About Thomas Jefferson. ISBN 9781499444179.
––––. Myths and Facts About Ulysses S. Grant. ISBN 9781499444087.
ea vol: 24p. (U.S. Presidents: Myths or Facts?). Rosen/PowerKids. Dec. 2023. Tr. $25.27.
Gr 2-4–There are many legends about the United States presidents. The author successfully separates the facts from the myths. Readers learn that Lincoln did not write the Gettysburg Address on an envelope while traveling to the battlefield, there is no evidence George Washington chopped down a cherry tree, and Kennedy did not call himself a jelly donut at the Berlin Wall. Theodore Roosevelt did watch Lincoln’s funeral procession from a window, Jefferson doubled the size of the country with the Louisiana Purchase, and Grant was arrested for speeding while president. Some photos and paintings are included but the volumes are mostly comprised of text on colorful pages. Information is factual and many will find it interesting; more importantly it will negate the perceptions provided by perennial presidential mythology. VERDICT These colorful volumes offer better understanding of presidential mythology and will be of use in school and public libraries.


Upper Elementary to Middle School

CROOKS-JOHNSON, Jenny. Life in the Marine Force Recon. ISBN 9781678207502.
EDWARDS, Sue Bradford. Life as an Army Ranger. ISBN 9781678207465.
GAGNE, Tammy. Life as a Navy SEAL. ISBN 9781678207427.
HENZEL, Cynthia Kennedy. Life as a Green Beret. ISBN 9781678207403.
––––. Life as a Pararescue Specialist. ISBN 9781678207441.
XIE ,Chelsea. Life in the Delta Force. ISBN 9781678207489.
ea vol: 64p. (Life in the Special Forces). Reference Point/BrightPoint. Mar. 2024. Tr. $32.95.
Gr 5 Up–Facts about elite forces within the United States military are presented in these six volumes. Each title contains information on the objectives of each force, requirements for recruits, weapons and vehicles employed, and examples of famous missions. Readers learn that the Marine Force Recon rescued captured soldier Jessica Lynch, the Army Rangers gather information and conduct raids, and the Navy SEALS use mini submarines to transport members on underwater missions. The Green Berets often work with foreign guerillas, only 20% of recruits complete pararescue training, and members of the Delta Force employ the Colt M1911 pistol and the M4 Carbine. Colorful illustrations accompany the texts. The narratives are informative and comprehensive but may prove dry for casual readers. Two volumes, Life as a Navy SEAL and Life as a Pararescue Specialist use the former name of Fort Moore (Fort Benning) which may confuse some. Only those with a keen interest in the subjects will read; others will use for reports. VERDICT For collections with a demand for military subjects and whose collections need updating, these volumes will be suitable enough.

GAGNE, Tammy. The Armed Forces Encyclopedia. ISBN 9781098293031.
HENZEL, Cynthia Kennedy. The War Encyclopedia. ISBN 9781098293062.
RINGSTAD, Arnold. The Military Vehicles Encyclopedia. ISBN 9781098293048.
––––. The Military Weapons Encyclopedia. ISBN 9781098293055.
ea vol: 192p. (US Military Encyclopedias). ABDO/Encyclopedias. Jan. 2024. Tr. $49.93.
Gr 4-8–Each of these comprehensive volumes provides information of the jobs, vehicles, weapons, and wars of the United States military. In The Armed Forces Encyclopediareaders learn about requirements for each branch and the many jobs in the military. The Military Vehicles Encyclopedia introduces the many vehicles employed by the military including fighter jets, tanks, and submarines. The Military Weapons Encyclopedia explains the development and uses of bayonets, missiles, mines and more. The War Encyclopedia features succinct accounts of American conflicts from the American Revolution to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Colorful illustrations, mostly photographs, complement the texts. The narratives are straightforward and informative but also dry; only the most ardent enthusiasts will choose to read. However, the books may prove useful to report writers. VERDICT Though these volumes contain factual and useful information, they are recommended as a secondary purchase.

“U.S. Presidents: Myths or Facts” (Rosen/PowerKids) introduces readers to the real people who were served as president, rather than the legends. “Fighting for Freedom” (Child’s World/Stride) provides introductions to various American conflicts to young readers. Report writers will employ “Life in the Special Forces” (Reference Point/Brightpoint) and “U.S. Military Encyclopedias” (ABDO/Encyclopedias).


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