by Michael Burgan
Back Cover: Air raid! The world’s great powers are at war again. This is the Second World War—but it is history’s first war in which airplanes play a major role. You want to fly and you want to fight. Will you:
- Fly with the Royal Air Force as a British pilot and fight in the Battle of Britain?
- Dogfight as an American fighter pilot over the Pacific Ocean?
- Join the Tuskegee Airmen and be one of the first African-American aviators in the U.S. military?
Everything in this book happened to real people, and YOU CHOOSE what you do next. The choices you make could lead you to survival or to death.
Opening: YOU are living through World War II. It’s the early 1940s and airplanes, including bombers and fighters, are playing a major role in battle. You want to join the fight. Chapter One sets the scene. Then choose which path to read. Follow the directions at the bottom of each page. The choices you make will change your outcome. YOU CHOOSE the path you take through history.
About the Story: World War II Pilots is an interactive story with 3 different stories (see above), 36 choices that can send you in many direction in your story, and 20 endings or outcomes of your tour of duty. There are at least 20 stories about WWII. The war started in 1939 and dozens of countries took part in the fighting. WWI, which ended in 1918, played a major part in the Second World War. Germany had some heavy penalties after the first war, giving up land, its military, and paid France and Great Britain for damages they caused. Germany was not happy and Adolf Hitler decided to punish those that he thought weakened Germany. In World War II Pilots your journey will take you throughout the war. Where depends on your choices as you turn the pages.
What I Thought: I love these interactive books. Technically, these books are You Choose Books. I can read these books many times and never have the same story or the same ending. That is amazing for a rather small 112-page book. I also like what I learn, though not deliberately, by reading World War II Pilots over and over. Really, it is like buying 20 books for the price of one! Move over Kindle!
My parents both fought in WWII, so I find this book especially interesting. World War II Pilots is still not that far from our own families. Most kids today will say their grandparents or great-grandparents (one or both), fought in at least one of the wars. If I had interactive books like this, I probably would have enjoyed history—I detested those classes. Ironically, today I find history extremely interesting and so this book is one I would pick up for myself.
Kids studying WWII will get much out of World War II Pilots. The first chapter gives an overview of the war up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It is at this point that a choice is made; how will you join the fight. Outside of a classroom, boys will most likely enjoy this more than girls will, but I would not automatically count girls out. Even history buffs used to heavier tombs will enjoy this lighter fare. Why? It is a fun book to read.
World War II Pilots belongs in classrooms, home schools, and school libraries. History books can be dull, filled with mundane facts that bog the mind—that is why I detested history. The interactive books take the opposite approach. The history is there—okay, not in greatest depth—from the stories of actual fighting from real soldiers, making the war come alive. Kids will remember more about the war reading this interactive book, and the others in the series, than many would from studying a textbook. Maybe, after reading one or more of these books, your child will take an interest in history and that dull text.
In addition to World War II Pilots, the series includes The Attack on Pearl Harbor, World War II Infantrymen, World War II Naval Forces, World War II on the Home Front, World War II Spies, World War II, and World War I. This is quite a selection. I will try to bring a few more of this series to KLR. Which titles interest you? Reluctant readers will likely enjoy the You Choose Books for the short chapters and the additional involvement in making your own story. World War II Pilots is not your parents—or my—dull history book. Just the opposite. World War II Pilots is an exciting read that will have you turning the pages to learn of your journey and then starting all over again. What more can anyone ask of a book?
Released February 1, 2013
Ages: 8 to 12
© 2013 by Capstone Press, used with permission
Text copyright © 2013 by Michael Burgan
Capstone Press is an imprint of Capstone Publishing.
DONATED TO A LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY OR SCHOOL
FOLLOW ME ON