Author: Wiles, Deborah
Told from different points of view--protesters, students, National Guardsmen, and "townies"--recounts the story of what happened at Kent State in May 1970, when four college students were killed by National Guardsmen, and a student protest was turned into a bloody battlefield.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 508829
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/15/20)
School Library Journal (04/01/20)
Booklist (+) (01/01/20)
The Hornbook (+) (00/05/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2020 *Starred Review* History records that on May 4, 1970, four students at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, were shot and killed by members of the Ohio National Guard during a campus demonstration against the U.S. bombing of Cambodia. This is the story of that day and the three days of unrest preceding it. Wiles tells her story through unattributed voices of students and townspeople, of National Guardsmen, of Black and white individuals, of all those involved. To differentiate the voices, they are set in various typefaces and arranged on the page in columns, evoking a kind of call-and-response. The voices often meld into a deliberately confusing cacophony, reflecting the lingering uncertainty over certain details of those four days; rumors remain, and it is often forgotten, for example, that nine other students were injured on May 4. Wiles lists their names as well as those of the four who were killed: Sandy Scheuer, Bill Schroeder, Jeff Miller, and Allison Krause. She writes movingly about them and their short lives and brings a visceral energy to the events of the tragedy. In her account, Wiles implicitly challenges her readers to find parallels between then and now and, in so doing, does a service to history. An important book not to be missed. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2020 Gr 7–10—The Kent State shootings are recounted in poems voiced by the affected, from students to townspeople to the National Guard. Chaotic and contradictory, the narrative reflects the atmosphere on campus and in the nation. Each voice has its own font, but the identity of the speaker is not always clear. "Lament" introduces the four dead students and mentions the nine wounded. The events of the weekend are covered day by day as students' anger rises, they act out, and the National Guard is called in, culminating with the shootings on May 4th. "Elegy" ties the shooting to past and present atrocities urging readers "to be informed citizens." The phrase "Insert Your Name Here" in bold print is sprinkled in the May 4th and Elegy sections, which is distracting, but also forces readers to engage in the events. The townspeople, National Guard, and Black United Students are the only clearly defined narrators. The font for the townspeople is the smallest, making it easy to overlook. The prelude explains the impact of the Vietnam War on the U.S., and the author provides detailed information on the research and writing process at the end. VERDICT The use of multiple voices captures the tumult of the Kent State campus and varying perspectives on events, but can make the story difficult to follow at times. A good general purchase.—Tamara Saarinen, Pierce County Library, WA - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.