Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Why Did the Whole World Go to War?: And Other Questions About... World War II

Why Did the Whole World Go to War?: And Other Questions About... World War II

Martin W. Sandler
Illustrator:  Robert Barrett 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Sterling Children's Books, 2013   ISBN: 978-1402790447

World War II started many years ago and sometimes it is hard to understand why it began in the first place. Thankfully, the author of this book comes up with some excellent questions - the kinds of questions children ask - and then he answers them. He begins by looking at World War I. When this terrible conflict ended, the Allies (which included the United States and Great Britain) imposed crippling requirements on the Central Powers, which created the seeds of discontent and anger that brought about World War II.

   Once strong Germany became poor, and unemployment was high. The German people, in desperation, turned to a newcomer in the political arena, a man called Adolf Hitler. He rose very quickly to Germany’s highest political office, and once he was there he set about getting rid of “the laws that gave power to the people.” He was all powerful and eager to prove to the world that Germany was supreme.

   Determined to elevate his country’s power, Hitler began to “conquer other nations,” taking them over and imposing his rule on the people who lived in those countries. At first the new German laws did little to change life in the occupied areas, but over time more and more freedoms were taken away. Jews in particular were targeted by the Germans.

   Using pertinent questions that are carefully answered, the author takes us through some of the events that took place during World War II, explaining why the Germans were so successful, why Japan attacked its neighbors, who the leaders during the war were, how life in America was changed by the war, and much more.

   This book is one in a series of question and answer titles published by Sterling Children’s Books.