RESCUE ON THE OUTER BANKS

For one of two new releases in the On My Own History series (The Daring Escape of Ellen Craft, above), Ransom (Mother Teresa, not reviewed, etc.) details a little-known chapter of American history, the first all–African-American life-saving station on the Outer Banks of the North Carolina coast. The time is 1896 and young Sam Deal admires the bravery and strength of the lighthouse keepers and the surfmen who patrol these dangerous shores. The men let Sam take part in some of the drills but tease him about his horse, Ginger, and his young age. The surfmen prefer mules to aid them in their dangerous work. But there comes a time when Ginger and Sam are invaluable to Keeper Etheridge and his crew. Selfless heroism, personal sacrifice, and courage come together during a rescue. This exciting and fast-paced tale will inspire its young readers and the large typeface and illustrations make the story easy to follow. The watercolors are detailed enough to show the characters’ emotions and reflect the tale’s drama perfectly. The rescue is resolved with the grateful passengers surrounded by their modest crew. It will be hard to forget the sepia-toned photograph of the brave surfmen that accompanies Ransom’s informative afterword. (Web sites) (Historical fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-87614-460-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2002

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THE STONE OF FIRE

From the Cavemice series , Vol. 1

Warp back in time for a prehistoric spinoff adventure with Geronimo Stilton’s ancestor, Geronimo Stiltonoot, in Old Mouse City.

Readers will find Geronimo Stiltonoot a familiar character, outfitted differently from descendant Stilton yet still running a newspaper and having wild adventures. In this introduction to prehistoric mouse life, someone has stolen the most powerful and important artifact housed by the Old Mouse City Mouseum: the Stone of Fire. It’s up to Stiltonoot and his fellow sleuth and friend, Hercule Poirat, to uncover not only the theft, but a dangerous plot that jeopardizes all of Old Mouse City. As stand-ins for the rest of the Stilton cast, Stiltonoot has in common with Stilton a cousin named Trap, a sister named Thea and a nephew named Benjamin. The slapstick comedy and design, busy with type changes and color, will be familiar for Stilton readers. The world is fictionalized for comedic effect, featuring funny uses for dinosaurs and cheeky references to how far back in time they are, with only the occasional sidebar that presents facts. The story takes a bit long to get started, spending a lot of time reiterating the worldbuilding information laid out before the first chapter. But once it does start, it is an adventure Stilton readers will enjoy. Geronimo Stiltonoot has the right combination of familiarity and newness to satisfy Stilton fans. (Fiction. 6-10)

 

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-44774-4

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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TWENTY-ONE ELEPHANTS

Fact and fiction dovetail neatly in this tale of a wonderfully resolute child who finds a memorable way to convince her father that the newly-finished Brooklyn Bridge is safe to cross. Having watched the great bridge going up for most of her young life, Hannah is eager to walk it, but despite repeated, fact-laced appeals to reason (and Hannah is a positive fount of information about its materials and design), her father won’t be moved: “No little girl of mine will cross that metal monster!” Hannah finally hatches a far-fetched plan to convince him once and for all; can she persuade the renowned P.T. Barnum to march his corps of elephants across? She can, and does (actually, he was already planning to do it). Pham places Hannah, radiating sturdy confidence, within sepia-toned, exactly rendered period scenes that capture both the grandeur of the bridge in its various stages of construction, and the range of expressions on the faces of onlookers during its opening ceremonies and after. Readers will applaud Hannah’s polite persistence. (afterword, resources) (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-87011-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2004

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