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The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men

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The author of The Monuments Men, brings this story to young readers for the first time, detailing history's greatest treasure hunt. As the most destructive war in history ravaged Europe, many of the world's most cherished cultural objects were in harm's way. The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History recounts the astonishing true story of 11 men and one woman who risked their li The author of The Monuments Men, brings this story to young readers for the first time, detailing history's greatest treasure hunt. As the most destructive war in history ravaged Europe, many of the world's most cherished cultural objects were in harm's way. The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History recounts the astonishing true story of 11 men and one woman who risked their lives amidst the bloodshed of World War II to preserve churches, libraries, monuments, and works of art that for centuries defined the heritage of Western civilization. As the war raged, these American and British volunteers -- museum curators, art scholars and educators, architects, archivists, and artists, known as the Monuments Men -- found themselves in a desperate race against time to locate and save the many priceless treasures and works of art stolen by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.


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The author of The Monuments Men, brings this story to young readers for the first time, detailing history's greatest treasure hunt. As the most destructive war in history ravaged Europe, many of the world's most cherished cultural objects were in harm's way. The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History recounts the astonishing true story of 11 men and one woman who risked their li The author of The Monuments Men, brings this story to young readers for the first time, detailing history's greatest treasure hunt. As the most destructive war in history ravaged Europe, many of the world's most cherished cultural objects were in harm's way. The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History recounts the astonishing true story of 11 men and one woman who risked their lives amidst the bloodshed of World War II to preserve churches, libraries, monuments, and works of art that for centuries defined the heritage of Western civilization. As the war raged, these American and British volunteers -- museum curators, art scholars and educators, architects, archivists, and artists, known as the Monuments Men -- found themselves in a desperate race against time to locate and save the many priceless treasures and works of art stolen by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

30 review for The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joy Smith

    I've read the first book and seen the movie and now I've read and enjoyed this new edition for young readers. I especially appreciated all the pictures in this book. It seemed slow in some places to me because of the flashbacks and attempts to get inside the minds of the main characters. Is this meant to appeal to young readers? (I'd love to hear their opinions.) The history and research is impressive--as is the success of the Nazi's long term plan to loot the art, furniture, and possessions of I've read the first book and seen the movie and now I've read and enjoyed this new edition for young readers. I especially appreciated all the pictures in this book. It seemed slow in some places to me because of the flashbacks and attempts to get inside the minds of the main characters. Is this meant to appeal to young readers? (I'd love to hear their opinions.) The history and research is impressive--as is the success of the Nazi's long term plan to loot the art, furniture, and possessions of the people (mostly Jews) and museums. Tracking down these treasures and the planners and plans was hard and dangerous. (At least two of the Monuments Men died along the way.) Following the different paths the Monuments Men took covers a lot of territory and countries! They had to split up to locate and investigate the repositories of the treasures, and so the chapters alternate between them. The cast of characters at the beginning is a good place to start. At the end, there is an epilogue, glossary, index, bibliography, etc. My favorite character, btw, is Rose Valland. She accomplished so much because she infiltrated the Nazi's looting headquarters in France, learned their plans, and wrote down the information--and took pictures--that would help the Monuments Men later--after she decided that she could trust them. She'd been doing a dangerous job on her own for a long time. Note: As one reviewer said, Read the books so you can see what the movie got wrong.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Straight off the bat, I must point out that this book is marketed at the grade 3-7 set. I would say that it's really more for the grade 6-7 set, as there are some frank discussions of concentration camp atrocities, and photographs as well. In any event, this book is about the WWII US Army unit referred to as the "Monuments Men." With backgrounds in architecture, sculpture, art preservation and more, this handful of well-trained individuals were tasked with recovering art stolen by Hitler and Göri Straight off the bat, I must point out that this book is marketed at the grade 3-7 set. I would say that it's really more for the grade 6-7 set, as there are some frank discussions of concentration camp atrocities, and photographs as well. In any event, this book is about the WWII US Army unit referred to as the "Monuments Men." With backgrounds in architecture, sculpture, art preservation and more, this handful of well-trained individuals were tasked with recovering art stolen by Hitler and Göring from various museums and private collectors during the Nazis' predations. The book focuses on 11 people, 10 "monuments men" from the US and the UK, and Jeu de Paume museum employee Rose Valland, who later became a French army captain. Their work in cataloging and tracking the various stolen objects, most of which were moved through the Jeu de Paume, was instrumental in recovering the vast majority of items (some were burned by the German soldiers). I learned a great deal about the individual backgrounds of each of the featured people, and found myself even more grateful for the work they accomplished in returning stolen treasures to their rightful homes. The book itself is well-sourced, as the author not only had the opportunity to interview family members of the participants but to also develop a friendship with one of the surviving 'monuments men.' The bibliography is well-rounded and extensive. Highly recommended as a good secondary source.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I loved this book! It was not the type to be a page-turner or “can’t put it down” but it was definitely one I loved reading. I love reading stories about those little known pieces of history that had tremendous significance. I especially enjoyed the epilogue by the author where he poses the essential questions from the book and the monuments men’s efforts.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joe Holman

    I really like this book. It's an important piece of WWII that few people know. I really like this book. It's an important piece of WWII that few people know.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    Excellent!! Such a good read! Gave a personal perspective to historical events. Told the story in such a way as to keep me involved the whole time. I throughly enjoyed this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cory Ott

    Title: The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men Author: Robert M. Edsel Page Count: 331 . . . Favorite Quote: "Works of art are part of our shared cultural heritage, no matter where in the world the art is located." . . . This book is not what I expected, however it was a very interesting read. I enjoyed learning about the Monuments Men and the role they played throughout World War II. Having visited some of these places and seen some of these art pieces the story became muc Title: The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men Author: Robert M. Edsel Page Count: 331 . . . Favorite Quote: "Works of art are part of our shared cultural heritage, no matter where in the world the art is located." . . . This book is not what I expected, however it was a very interesting read. I enjoyed learning about the Monuments Men and the role they played throughout World War II. Having visited some of these places and seen some of these art pieces the story became much more real for me. I never really knew all this background and truly made me think about art and the importance in plays on our lives.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I enjoyed the movie, The Monument Men so I was looking forward to reading this novel for younger readers. Although it had several photographs documenting this important work by incredible people, I found that the book jumped around a lot and it was hard to follow. There is no inappropriate content for advanced upper elementary readers but I agree with the reviews that it would be of more interest to middle school and high school readers, especially if they are art fans.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    While I enjoy historical fiction, I am not a history buff. I struggled to engage with this bone-dry book and finished out of sheer grit. I can’t imagine young readers getting very far.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl Gatling

    Robert Edsel wrote the book on the Monuments Men of WWII, and this is a version of that scaled down for younger readers. But it is not an easy story to simplify, as it covers multiple locations, from Italy, to France, to Belgium, to Germany, and involves multiple people. The story follows ten Monuments Men, and one woman, and numerous public figures are named as well. Edsel tries to include some of the background and personality of each of the Monuments Men (for example, including Deane Keller’s Robert Edsel wrote the book on the Monuments Men of WWII, and this is a version of that scaled down for younger readers. But it is not an easy story to simplify, as it covers multiple locations, from Italy, to France, to Belgium, to Germany, and involves multiple people. The story follows ten Monuments Men, and one woman, and numerous public figures are named as well. Edsel tries to include some of the background and personality of each of the Monuments Men (for example, including Deane Keller’s letters home to his son), so they become distinct, but here is by necessity a lot of jumping around, and I think it might be hard to follow for any but the most dedicated child readers. The plus is that the book is loaded with photos. There has always been war, and war has always brought destruction. The creation of the MFAA, or Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives division of the Allied Armies, is the first time that men have been sent into the field with the sole purpose of protecting historical treasures, even if, as was the case with Aachen Cathedral in Germany, they were the historical treasures of the enemy. General Eisenhower sent out memos to all commanders about the importance of keeping fighting away from churches whenever possible. Monuments Men were given “Off Limits” signs to post on buildings, warning people that any damage to the building would be prosecuted as a military offense, and the signs were stamped with Eisenhower’s name. Protecting the works of fine art was the most complicated. Hitler, who considered himself an artist, has a plan to build the world’s greatest art museum, known as the Fuhrermuseum. He was going to gain art for his museum by just taking it. Every time the Nazis invaded a place, they would empty the art museums. They loaded paintings and sculptures on trains and trucks, and drove off with them, sometimes saying they had to put the artworks in safekeeping, for their own good. In addition, the Nazis looted the private property of Jewish art collectors. Hermann Goring, one of Hitler’s top-level Nazis, also stole many artworks for his own private collection. Where did all these artworks go? As the Allied armies began to gain ground in Europe, they were desperate to find them. They might be stored in harm’s way. They might be stored in unsafe conditions, exposed to moisture or mold. They might never be found. And there was a very real possibility that the Nazis might destroy them. Hitler loved art, but only a certain style of art. He considered many modern works to be “degenerate” and had already thrown some impressionist works on a bonfire. There are stories of luck and dedication and heroism here. Much of the success of the Monuments Men is owed to Rose Valland, a woman in France. She worked in the office where the Nazis were processing their looted artworks. She was ostensibly helping them, but was secretly taking notes on what they took and where they sent it. This meant certain death for her if she were discovered, but she was mild-mannered and kept a low profile. Many of the works of art were found, stored in castles or prisons, or deep underground in mines. Discovering them to be safe, and returning them to their homes, was a cause of great joy, and a labor that took years to finish, and in some cases is not finished. Many of the artworks stolen from Jewish individuals were unable to be returned because their owners were, of course, dead. The greatest part of the story is the story itself. The greatest part is that there were people of integrity and generous spirit who served a cause greater than their individual interests. The book includes a quote from Monuments Man George Stout: “To safeguard these things will show respect for the beliefs and customs of all men and will bear witness that these things belong not only to a particular people but also to the heritage of mankind.” I could not help but be reminded that President Donald Trump recently tweeted that he planned to bomb Iran, bragging that he would specifically target sites “important to Iran and the Iranian culture.” Some may say that he was only bluffing, but even so, it made me sad that we had fallen so far from showing “respect for the beliefs and customs of all men,” and is one more piece of evidence that the men and women of WWII were “the greatest generation.”

  10. 4 out of 5

    BOOKLOVER EB

    World War II “claimed sixty-five million lives, including six million Jews systematically persecuted and murdered by the Nazi regime.” Less tragic, but still disturbing, the widespread bombing threatened to damage or destroy precious buildings, paintings, sculptures, tapestries, books, and religious objects. The Germans brazenly pillaged museums, churches, libraries, and private homes, and carted away whatever they desired. In 1943, Western Allies dispatched a group of individuals, knows as the World War II “claimed sixty-five million lives, including six million Jews systematically persecuted and murdered by the Nazi regime.” Less tragic, but still disturbing, the widespread bombing threatened to damage or destroy precious buildings, paintings, sculptures, tapestries, books, and religious objects. The Germans brazenly pillaged museums, churches, libraries, and private homes, and carted away whatever they desired. In 1943, Western Allies dispatched a group of individuals, knows as the Monuments Men, to inspect various sites in Italy, France, Belgium, and—when the allies advanced deep into enemy territory towards the end of the war—Germany, and Austria. The Monuments Men recorded their findings; made inquiries about where the looted artworks might be hidden; and, if they succeeded in locating stolen valuables, restored them to their rightful owners. By the time the last of them left Europe in 1951, this valiant band of determined sleuths “had overseen the return of nearly four million stolen objects” from a wide range of periods: Egyptian, ancient Greek and Roman, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque, as well as the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Robert M. Edsel, author of “The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History,” wrote this account for young people. However, at 368 pages (with black and white photographs that help bring the subject to life), this detailed narrative would likely overwhelm its intended audience. Edsel discusses how and why volunteers, some of whom left prestigious jobs and their loved ones for years, agreed to take on the challenging task of protecting and preserving Europe’s cultural heritage. This book has a table of contents, list of key characters, bibliography, source notes, and index. One problem is that Edsel moves from one Monument Man to another so frequently that some readers may have a difficult time keeping track of the large cast of characters and the dizzying array of events. One woman who deserves special mention for her crucial role in the proceedings is Rose Valland, the brilliant, courageous, and resourceful French-born custodian of the Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris. This book serves an important purpose. We should know about the “accomplished museum curators, art scholars and educators, architects, archivists, and artists” who joined the MFFA, the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Section of the Western Allied Armies. Although the Monuments Men were understaffed and did not have enough supplies or adequate transportation, they did their best to be thorough and accurate. They instructed Allied troops, whenever possible, to avoid hitting targets of great architectural and artistic significance, interviewed people who had vital knowledge to share, and eventually made astonishing discoveries. Nothing can mitigate the tremendous toll that the Second World War took on so many innocent lives. Still, it is heartening to know that the Allies succeeded in tracking down and recovering such masterpieces as Vermeer’s “The Astronomer,” a bust of Nefertiti, panels from the Ghent Altarpiece, Michelangelo’s Bruges “Madonna,” and works by Bruegel the Elder, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Rubens, Titian, El Greco, Raphael, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Gaugin, and Cézanne. In a touching epilogue, Edsel gives us an overview of what happened to the Monuments Men after they completed their service and returned home.

  11. 4 out of 5

    orton41290

    *****DISCLAIMER- I received a free copy of this book via the Amazon Vine program to read and review. This in no way effects my review or opinions of the book****** The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History is pitched to us as "the astonishing true story of eleven men and one woman" who put their lives on the line to protect and recover priceless and irreplaceable pieces of art and architecture in the midst of an active World War 2. While it does accomplish that, it isn't told in a way that will fully *****DISCLAIMER- I received a free copy of this book via the Amazon Vine program to read and review. This in no way effects my review or opinions of the book****** The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History is pitched to us as "the astonishing true story of eleven men and one woman" who put their lives on the line to protect and recover priceless and irreplaceable pieces of art and architecture in the midst of an active World War 2. While it does accomplish that, it isn't told in a way that will fully hit a particular audience. It's listed as a book for 9 to 12 year-olds, which is about fourth through seventh grade. The book is far too bloated with unimportant names (of people, places, and works of art) and side stories that don't quite fit in the story. If we ignore the middle school audience, I feel like a person who is interested in the history of the Monuments Men's impact on the preservation or art is going to loose interest when we get a few whole pages talking about the early life of one of the Men or WWII events not relevant to the Men's story. I'd imagine a history buff looking for a story about a largely unknown part of WWII will quickly grow tired of hearing the constant lists of important artists and pieces of art and the constant repetition of Art's importance. It's too much WWIII for art people and too much art for history people. As a member of none of these camps, the book felt far too meandering in its plot and laden down with unimportant details. The story is told linearly, but since the twelve people we follow are never in the same place at the same time, we are constantly jumping all over Europe and between the twelve different people. It's a lot of people to keep apart, especially considering we get two or three pages of them before we jump away and don't come back for a while. The plot structure is frenetic and the story glosses over what I want to hear about (actual processes and detailed accounts of discoveries) and then slows down to tell us again and again that they still haven't found these six paintings and naming them all and then stopping the progression to go back to tell us about how one of the Men was trying to have his Bat Mitzvah before the war started. There are far too many characters to have all of them receive much characterization and the stories Edsel chooses to spend time on just aren't helpful in connecting with the Men and even with 12 people being followed he still has one of the Men show up at a location and then a new person we will never hear from again (but whose entire name and job title are apparently important) tell us what they saw. I can feel the love and care that went into this book, but it's trying to do way too much in such a small time, especially for the targeted audience. I can't say I recommend The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History for Fourth to Seventh Graders, but if you happen to love art and history and names like Madonna of La Gleize, Bernardino Luini, and The Ghent Altarpiece all mean something to you, The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History may be an interesting, if dry book, but I wanted more specifics on the action and discoveries and less on individual art pieces and tangential information.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kate Waggoner

    @kidlitexchange #partner Thank you to @scholasticinc and Robert M. Edsel for sharing an advance copy of The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men with the #kidlitexchange network. This book was released January 1, 2019 and is currently available for purchase. All opinions are my own. WWII was the most destructive war the world had ever seen and thousands of pieces of artwork with cultural importance were in harm's way. This book follows a special unit called the Monume @kidlitexchange #partner Thank you to @scholasticinc and Robert M. Edsel for sharing an advance copy of The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men with the #kidlitexchange network. This book was released January 1, 2019 and is currently available for purchase. All opinions are my own. WWII was the most destructive war the world had ever seen and thousands of pieces of artwork with cultural importance were in harm's way. This book follows a special unit called the Monuments Men who were tasked with saving and protecting as many of these cultural objects as possible. The book recounts the stories of eleven men and one woman who risked their lives during WWII to save libraries, museums, churches, monuments, and works of art that for centuries have defined Western heritage and culture. This is an incredibly interesting topic and this story needs to be told. I don't know a lot about art, but I've heard of several of the major works of art mentioned in the book and I enjoyed the photos that were included. I enjoyed learning about the huge impact that eleven men and one woman made during the war. I had previously heard of Monument Men, but I had no idea that there were so few of them or what their actual jobs entailed. I love history, specifically WWII, and I found the concept of this book highly intriguing. That being said, I struggled with this book. While the concept is cool, it's the organization of the book and the voice that didn't work for me. The book jumps around to different Monument Men in different areas of Europe and I often found myself getting lost. The book is written in a very straightforward almost textbook like manner. Though this book is targeted at middle grades I believe it's interest level and the way it is written are more appropriate for high school and young adult readers. If I struggled with getting through the book (when I enjoy history and minored in it in college), I feel that many middle school students will also struggle with it. I think that someone who truly loves history and isn't looking for a narrative nonfiction piece will really enjoy this book. I just believe that the target audience is a little low.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC from Edelweiss Plus Since the Army knew a lot about how fighting was progressing across Europe, it makes a fair amount of sense that they had dedicated art historians who tried to locate and protect great works of art from the clutches of the Nazis. Hitler was a huge fan of art, and since he was involved in attacking various countries, it was part of his plan to appropriate the art for Germany, where he felt it would be better appreciated. Local art concerns were often too busy trying to st E ARC from Edelweiss Plus Since the Army knew a lot about how fighting was progressing across Europe, it makes a fair amount of sense that they had dedicated art historians who tried to locate and protect great works of art from the clutches of the Nazis. Hitler was a huge fan of art, and since he was involved in attacking various countries, it was part of his plan to appropriate the art for Germany, where he felt it would be better appreciated. Local art concerns were often too busy trying to stay alive to do more than hurriedly relocate art to manor houses outside of cities, which sometimes put the art behind enemy lines. The Monuments Men tried to save art from being destroyed, keep it physically safe, and keep it out of the hands of the Nazis. It is amazing the number of people and the amount of resources that were put into the preservation of art. It's a good thing that this was done, since the art was very old and irreplaceable, but it also seems a bit silly when one thinks about 9,000 men dying on the beaches on D- Day and about 400,000 being killed or injured during the Battle of Normandy. There was a lot of strategy and espionage attached to the efforts to save art that will appeal to readers who enjoy this facet of WWII. This is a rather long book (368 pages), with a lot of detailed information about a huge variety of people and places. Many of the individuals have extensive backstories presented in the book. There are plentiful pictures, although there could have been a little bit more of the art. I'm not sure that I have readers interested in the preservation of art, if I gauge this from the number of students who want to pick up the many art mysteries that are popular, and the level of detail in this book makes it more suitable for high school. It was definitely interesting and well-done, but not the best fit for my middle grade readers.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carol Albert

    Now, here is an effect of WWII I had never considered. It's a good thing the Monuments Men did. While all that bombing was going on all over Europe, the most well-known works of art in the western world were either in harm's way or being stolen by Hitler and his henchman, Goering. Some of the great Impressionists' work was burned intentionally on Hitler's orders, because he considered them deviant. Edsel has written several adult books on the topic of the Monument Men, but this is his first effo Now, here is an effect of WWII I had never considered. It's a good thing the Monuments Men did. While all that bombing was going on all over Europe, the most well-known works of art in the western world were either in harm's way or being stolen by Hitler and his henchman, Goering. Some of the great Impressionists' work was burned intentionally on Hitler's orders, because he considered them deviant. Edsel has written several adult books on the topic of the Monument Men, but this is his first effort at young adult. It is pretty difficult reading for that age group. The audience should probably be in high school, or interested in the topic. The Altarpiece of Ghent was one of their major quests. DaVinci's Last Supper was in grave danger of not surviving the war as the building around it was destroyed by Allied bombing. The Monuments Men had a double mission: to find masterpieces that had been stolen or hidden away somewhere for safekeeping, and to move those still in danger to a safer place. They found art in places as far-reaching as deep in a salt mine. Once the Reich fell, they found warehouses full of stolen goods, many from the homes of Jewish families. A French female spy was an important source of information as to whereabouts, as she infiltrated to the core of Hitler's art appropriation effort. he book is packed with photos. Stop to look closer. You are looking at the original works in very unlikely places, often being treated carelessly or at least not professionally, in unusual and unexpected places.

  15. 5 out of 5

    This

    Edsel's book in a young adult edition. When you learned about World War II, it's likely you had no idea that Eisenhower made the wonderful move of working to protect the cultural history of Europe at the same time as fighting in Europe. It wasn't just a proclamation, either: the Monuments Men were soldiers with backgrounds in art and museums, chosen to locate and protect the cultures of Italy, France, and Germany (with a very brief mention at the end of the book about Japan) as the Allies defeate Edsel's book in a young adult edition. When you learned about World War II, it's likely you had no idea that Eisenhower made the wonderful move of working to protect the cultural history of Europe at the same time as fighting in Europe. It wasn't just a proclamation, either: the Monuments Men were soldiers with backgrounds in art and museums, chosen to locate and protect the cultures of Italy, France, and Germany (with a very brief mention at the end of the book about Japan) as the Allies defeated the Axis powers. I appreciate the page with photos/brief descriptions of the so-called Monuments Men (and the French woman who played a major role) at the beginning--I often flipped back to it while reading. The book is also filled with photos (sadly just the standard black & white of the times--and sometimes quite dark). My only complaint is that, in trying to demonstrate the simultaneous efforts of the MM, the constant change of locale (and characters) is confusing. A great historical nonfiction read. Having just been to Italy last year (including seeing Monte Cassino), this book showed me the kinder side of war. It was not a "to the victor go the spoils" mentality, but instead a sincere effort to return art works (Hitler and Goring were quite greedy!) to their proper homes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Adair

    As World War II is happening in Europe, another battle is simultaneously being fought: A race to Europe's priceless art. In Robert M. Edsel's 'The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History,' the Monuments Men must find the art that has been stolen during the war. The setting of the story changes often throughout the book, as the characters travel throughout Europe. For instance, Monuments Men Robert Posey and Lincoln Kirstein travel together, after crossing the Rhine River, to the Merkers Salt Mine wher As World War II is happening in Europe, another battle is simultaneously being fought: A race to Europe's priceless art. In Robert M. Edsel's 'The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History,' the Monuments Men must find the art that has been stolen during the war. The setting of the story changes often throughout the book, as the characters travel throughout Europe. For instance, Monuments Men Robert Posey and Lincoln Kirstein travel together, after crossing the Rhine River, to the Merkers Salt Mine where an amazing discovery of missing artifacts was found. Another thing that really keeps the reader's attention is the point of view. It changes from character to character giving the reader a chance to experience every bit of the story. Without these changes in point of view, the reader would never know about Monuments Man Deane Keller's son back home, Dino, or Walter Hancocks wife, Saima, who he wrote to constantly throughout the war. Robert M. Edsel truly catches the readers attention with the suspenseful cliffhangers at every turn. Even the Prelude ends with a small hint of what's to come in the following chapters. Though it starts slowly, 'The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History' by Robert M. Edsel is a great book for anyone wanting to know more about the unknown heroes of Europe's priceless art.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel, 368 pages. NON-FICTION. Scholastic Focus, January 2019. $19. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (some deaths, not descriptive) BUYING ADVISORY: HS – OPTIONAL, ADULTS - ADVISABLE AUDIENCE APPEAL: HS – LOW; ADULTS – HIGH Near the end of World War II a special, though very small group of people worked frantically to find and save priceless art throughout Europe. They not only needed to try to save it fro The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel, 368 pages. NON-FICTION. Scholastic Focus, January 2019. $19. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (some deaths, not descriptive) BUYING ADVISORY: HS – OPTIONAL, ADULTS - ADVISABLE AUDIENCE APPEAL: HS – LOW; ADULTS – HIGH Near the end of World War II a special, though very small group of people worked frantically to find and save priceless art throughout Europe. They not only needed to try to save it from damage, but also find the secret stashes that Nazi looters left all over. As an adult, I found this fascinating reading – I wish I had read it before my first trip to Europe so that I could even more appreciate the works of art I saw. The writing is not great; Edsel tries so hard to keep things chronological that he jumps from person to person all over Europe – making things a bit confusing. Only die hard WWII junkies will want to read this, though it has plenty of information to act as a excellent research resource for a paper or project – if you can get one of them to check it out. Cindy, Middle School Librarian, MLS https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2018...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Worrell

    Hunting down classic treasures hidden by Nazis among Europe, 12 men and women put their lives in serious danger to find dozens of classic early century works hidden by Nazi’s across Europe to prevent their people from seeing anything with non- German ideas. Found in trailers, museums, and more somehow still intact, this treasure hunt is getting international attention with pieces being shipped all the way to America hoping no one would find them. Leave it up to the international treasure hunters Hunting down classic treasures hidden by Nazis among Europe, 12 men and women put their lives in serious danger to find dozens of classic early century works hidden by Nazi’s across Europe to prevent their people from seeing anything with non- German ideas. Found in trailers, museums, and more somehow still intact, this treasure hunt is getting international attention with pieces being shipped all the way to America hoping no one would find them. Leave it up to the international treasure hunters to leave family and friends behind to do what is the most important for history decades ahead. Including letters and postcards sent by relatives for the heroins, we find out a lot about their family life and kids and even more about the hunt and how difficult this was for children at the time. This non-fiction piece of history is one of the most accurate representations of Nazi ways to spread their beliefs and get rid of anything that didn’t include their ideas aside from concentration camps and propaganda and proves how few non-German cultural heirlooms they wanted in Europe. Although, at times hard to follow, this book is among the most accurate and interesting pieces of Holocaust history.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Philip Shade

    "The story of them Monuments Men ... highlights the actions of a few good men who, with established careers and families and no reason to volunteer for military service risked their lives to preserve our shared cultural heritage." This Scholastic version of Edsel's "The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History" (which was made into the movie starring George Clooney) does a wonderful job of balancing art history, WWII history, and the greater atrocities "The story of them Monuments Men ... highlights the actions of a few good men who, with established careers and families and no reason to volunteer for military service risked their lives to preserve our shared cultural heritage." This Scholastic version of Edsel's "The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History" (which was made into the movie starring George Clooney) does a wonderful job of balancing art history, WWII history, and the greater atrocities of Nazi's, against the drama of handfuls of men scouring Europe to preserve its cultural heritage and return as much of that work to the original owners and countries as possible. The great deal of thought, and discussion of the balance of lives versus art is also gripping. The Monuments Men agreed that if it saved lives the destruction of a site was worthwhile. It shows an acknowledgment that they were preserving the greater culture, not singular objects. That said every single painting, sculpture, and building lost haunted the men, and one woman.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tamsyn

    This was an excellent book on the topic of the Monuments Men, as the reader accompanies each of the men into the various cities -- Paris, Florence, Pisa etc. -- in 1944 to witness the destruction and itemize the thefts of European masters, the western cultural heritage. We also witness the race to find where the items are stored, and how chance meetings and lucky breaks resulted in the discovery and recovery of many treasures. Though each man (and one woman) is introduced individually, we follow This was an excellent book on the topic of the Monuments Men, as the reader accompanies each of the men into the various cities -- Paris, Florence, Pisa etc. -- in 1944 to witness the destruction and itemize the thefts of European masters, the western cultural heritage. We also witness the race to find where the items are stored, and how chance meetings and lucky breaks resulted in the discovery and recovery of many treasures. Though each man (and one woman) is introduced individually, we follow a timeline rather than staying long enough with each man for me to remember which one he was without referring to the handy key at the front of the book, my only quibble. Great companion to Under the Egg, a fiction book that deals with this subject.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I recently learned that there was a young readers edition of The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History so I had to read it. I have a great deal of admiration for these men (and Rose!) thanks to the author. When all is said and done, the books are really dry but I admired the photography used to clarify some of the points in the story of the Monument Men, especially the copies of the letters written home for Deano. This is definitely a book to bring o I recently learned that there was a young readers edition of The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History so I had to read it. I have a great deal of admiration for these men (and Rose!) thanks to the author. When all is said and done, the books are really dry but I admired the photography used to clarify some of the points in the story of the Monument Men, especially the copies of the letters written home for Deano. This is definitely a book to bring out in January when our students study the Holocaust.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    "The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story if the Monuments Men" was full of characters and adventure. While it was hard to follow at times (I was often rereading sections) due informing the reader with back story and past events, these sections proved to be important for the reader to later understand future decisions. I would definitely see most readers being of high school age or adults just because of the information about artwork and understanding the depth of historical and cultural "The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story if the Monuments Men" was full of characters and adventure. While it was hard to follow at times (I was often rereading sections) due informing the reader with back story and past events, these sections proved to be important for the reader to later understand future decisions. I would definitely see most readers being of high school age or adults just because of the information about artwork and understanding the depth of historical and cultural treasures that were at risk. In addition, specific pieces of art work are referenced and most readers of high school age and adult age would appreciate the significance of lost, found and returned artwork treasurers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Fuller

    This was a very unique lens through which to learn about WWII! Prior to reading, I had been aware in passing that Nazis stole a great deal of money and goods from the places they conquered, and specifically from Jews. I had not realized the extent of that theft, nor had I ever considered the extensive efforts involved in identifying, tracking, and remedying those thefts, much less the immense work the US military did to help protect at-risk art and cultural sites during the war. This was a fasci This was a very unique lens through which to learn about WWII! Prior to reading, I had been aware in passing that Nazis stole a great deal of money and goods from the places they conquered, and specifically from Jews. I had not realized the extent of that theft, nor had I ever considered the extensive efforts involved in identifying, tracking, and remedying those thefts, much less the immense work the US military did to help protect at-risk art and cultural sites during the war. This was a fascinating window through which to explore what can too often feel like a comprehensively-known war.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eve

    I've read the Edsel's adult version The Monuments Men and this version for grades 6-12. Both are fast paced and compelling. Edsel gives the reader the facts, but makes both books read as if he were writing a first-rate thriller. This book is especially compelling because of the liberal use of period photos and V-mail cartoons that Capt. Deane Keller, serving in Italy, sent to his young son Dino. He tackles big questions well and doesn't condescend. His focus on the need to preserve our world's t I've read the Edsel's adult version The Monuments Men and this version for grades 6-12. Both are fast paced and compelling. Edsel gives the reader the facts, but makes both books read as if he were writing a first-rate thriller. This book is especially compelling because of the liberal use of period photos and V-mail cartoons that Capt. Deane Keller, serving in Italy, sent to his young son Dino. He tackles big questions well and doesn't condescend. His focus on the need to preserve our world's treasures and the need to balance the protection of human life is current. Characterizations are vivid. A real, "Show don't tell" writing style. Excellent source note, bib. and index and maps.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Indu

    An interesting read but very slow paced. During World War II the Nazi's looted precious artefacts, paintings and sculptures from the big museums and added to the looted was the wealth of many of the Jews who were persecuted. This book tells us the story about the how these precious pieces of our world history were salvaged by the Allied Forces and at what cost. For anyone who cares about history this is indeed a monumental task that was undertaken and as we read we realize that most of the pieces An interesting read but very slow paced. During World War II the Nazi's looted precious artefacts, paintings and sculptures from the big museums and added to the looted was the wealth of many of the Jews who were persecuted. This book tells us the story about the how these precious pieces of our world history were salvaged by the Allied Forces and at what cost. For anyone who cares about history this is indeed a monumental task that was undertaken and as we read we realize that most of the pieces that we see now in our museums wouldn't have been there had it not been for these brave men who sacrificed their lives to bring back our masterpieces from near destruction.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    This book was very interesting as it showcased the side of WWII that most people don't recognize, the side of theft. The number of artisan treasures that were recovered, restored, and returned is astounding and Edsel makes it all more interesting with tales of everything from hidden rooms under castles to recovering infamous pieces of artwork in mines. From finding hidden tombs to being on the frontlines in search of art. It follows the lives of a handful of soldiers working to recover thousands This book was very interesting as it showcased the side of WWII that most people don't recognize, the side of theft. The number of artisan treasures that were recovered, restored, and returned is astounding and Edsel makes it all more interesting with tales of everything from hidden rooms under castles to recovering infamous pieces of artwork in mines. From finding hidden tombs to being on the frontlines in search of art. It follows the lives of a handful of soldiers working to recover thousands of pieces of artwork from the Nazis across all fronts of the war.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Zeman

    While this is a great book tracking a major moment in history, I have to admit I struggled through it. It read more like a textbook then a third person account of the monuments men. I was surprised to learn that there were in fact more than 350 monuments men. I often wonder why the author only focused on the 11th. I think this would be a tough book for kids to get through even though it’s only around 250 pages. It bounced around a lot from monument man to monument man and I think that’s where I While this is a great book tracking a major moment in history, I have to admit I struggled through it. It read more like a textbook then a third person account of the monuments men. I was surprised to learn that there were in fact more than 350 monuments men. I often wonder why the author only focused on the 11th. I think this would be a tough book for kids to get through even though it’s only around 250 pages. It bounced around a lot from monument man to monument man and I think that’s where I got lost.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Robert Edsel paints a fantastic picture of the work of the Monuments Men (and woman!) during the last years of WW2. Jumping between Italy, France, Germany and Belgium, the story can be at time difficult to follow in terms of which Monuments Officer is where at what time but the retelling of their tireless effort to locate the stolen art and preserve cultural monuments was great. I found it a quick read as well with tons of pictures and drawings included to further highlight the priceless works o Robert Edsel paints a fantastic picture of the work of the Monuments Men (and woman!) during the last years of WW2. Jumping between Italy, France, Germany and Belgium, the story can be at time difficult to follow in terms of which Monuments Officer is where at what time but the retelling of their tireless effort to locate the stolen art and preserve cultural monuments was great. I found it a quick read as well with tons of pictures and drawings included to further highlight the priceless works of art stolen then recovered by the brave Monuments Men.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Robbins

    This was a great book! It took me a while to get through because of life, but when I picked it up, I didn’t want to put it down. It’s the story of men and women who fought to save cultural history during WWII. Art in all of its forms was looted by Nazis and the Monuments Men hunted down all that they could and returned the art to the rightful owners. Reading this made me want to go on an art tour in Europe! Fascinating piece of history.

  30. 4 out of 5

    B

    I tried to read the Adult version of this book a few years ago. I found all of the battles, and maneuvers complex and hard to grasp. This is much better. I liked how the pictures are with the text, making the connection between them easier to see. Good read for any kid who loves history and WWII.

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