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An American Holocaust: The Story of…
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An American Holocaust: The Story of Lataine's Ring

by Kerry Barger

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This was a very powerful book about an extremely emotional tragedy. I definitely had tears in my eyes after reading this and just experiencing the book.

I felt connected to these children and their families by the author's format in telling the story. We got into all the individual's heads and see the events through their eyes and thoughts. That takes a special talent of writing, let me tell you. Someone who can pull off a 10 year old girl and then do a 180 and get into the head of her father has some serious writing chops.

The first third of the book was dedicated to building the setting and the individual lives this tragedy affected. This was the one area in which the book suffered a bit. I did get a feel for all the players in the story, don't get me wrong. But the author tended to meander off the topic of New London completely into totally different stories like details about the Hindenburg and other events going on during this time frame. Now I can see where mentioning these events and going into them a bit does set the time for our story. But really?! Whole paragraphs and pages full?! It felt like overkill and really bogged down the first part of this book.

Once we got to the day of the tragedy, however, this book just slams the reader in the gut. We see the fates of all the people we got to know in the first part of the book. We get to see how the explosion effects our world and still stays with the survivors today. Just the sheer scope of the tragedy and the fate of all these children astounds my heart and brain even now. The book tells the story through the personal stories of the victims and survivors; yet, it also draws on some firsthand accounts of rescuers, journalists, and speeches given after these terrible events. The book is richer for these words directly from the mouths of people who saw the horror for themselves.

This book is one that I think everyone needs to read. It's powerful content and personalization of the victims, survivors, and their families makes the reader think, feel, and just mourn. Despite some meandering off topic in the first part, this book is very solid. I felt honored to have read it and to remember the unfortunate events in Texas in 1937. ( )
  Sarah_Gruwell | Jan 12, 2016 |
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This book is dedicated to the memory of the hundreds of innocent children who died suddenly and unexpectedly alongside my relative, Shirley Lataine Parchman McQuaid. Her story, as told by my mother, inspired me to undertake the challenge of writing this book.  I can only hope that I have done justice to the memory of Lataine and to all those who were affected by the events described in the following pages.
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Have you ever wondered why that pressurized fuel that fills the gas pipes in your house has an odor like rotten eggs?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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