It’s a quick skim with higgledy-piggledy page design, but it’s carefully tuned to spark thought and discussion rather than...



A Holocaust mosaic with a particular focus on children, constructed from period photos and short extracts from diaries or survivors’ accounts.

Woolf pithily links the documentary material in a narrative and fills in historical background—properly noting at the outset that Jews weren’t the Nazis’ only targets and closing with the cogent observation that anti-Semitic violence didn’t stop with the war’s end. In between, a crazy quilt of passages in italics records the experiences of young people before and after Kristallnacht, in the Kindertransport and other flights, as hidden children (including one boy disguised as a girl), in the forced relocations to ghettos and to concentration and extermination camps. Biographical information about the authors of these testimonials ranges from little to none. Still, many have faces thanks to the many family snapshots that mingle with more journalistic photos of people being herded by soldiers, of camp facilities and of poignant artifacts. Following a provocative authorial comment that most “ordinary people” turned a blind eye to what was happening “because it was easier, in the end, to ignore something that didn’t affect them personally,” a quick look at postwar recovery efforts and commemorations is capped with a reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It’s a quick skim with higgledy-piggledy page design, but it’s carefully tuned to spark thought and discussion rather than to shock alone. (timeline, websites, fiction and nonfiction bibliographies, index) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7641-6758-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Barron's

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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In this companion to Portraits of War: Civil War Photographers and Their Work (1998), Sullivan presents an album of the prominent ships and men who fought on both sides, matched to an engrossing account of the war's progress: at sea, on the Mississippi, and along the South's well-defended coastline. In his view, the issue never was in doubt, for though the Confederacy fought back with innovative ironclads, sleek blockade runners, well-armed commerce raiders, and sturdy fortifications, from the earliest stages the North was able to seal off, and then take, one major southern port after another. The photos, many of which were made from fragile glass plates whose survival seems near-miraculous, are drawn from private as well as public collections, and some have never been published before. There aren't any action shots, since mid-19th-century photography required very long exposure times, but the author compensates with contemporary prints, plus crisp battle accounts, lucid strategic overviews, and descriptions of the technological developments that, by war's end, gave this country a world-class navy. He also profiles the careers of Matthew Brady and several less well-known photographers, adding another level of interest to a multi-stranded survey. (source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7613-1553-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Millbrook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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Awash in mighty squalls, tales of heroism and melodramatic chapter headings like “The Lady Elgin: Death in the Darkness,” these marine yarns recount the violent ends of nine of the more than 6,000 ships that have “left the bottoms of Lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior…littered with their wreckage and the bones of the people who sailed on them” over the past four centuries. For added value, Butts heads each shipwreck chapter with a photo or image of the unfortunate vessel. He then closes with so many Great Lakes monster sightings that they take on an aura of authenticity just by their very number, an effect aided and abetted by his liberal use of primary sources. Younger readers who might get bogged down in Michael Varhola’s more thorough Shipwrecks and Lost Treasures: Great Lakes (2008)—or turned off by its invented dialogue and embroidered details—will find these robust historical accounts more digestible and at least as engrossing. The bibliography is dominated by Canadian sources, as befitting the book’s origin, but there's plenty here to interest American readers. (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-77049-206-6

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2010

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