Kent State

Kent State

Book - 2020
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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.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2020
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781338356281
Characteristics: xi, 132 pages ; 22 cm


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Feb 19, 2021

Kent State does so much more than simply recount the events surrounding May 4, 1970. In a work that fully embraces the multifaceted and constructed nature of history, Wiles allows various voices and recollections to dialogue with one another, and through this dialectic, instill in the reader a deeper feeling for the times. More so, through this narrative process, the events of May 4, 1970 resonate with the conflicts and power struggles of today. Additionally, if you have the opportunity, listen to the audiobook production of this one. There is a reason it’s the 2021 Odyssey Award Audiobook winner – and it’s well worth your time.

sjpl_rebekah Sep 03, 2020

Poetry is not really my thing, so it was hard to rate this book. I listened to it in eAudiobook format, so it really felt like I was listening to a play with all the back and forth dialogues and monologues. I personally did not really enjoy it, but I didn’t give it a low rating because I appreciate the amount of research that went into it and I liked that the author showed several different conflicting perspectives. This gave a more complete picture of what happened (and why) on the fateful and tragic day of May 4, 1970.

Jul 30, 2020

I unfortunately was not a fan of this book AT ALL. I'm glad I listened to the audiobook version, because I don't know if I could have kept up with this authors particular writing style. If I'm being honest I don't know much about the events that took place on May 4, 1970 at Kent State and this book did an awful job of explaining it. This book is told "campfire" style where a group of people are gathered around telling a story to a specific reader. It was like reading/ being present for a very long and boring conversation. I just wasn't into it. If the author had written this book in a different format I think it could have been a very compelling book, since it is about the topic of "peaceful protesting," gone wrong, which is a very relevant topic right now. Reading this book I felt like It wasn't even fully explained what the students of Kent State were even protesting. I think if the author had gone a little deeper and had given a bit more of an explanation it would have been an easier book to grasp and get through. If you are interested in this topic it was a very quick read. It was less than a 2 hour audiobook, which is the only reason I finished this book. It was so boring I don't think I could have gotten through it reading the actual physical book. I was not a fan.

Apr 09, 2020

This is a story in verse with multiple viewpoints contributing to the conversation. It will be well worth revisiting in audio and could win some awards if the end product is as good as this title deserves. The cover is specatular, btw. In just a few weeks we will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of this polarizing event. I was in preschool when it occurred and I can remember hearing the song "Ohio" by CSNY on the radio:

"Tin soldiers and Nixon coming,
We're finally on our own.
This summer I hear the drumming,
Four dead in Ohio"

In her author notes, Deborah Wiles quotes Jeffrey Andrew Barash from his book "Collective Memory and the Historical Past":". . .we honor great tragedies by never forgetting, that our social cohesion as a human society depends on our storytelling. It depends on our remembering, passing on what we remember, saving it, and honoring it."

Thank you to Deborah Wiles for bringing this story to our attention and sharing it with a new generation. I am honored to have gotten an early look at this new release.


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OPL_KrisC Feb 25, 2021

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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