Books by Hugh Brewster

Released: March 27, 2012

"Though overly concerned with the minutia of Edwardian society, Brewster delivers a welcome, interesting addition to Titanic-related literature."
In time for the centennial commemoration of the sinking of the Titanic, a close look at the lives of the ship's most privileged passengers. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2009

Aimed at younger and less-than-enthusiastic readers, this gallery of North American dinos pairs high-wattage commentary—"Huge herds of giant, snorting creatures could have stomped right through your backyard!"—with naturalistic, sharply detailed headshots or full body views of about two dozen big, brightly colored examples. Brewster tucks in names and basic facts for each, adds side-glances at such high-interest topics as fossil poop and skin and closes (on a spread headed "WIPEOUT!") with current thinking about why the dinosaurs died out. Young dino-nuts probably won't mind that there's no attempt at any real organization beyond leading with the most teeth possible. Featuring a digestible informational load, lots of teeth and an occasional glimpse of blood or drool for extra thrills, this people-pleasing plunge into prehistory will likely be read to shreds. (timeline, pronunciation guide, glossary, recommended reading, "Where to See Dinosaurs," index, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 6-9) Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

In the 19th-century equivalent of being asked to model for a Vogue spread shot by Annie Leibovitz, little Kate Millet is noticed by the famous painter John Singer Sargent and asked to pose for him. Like Leibovitz, Sargent left nothing to chance, using wigs, designing clothes and sending a peacock and lily bulbs in preparation for his painting the following summer. Kate experiences the thrills and the tribulations of being a model: One day when Sargent chooses to paint two other girls instead, Kate spends the evening in her room crying. In the end, Kate poses for one of Sargent's most famous paintings: Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. Anyone interested in the life of Sargent will find the portrait of the artist and his painting through the eyes of a child model fascinating. Splendid reproductions, photos and sketches. (Nonfiction. 12+)Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

Brewster introduces the multi-talented life of the man known to the French as Le Mozart Noir. Joseph Bologne was born in the West Indies in 1745 to a slave mother and plantation-owning father. He was well-schooled and given the title "chevalier" to prepare him for the move to the very critical French court. By age 13, Joseph went to an academic fencing school where he excelled in both fencing and music. He fenced with the Italian master Faldoni, and Queen Marie Antoinette asked him to play the violin with her at the keyboard. His talents were known and admired, yet Parisian society would not allow a mulatto to conduct the Opera nor be married to a noble woman. He did, however, become conductor of the Paris Orchestra, for which Haydn wrote six symphonies. Despite supporting the French Revolution, dropping his title and commanding troops, his connection to the court landed him in prison on false charges. Following the revolution, he was sent to Haiti to stop an uprising. This is a fascinating life laid out in clear writing that blends 16th-century history with his biography, as it combines wonderful historical and lush original art. (author's note, bibliography, quote and picture credits, glossary, discography) (Nonfiction. 11-14)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

For anyone who has ever wondered about the lives of real princesses, these seven chapters provide some eye-opening narrative. These royal girls did indeed live in splendid palaces and wear magnificent clothing and jewels, but they also encountered danger and duplicity and often had little control over their lives. Mary and Elizabeth Tudor were rivals for the English throne; Marie Antoinette had little background or training for the political position she was placed in as Queen of France. Hawaii's Ka'iulani never became queen, and the Tsar's four daughters died horribly with the rest of their family in 1918 Russia. Chapters focus on the early years of each princess, often on one or two events, and sometimes seem to end abruptly. The tone is informal and gossipy—more E! than History Channel—and tends to gloss over darker events, like Marie Antoinette's execution. The text is lavishly illustrated with McGaw's (Journey to Ellis Island, 1998, etc.) original paintings as well as photographs of contemporary artifacts and documents. Historical timelines are included for only some of the women's lives and the bibliography and glossary seem curiously truncated. But as this doesn't seem aimed at a scholarly audience, it will probably satisfy (and possibly enlighten) its intended readers. (glossary, selected bibliography, picture credits, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)Read full book review >
ANASTASIA'S ALBUM by Hugh Brewster
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

The execution of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family in 1918 has long been shrouded in mystery: ``For more than eighty years, the diaries, letters, and photo albums of the tsar's family were kept a secret.'' Now they are displayed in the State Archives in Moscow. Much of Brewster's book reproduces pictures from the photo album made by Anastasia, the youngest of the tsar's four daughters, and quotes many of her letters to her father and friends. It reveals not only Anastasia's daily life with her family but her wonderful sense of humor. The four daughters—Marie, Tatiana, Olga, and Anastasia—are shown posed (usually dressed identically) in lovely photographs; or riding bikes, swimming, sailing, walking in the snow, studying, painting, knitting. Many of the black-and-white photos were hand-colored by Anastasia. A particularly impish photo of the girls with their hats in their hands reveals their baldness after a bout of the measles. Although an epilogue discussing an impostor's claiming to be Anastasia detracts from the focus, this is a story of a close, happy family that does not foretell their violent end. (full-color and b&w photos, glossary, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 7+) Read full book review >