Zullo, Allan. Heroes of Pearl Harbor (Ten True Tales)
October 25th 2016 by Scholastic Inc.
Copy provided by Young Adult Books Central
Zullo starts out his book with a very helpful explanation of both how the information was gathered for the book and the process he used to write the tales. Like many of his other titles (Vietnam War Heroes, Hurricane Katrina, Young Civil Rights Heroes), Zullo uses a variety of primary and secondary sources to gather information, and then writes interesting accounts by inserting dialogue, which may include epithets and language used at the time. This makes his books read like some older nonfiction titles, which is not a bad thing. Some modern narrative nonfiction gets bogged down in proving itself, but once Zullo has explained his process, we are free to immerse ourselves in the stories of the event.
I especially appreciated the map at the beginning of the book-- although I have read many books about the attacks on Pearl Harbor, I didn't quite realize the number of ships that were anchored there. Being able to visualize where the ships were helps, especially since Zullo has picked out stories from a number of different ships.
The stories themselves cover a wide variety of experiences, and are told in very exciting language that is clearly aimed at showcasing the bravery of those involved. Notes at the end of each chapter delineate the extent of the damage on the ship involved, and where necessary, tell the fates of the crew members. It is a nice touch that the lives of survivors are given a brief overview as well.
While there is a glossary at the end of the book, there is no index or bibliography, and there are no pictures in the book. There are many other sources that have these-- both National Geographic and Dorling Kindersley have lovely compilations of WWII pictures and there are specialized volumes on just about every facet of the war. Readers need only stop by the 940.53 section of their local libraries for a wealth of these.
Even though the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor just passed, the interest on the topic has not waned. It is difficult to keep aficionados stocked with enough books on World War II, and this newest Ten True Tales will be snapped up quickly. It's the sort of book that will be read under the covers with a flashlight by interested readers until the pages start to fall out.