Sunday, May 23, 2021

81 - 2021 - Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; Jeff Gottesfeld and Matt Tavares (Illustrator)


Twenty-One Steps is an informative book that explains the importance and significance of keeping vigil while standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Our unknown soldier narrator from WWI tells us the story of his hero's funeral that took place at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1921. A symbolic funeral was held at our nation's Capitol in Washington, D.C followed by internment at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where he lie alone.   Things changed at midnight on July 2, 1937 when a sentinel guard has been assigned round-the-clock duty, no matter the weather or time of day to make sure the fallen soldiers are never alone again. It is considered a privilege to serve a 2 year term as Tomb Guard.  The position's standard is perfection and it requires: focus, reverence, discipline, respect, appreciation and devotion. A beautiful, respectful tribute to all who have served.

Targeted for grades 2-5, ages 7-10,  I thought the story was well done with a solemn serious tone. The story provided a good overview about the important role as Tomb Guard and I loved the way the manner in which the story was told.  I did think it might be slightly advanced for the younger children in the targeted age range but, older children should do well with this one.  The illustrations were beautifully and thoughtfully drawn to clearly demonstrate the importance, significance and respect deserved of those who have served our great country.

This book is a beautiful tribute to celebrate this Memorial Day and the 100th anniversary this coming November. I'm sure this would make a great addition to school, public library or personal collections.


NOTE: This book was sent to me by Candlewick Press in exchange for my unbiased review

18 comments:

  1. What an important book, it should be read in schools!

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  2. That sounds wonderful! I've visited there and it's a most somber and impressive place.

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  3. Beautiful story, really. I'm happy to see that kids still have the opportunity to read something like this these days.

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    1. It's so important to teach children about the really important things and people who have made our country great.

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  4. What a lovely story about an important tradition. Honoring those who died in service to our country should never go out of style. We should honor them especially by trying to live up to the highest ideals of our history.

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  5. I've been to the tomb of the unknown soldier, too, and the reverence and respect I felt there was so impressive. The team of men and women who guard it are remarkable!

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    1. It is so impressive and being there made me proud to be able to pay my respects.

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  6. I find the tomb of the unknown soldier such an intense and interesting place so a book about it sounds like a great idea. And a wonderful way for children to learn about it.

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    1. So much history and this book is beautiful, such a tribute.

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  7. Impressive, and how nice that it is targeted for the younger audience!

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    1. It's important to share these important things at an early age.

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  8. Sounds very good. My friend's son is in the marine band and plays at the tomb now and again.

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    1. Oh wow that is an honorable accomplishment.

      Hope you have been doing well Nise.

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  9. One of my favorite things in DC.

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