The Split History of World War II is part of the publisher’s series, which presents a historical event from two differing perspectives in one volume. It is designed as a “flip book” with each section written on opposite sides of the book; one must physically flip the book over to read the other version of events. It is illustrated by black and white photographs of the war years evoking a sense of time and place. The section of the book written from the perspective of the Allies covers topics such as the prelude to the war, the battles in the Pacific, the European front and the victory celebrations at the war’s end. The section written from the perspective of the Axis covers the background of the war in Europe and Asia, the war’s expansion and the eventual decline of the Axis. Each side has a separate index and the middle of the book, where the two sections meet, has a timeline of historical events, a glossary, a suggestion for further research on the internet, suggestions for further reading on the topic, and a bibliography. Although the Holocaust is not a primary focus of the book, it is addressed in both sections. The concept of a historical event covered from two points of view is interesting and can be used as a springboard for discussion in schools or homes about history, journalism, propaganda, perspective, and truth. Recommended for ages 10 – 14.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.