REVIEW: Battle of Iwo Jima
Rating if the Book Were a Movie: PG
Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: Anthony Williams
Story: 3.8 Stars
Artwork: 3.6 Stars
Cover Artwork: 3.4 Stars
Dialogue: 3.2 Stars
Mechanics: 4.3 Stars
Editing: 4.4 Stars
About the Book:
Battle of Iwo Jima gives us a recount of the course of events in one of the most significant battles that took place in the Pacific Theater during World War Two. We see everything from Admiral Nimitz being given the order by the joint chiefs to occupy Iwo Jima in October of 1944 to the first day of the invasion on February 19, 1945 to the famous flag raising, to the island being secured on March 26, 1945.
Recently my wife and youngest son went on a vacation to Hawaii. During their trip they visited the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. My wife picked this up as a souvenir from that excursion.
I was grateful for the opportunity to read this book. There was a lot of information about the battle of Iwo Jima that I did not know. For starters, I was unaware of how long the battle lasted. I also learned that contrary to what I had thought, the famous flag raising took place a handful of days into this particular campaign. I was under the impression that it occurred when the battle had been won.
I know that we covered World War Two in my high school history class. The majority of those two or three weeks were spent focusing on the European Theater. Of course, we covered the Pearl Harbor bombing, Hiroshima , and Nagasaki. We touched on the battle of Midway. I don’t recall anything about Iwo Jima.
I have a theory about this. We don’t focus as much on the Pacific Theater because, on the whole, our nation is embarrassed about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yes, the fact that we used nuclear weapons on enemy civilians is touched on; but it’s on a broader scale and the amount of casualties is downplayed. Rather than owning it and teaching future generations everything that happened, it’s easier to gloss over it and move on.
This isn’t the first time America has had a dark chapter in history books. Nor will it be the last. If you read about our nation’s history and feel good about everything you read, either parts were omitted or there’s something wrong with you.
I enjoyed how Mr. Hama brought some of the key players to life for us. We get to know them on a personal level, not just as some names attached to facts. I was blessed to have two phenomenal history teachers. I’m not sure they could have done this well.
I liked how Mr. Williams used the flag raising for the cover. It’s a good choice. Aside from the photo of the sailor kissing the nurse there are few images from that era that are as instantly recognizable.
Mr. Williams’s artwork on the interior pages is the perfect complement to Mr. Hana’s story. It puts us on the island. The reader can almost smell the sulfur from the volcano.
As a geek on a budget I am all in on The Battle of Iwo Jima. It’s a great way to be entertained while learning about an important battle in United States history.