The Wall

May 28, 2018
Subheader: 

Maybe we do need education?

Review: 

It's not a bad book, but I'm not really sure who it's for. A little boy and his father are visiting the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC-- the wall-- and the little boy talks about the other people at the wall, and the objects that have been laid against the wall, and they're looking for his grandfather's name (the father's father) and then they take a rubbing of it on paper. The little boy says, "It's sad here," and the father says, "I know, but it's a place of honor. I'm proud that your grandfather's name is on this wall." And the little boy says, "I am too." And then the text, which is from the boy's perspective, continues, "But I'd rather have my grandpa here, taking me to the river, telling me to button my jacket because it's cold. I'd rather have him here." And that's how it ends.

It's a meditation on the importance of veterans and the fact that we're upset when people die, but I don't really know who this is for. It seems to be the kind of picture book that you would read to your children-- it's not a chapter book. But I don't know if I understand the purpose of reading this book to your children. I don't understand what kind of message is sent by that. I guess it's one of those books where I just can't get the message. It's just beyond me. I mean, I understand that war is sad because people die, but it's not talking about death. The child isn't experiencing the death. And it's definitely not anti-war. I guess it would work really well for somebody whose parent died in Vietnam, reading it to their child. But that's a very specific audience. Maybe I'm just not the intended audience, parent or child, of this book. I don't know.

Message: 

The Vietnam War was a thing that happened, and people died in it.

Author
Illustrator
Publication Year
  • 1990
Age Range
Age Range: 
4-7
Number of Pages
Number of Pages: 
28
Number of Words on Typical Page
Number of Words: 
45

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