Kent State
Kent State

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Annotation: From two-time National Book Award finalist Deborah Wiles, a masterpiece exploration of one of the darkest moments in our... more
Catalog Number: #215106
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 144
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-338-35628-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-7977-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-338-35628-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-7977-7
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
A free-verse treatment of the killing of four college students during campus protests over the Vietnam War.College campuses were often flashpoints in the struggle against the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War. In May 1970, protestors at Kent State University in Ohio were met by the Ohio National Guard, culminating in the deaths of four unarmed college students and injuries to nine others. The university and the small town surrounding it were all affected by the escalating tensions and disagreement over how to handle the issues. The governor's strict approach was welcomed by some but resisted by many on campus. Each of the deceased students is described in detail, including how they came to be in the line of fire. Readers hear from a guardsman and a town resident as well as students, their voices showing how perspectives differed depending on individuals' roles. Especially compelling are the words of black students, many of whom stayed away from the demonstration, believing, correctly, that the guardsmen had live ammunition. The structure serves to re-create the taut atmosphere of the days leading up to the tragedy, and various perspectives are represented by different fonts and typeface, furthering the sense of polarization. The extensive author's note extends the narrative, engaging readers in the author's process and the story's impact.A well-researched and deeply moving portrait of an iconic moment in U.S. history. (Verse novel. 12-18)
Publishers Weekly
Via many perspectives, this powerful free verse work explores the Kent State University shootings that shocked the U.S. in May 1970. Wiles (the Sixties Trilogy) sets the stage with a narrative prelude that contextualizes the campus unrest alongside the draft and seemingly unwinnable Vietnam War, and details how the incursion into neutral Cambodia further escalated tensions. The narrative begins as a lament and immediately draws the reader into the events with voices from varied points of view, including students, townspeople, the National Guard, and the Black United Students of Kent State. Font, size, and spacing set off the distinct, often conflicting, perspectives, thoughtfully underscoring each. Wiles divides the text into the four days leading up to the shootings, and eulogizes each of the four massacred students. The black students- voice proves particularly poignant in its depiction of long-standing institutionalized racism, and Wiles effectively portrays the combustible and enduring controversies that led to this tragedy. Ending with an extensive author-s note, this hard-hitting historical novel provides valuable perspective on unrest and violence, both timely and timeless, and an invitation that speaks to the present: -We hope you-re/ on fire/ for change.- Ages 12-up. (Apr.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A free-verse treatment of the killing of four college students during campus protests over the Vietnam War.College campuses were often flashpoints in the struggle against the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War. In May 1970, protestors at Kent State University in Ohio were met by the Ohio National Guard, culminating in the deaths of four unarmed college students and injuries to nine others. The university and the small town surrounding it were all affected by the escalating tensions and disagreement over how to handle the issues. The governor's strict approach was welcomed by some but resisted by many on campus. Each of the deceased students is described in detail, including how they came to be in the line of fire. Readers hear from a guardsman and a town resident as well as students, their voices showing how perspectives differed depending on individuals' roles. Especially compelling are the words of black students, many of whom stayed away from the demonstration, believing, correctly, that the guardsmen had live ammunition. The structure serves to re-create the taut atmosphere of the days leading up to the tragedy, and various perspectives are represented by different fonts and typeface, furthering the sense of polarization. The extensive author's note extends the narrative, engaging readers in the author's process and the story's impact.A well-researched and deeply moving portrait of an iconic moment in U.S. history. (Verse novel. 12-18)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*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.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (1/1/20)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Reading Level: 6.0
Interest Level: 7-12
Lexile: HL640L

From two-time National Book Award finalist Deborah Wiles, a masterpiece exploration of one of the darkest moments in our history, when American troops killed four American students protesting the Vietnam War.

May 4, 1970.

Kent State University.

As protestors roil the campus, National Guardsmen are called in. In the chaos of what happens next, shots are fired and four students are killed. To this day, there is still argument of what happened and why.

Told in multiple voices from a number of vantage points -- protestor, Guardsman, townie, student -- Deborah Wiles's Kent State gives a moving, terrifying, galvanizing picture of what happened that weekend in Ohio . . . an event that, even 50 years later, still resonates deeply.


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