Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

You and Your Military Hero: Building Positive Thinking Skills During Your Hero's Deployment

Title: You and Your Military Hero: Building Positive Thinking Skills During Your Hero's Deployment
Author: Sara Jensen-Fritz, Paula Jones-Johnson, Thea L. Zitzow
Genre: Children's, Under 12
Reviewer: John Cathcart

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1592982689/a>

You and Your Military Hero helps children learn positive coping skills during a loved one's deployment and empowers children and military families to maintain positive outlooks during this challenging time. Through positive, solution focused, and instructive activities, this activity journal makes building positive skills fun and effective. Family members as well as professionals who work with military children, will find this an invaluable resource.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Jensen-Fritz,Sara
Jones-Johnson, Paula
Zitzow, Thea L.

Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Salutes the Armed Forces

Title: Uncle John's Bathroom Reader Salutes the Armed Forces
Author: Andrew Lubin
Genre: Non-Fiction, Anthology
Reviewer: Rob Ballister

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1592239803

Uncle John takes aim at providing the heroic, historic, and entertaining stories of America’s five armed forces: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Read about:

* A history of the draft
* Dog tags then and now
* Medal of Honor winners
* MASH: the true story
* Doolittle's Raid
* What it takes to pass the tests to be in the Special Forces
* Cartoon soldiers—Sad Sack, Sergeant Rock, and Beetle Bailey
* Start of Semper Fi
* The original Flying Tiger
* War (TV) is hell
* The birth of camoflauge and khaki
* And much more!

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Lubin, Andrew

By Dammit, We're Marines! Veterans' Stories of the Heroism, Horror, and Humor in World War II on the Pacific Front

Title: By Dammit, We're Marines! Veterans' Stories of the Heroism, Horror, and Humor in World War II on the Pacific Front
Author: Gail Chatfield
Genre: Non-Fiction, Anthology
Reviewer: Mike Mullins

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 097790394X

Technology changes with every war, but the universal human experience of combat remains the same. Marines and soldiers from the battlefields of Valley Forge to the streets of Fallujah understand patriotism, fear, death, loneliness, and the humor that helps them through the rough times. By Dammit, We're Marines! is a collection of eye witness accounts by 52 veterans who served on the Pacific Front during World War II. When ordered to secure another Japanese-held island, these Marines grabbed their M-1 rifles, climbed down rope ladders into the waiting landing craft, and hit the beaches. They faced not only an embedded, well-equipped enemy, but also flesh shredding coral reefs, malarial and dengue fever-ridden jungles, mosquito and crocodile-infested swamps, and a noxious moonscape sulfur island. The author's father was one of those Marines who fought on Bougainville, Guam, and Iwo Jima. He died when she was 15 and never shared his wartime stories. Wanting to learn more, Chatfield sought out veterans of those conflicts. Their stories offer a literary archeological dig of sorts into 1940's culture and technology. Body armor was a canvas shirt with a metal covered copy of the Bible in the breast pocket. Camouflage clothing was do-it-yourself burlap suits stippled with Max Factor women's make-up. Cutting edge medicine was sulfa tablets to treat infection and blood plasma shipped in glass bottles to field hospitals. Canvas hammocks stacked 8-10 high served as bunks aboard overcrowded ships. They used salt water soap for salt water baths and were issued OPA tickets, V-mail, C-rations, K-rations, and helmets that served as sinks and saucepans. Creating the safest foxhole took some ingenuity and a few discarded tank parts. Most of the veterans interviewed in this book are Marines, but war is a collaborative effort. Marines were transported by the Navy, relieved by the Army, and most of the time their job was to secure airfields for the Army Air Corps. No story of the Marines would be complete without hearing from those branches of service. Chaplains, corpsmen, sailors, soldiers, and B-29 bomb crews share their stories of serving with the Marines. These veterans offer their stores as a part of our historical record with the hope that battles like Saipan, Bougainville, and Iwo Jima will never happen again

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Chatfield, Gail

Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform

Title: Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform
Author/Editor: Jeffery Hess
Genre: Non-Fiction, Anthology
Reviewer: Elliot Parker

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0982441606

Among these stories by writers, including Kurt Vonnegut, Tim O'Brien, Tobias Wolff, Chris Offutt, Benjamin Percy and many others, you'll find shipbuilders and sailors, pilots, wild dogs, battles-both physical and emotional, misunderstandings, fistfights, and the wounds of unrequited love. There are parades and hurricanes, people getting high and some merely getting by, as well as the human sacrifices made, the losses endured, the hardships faced because of or in spite of some connection to the military. If you've served, you might recognize a couple of these characters, or their situations. Maybe you will relate to some because you're just like them or because they served in the same place you did. If you've never served, but have had contact with someone who has, you may find similarities between a character here and a person you thought you knew. Each [story] is different in the way it approaches the lives of these individuals at certain points of the modern era, but each will entertain you, and challenge, and stay with you. - from the Introduction, by Jeffery Hess, editor

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Hess, Jeffery

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