How does an ordinary person become a hero? It happens in a split second, a moment of focus and clarity, when a choice is made. Here are the gripping accounts of Medal of Honor recipients who demonstrated guts and selflessness on the battlefield and confronted life-threatening danger to make a difference. There are the stories of George Sakato and Vernon Baker—both of whom overcame racial discrimination to enlist in the army during World War II (Sakato was a second-generation Japanese American, Baker an African American) and went on to prove that heroes come in all colors—and Clint Romesha, who led his outnumbered fellow soldiers against a determined enemy to prevent the Taliban from taking over a remote U.S. Army outpost in Afghanistan.
Also included are civilians who have been honored by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation for outstanding acts of bravery in crisis situations, from a school shooting to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Adding depth and context are illuminating essays on the combat experience and its aftermath, covering topics such as overcoming fear; a mother mourning the loss of her son; and “surviving hell” as a prisoner of war.
As he did in his 2003 adult work, Medal of Honor, Collier spotlights recipients of America's highest military award in this book, published in collaboration with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. Collier broadens the scope of his tributes to include a handful of civilians who have been recognized by the foundation, yet his focus remains on veterans who distinguished themselves in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Two especially relevant profiles to young readers are those of a Nevada middle-school teacher, who persuaded a student to surrender his gun after he opened fire at school, and a North Carolina boy who, after forging his mother's signature to enlist in WWII at age 13, threw himself on a grenade to save his fellow Marines at Iwo Jima. Similar accounts of self-sacrificing devotion and humility echo throughout these harrowing and, at times, horrific accounts of combat, intensifying their emotional impact. Interspersed b&w photos also help personalize the profiles, while sidebars provide succinct background information on the various wars. An illuminating and worthwhile resource. Ages 10 up.
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This book is amazing first off all because it's telling of what happened to other people what they did and what happened. It describes it and I'm really happy that this book keeps me reading.