JOURNEYMAN

THE STORY OF NHL RIGHT WINGER JAMIE LEACH

Recommended for hockey fans and nonfans alike.

Following extensive interviews with her subject and his family, Rosner relays in the first person the story of Ojibwe ice hockey player Jamie Leach from childhood through professional success.

Leach, the son of renowned hockey player Reggie Leach, started skating almost as soon as he could walk. As the son of a professional athlete, he was familiar with a lifestyle of traveling for games, being close with teammates, and moving after being traded. At some point, he realized his father was famous, something that affected the family’s privacy. Jamie’s first step toward his own career in professional hockey came at the age of 16 when he joined a junior team in Vancouver. This work pieces together his memories, his passionate pursuit of a spot in the National Hockey League, and the sometimes random changes that took him between leagues, teams, and towns. This brief overview is written in a personal, open, and conversational tone that invests readers in Leach’s story whether they are already fans of his or not. Cultural aspects of his Ojibwe heritage, integral to his experience, are casually woven into his story with clear explanations. Reggie and Jamie Leach are the only Indigenous father and son to have both won the Stanley Cup. Photos throughout each chapter enhance the work. The depth of Leach’s relationships with his supportive family members and the friends he made through hockey come through in the simplicity of the descriptions and anecdotes.

Recommended for hockey fans and nonfans alike. (Memoir. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-77337-054-5

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Yellow Dog

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

50 IMPRESSIVE KIDS AND THEIR AMAZING (AND TRUE!) STORIES

From the They Did What? series

A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats.

Why should grown-ups get all the historical, scientific, athletic, cinematic, and artistic glory?

Choosing exemplars from both past and present, Mitchell includes but goes well beyond Alexander the Great, Anne Frank, and like usual suspects to introduce a host of lesser-known luminaries. These include Shapur II, who was formally crowned king of Persia before he was born, Indian dancer/professional architect Sheila Sri Prakash, transgender spokesperson Jazz Jennings, inventor Param Jaggi, and an international host of other teen or preteen activists and prodigies. The individual portraits range from one paragraph to several pages in length, and they are interspersed with group tributes to, for instance, the Nazi-resisting “Swingkinder,” the striking New York City newsboys, and the marchers of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Mitchell even offers would-be villains a role model in Elagabalus, “boy emperor of Rome,” though she notes that he, at least, came to an awful end: “Then, then! They dumped his remains in the Tiber River, to be nommed by fish for all eternity.” The entries are arranged in no evident order, and though the backmatter includes multiple booklists, a personality quiz, a glossary, and even a quick Braille primer (with Braille jokes to decode), there is no index. Still, for readers whose fires need lighting, there’s motivational kindling on nearly every page.

A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats. (finished illustrations not seen) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-14-751813-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Puffin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

ISAAC NEWTON

From the Giants of Science series

Hot on the heels of the well-received Leonardo da Vinci (2005) comes another agreeably chatty entry in the Giants of Science series. Here the pioneering physicist is revealed as undeniably brilliant, but also cantankerous, mean-spirited, paranoid and possibly depressive. Newton’s youth and annus mirabilis receive respectful treatment, the solitude enforced by family estrangement and then the plague seen as critical to the development of his thoughtful, methodical approach. His subsequent squabbles with the rest of the scientific community—he refrained from publishing one treatise until his rival was dead—further support the image of Newton as a scientific lone wolf. Krull’s colloquial treatment sketches Newton’s advances in clearly understandable terms without bogging the text down with detailed explanations. A final chapter on “His Impact” places him squarely in the pantheon of great thinkers, arguing that both his insistence on the scientific method and his theories of physics have informed all subsequent scientific thought. A bibliography, web site and index round out the volume; the lack of detail on the use of sources is regrettable in an otherwise solid offering for middle-grade students. (Biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-670-05921-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2006

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