Friday, December 28, 2012

Reading: 14 Cows for America, Fireboat, & The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

This past fall semester I took a seminar about childhood and war and we read three picture books to see how September 11th was represented to child readers.  The three books we read were 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy, Fireboat by Maira Kalman, and The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein.  Each book had it's own special take on what the twin towers and September 11th meant.  This review will just be a summary of each novel and my rating of it.  Nothing much more...
14 Cows for America was my favorite of the three books specifically because the story appealed to me and I found the artwork to be visually stunning.  The story was about a man who grew up in an African tribe and went to America to study medicine.  He returned after September 11th and told his people what had happened and they felt the "weight of 3,000 souls lost" on their shoulders.  They wanted to do something to help America so they donated 14 Cows because to the Maasai, the cow is life.  The basic moral of the story is, "because there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort."  I will give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Fireboat was my in between book.  The art in this book was also very well done and the story was good.  The book tells the tale of a fireboat in New York City in the 1920's and how useful it was to the city.  But as America grew older, the fireboat faded away until years later when a few people decided to shape it up.  When September 11th broke out, the fireboat helped out as much as they could with putting out fires and such.  I will give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
The Man Who Walked Between the Towers is a true story about a French man named Philippe Petit who walked between the twin towers on a wire when the towers were first being built.  This book was my least favorite out of the three.  While the story was very adventerous and fun to read, the art was not appealing compared to the other two.  The story also did not hold the depth in which the other two stories did.  I did enjoy how it showed the towers in history though.  Overall, I will give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

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