Monday, April 2, 2012
Nonfiction Monday: Today's Air Force Heroes by Miriam Aronin
In our town, quite a few kids have parents, siblings, or relatives in the military. Some of them may be considering military careers themselves. Others are just interested in high action stories of bravery and courage - with dangerous weapons. And who isn't?
The book begins with a very noncommittal and brief introduction to the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The focus here is the specific acts of bravery of various soldiers, so the simple introduction is appropriate. It covers the September 11, 2001 attacks and explains why America went to war with Iraq and Afghanistan. Then we are introduced to the heroes of the Air Force.
Senior Master Sergeant Noel Sepulveda rescued many people from the attacks on the Pentagon despite his own injuries. Senior Airman Jason Cunningham, a medic, treated and saved many wounded soldiers in a rescue attempt before dying from his own injuries. Captain (now Major) Kim Campbell managed to safely fly a "Warthog" back to base after being hit by enemy fire. Staff Sergeant Earl Covel risked his life to direct the jets coming to the rescue of him and his team. Special Agent Gregory Carmack saved lives by killing a terrorist trying to set off a car bomb.
These stories conclude with more short stories about heroic acts from Air Force members outside of combat - in Hurricane Katrina and in caring for young children in Iraq and Afghanistan.The book concludes with a glossary, bibliography, further resources, index, and links to the publisher's website and more information online.
Each section about the Air Force heroes gives information about their hometowns, medals, and a photograph. Additional information about the Air Force, history of the conflicts, and more is included in the plentiful photographs and captions. The book also shows a diversity of genders and races both in the generic photographs and in the heroes chosen to highlight.
Verdict: This will be a top pick for students who like military history and information and a great supplemental resource for those looking to do reports on contemporary figures. The series includes volumes on the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, and Marines as well. Highly recommended.