Reviews for Arlington : The Story of Our Nation's Cemetery


Booklist Reviews 2010 December #1
In the format of a picture book, but with a longer text, this handsome volume presents the history of Arlington National Cemetery. Telling and illustrating the story with quiet dignity, Demarest begins by noting that the rolling, wooded landscape overlooking the Potomac looks calm today, but it was not always so. Robert E. Lee lived at Arlington House with his family before the Civil War, but after his decision to side with his native Virginia during the Civil War, his home became a target for Union forces, and the land around it a cemetery for Northern troops. Since then it has become a national cemetery for soldiers who died in every American war since the Revolution. Demarest writes clearly, organizes the information well, and illustrates the story in nicely composed, sometimes luminous paintings. Back matter includes a time line, an author's note, recommended books and Internet sites, and lists of significant individuals buried at Arlington and some of the memorials there. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
This richly detailed picture book presents the origin and history of Arlington National Cemetery from its early ties to George Washington to its present-day significance. Demarest's illustrations successfully create the tranquil setting and complement the respectful tone of the thorough, well-researched text. In spite of a few significant misspellings (e.g., Fort Sumpter), this is a satisfying introduction to a national landmark. Reading list, timeline, websites. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2010 October #1

Fascinating historical details open a new picture book about Arlington National Cemetery. Demarest, the son of an Arlington-interred veteran, lovingly covers his subject, from its early beginnings as George Washington Parke Custis's and then Robert E. Lee's homes to its inauguration as a cemetery during the Civil War to the rituals and pageantry that are as much a part of Arlington as its history. Deeply pigmented watercolors tell the story, showing Arlington in every season, from all perspectives. Some of the human faces miss the mark, but the iconic image of the lone soldier saluting the flagged graves is spot-on. It is not the author's fault that current events, particularly the scandal surrounding mishandling of remains, have become front-page news, but it does make part of this homage seem dated. Young historians and D.C. travelers will embrace this detailed, loving tribute to a very sacred place. Three pages of backmatter include a detailed timeline, information on Freedman's Village, a personal author's note, further reading and websites (including, strangely enough, the author's personal photography and school-visit site). (Informational picture book. 6-10)

 

 

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Media Connection Reviews 2011 March/April
Careful attention to detail and beautiful watercolor illustrations present the rich military and cultural history of Arlington National Cemetery to older elementary readers. This history reads surprisingly well as a story of the land itself, touching sequentially on the people, some famous and some not, whose lives and deaths shaped Arlington. The history ends with a description of today's activities, including care of the park, special memorials, and traditions. The paintings are detailed and bright, almost like photos in a family album. Also included are a timeline, photos, list of notables, list of memorials found within the park, websites, recommended reading, and a touching personal note from the author about his father's burial in Arlington. This book is an obvious fit with social studies, but it would also be a great inclusion in American Revolution or Civil War units and for advanced writing classes as a good example of weaving facts and dates into a story. This would be a we come addition for any U.S. history, military history, or social studies collection. Recommended. Melinda Elzinga, Librarian, Boulder Country Day School, Boulder, Colorado Harrison, David L. Mammoth Bones and Broken Stones: The Mystery of North America's First People Illustrated by Richard Hilliard. 2010. 48pp. $18.95 hc. Boyds Mills Press. 978-1-59078-561-4. Grades 5-8 ¬ 2011 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

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