A noteworthy review of Great Escapes in History from School Library Connection on May 1, 2019
This high interest series will appeal to readers who like to collect interesting facts and learn about unusual circumstances. The nonfiction narrative of Escaping Alcatraz vividly and chronologically describes all the attempted escapes from Alcatraz prison. A section of Fast Facts gives the most important information about the island of Alcatraz, which aid in the reader’s logistical understanding of the escapes. Four escapes from this famous prison are included: The First Escape Attempt (1936), Missing for Days (1943), The Battle of Alcatraz (1946), and the Mystery of Alcatraz (1962). Each chapter highlights the creative ways the prisoners sought to escape. The authentic photographs help the reader better understand the conditions and obstacles of each attempted escape. Though the books have long been closed on the escape attempts, legend lingers that some of the 1962 escapees managed to survive. The text may even inspire readers to visit Alcatraz in San Francisco, which is now a National Park. Also included is a ‘Think About It’ section, ‘To Learn’ section, and a blurb about the author. I particularly like the ‘Think About It’ section for the thought-provoking questions it poses, which can be used to prompt wonderful classroom discussions or essays. Each title presents a fascinating and intriguing look at many different types of escape throughout history. Teachers could use this series as a compare-and-contrast exercise that will surely excite students due to the subject matter. Though the authors are different, each book is formatted exactly the same. Eager and reluctant readers will definitely enjoy this series. Bibliography. Glossary. Index. Table of Contents.