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A worthy social justice story about a compassionate woman who dedicated her life to helping others.

Kip Tiernan “passed through a door and there [was] no turning back.” She was compelled to help homeless women.

Food is scarce for Granny’s large family, but she still feeds the strangers at her door during the Depression. Granddaughter Mary Jane, known as Kip, helps. Fast-forward to the 1960s. Kip, an adult, is moved by the social consciousness of the 1960s to work at Boston’s Warwick House, a shelter—for men. When she notices women disguising themselves as men to gain entrance, she campaigns to create a special shelter for them, one with flowers and music and where the residents are respected. Finally, in 1974, she turns an abandoned market into Rosie’s Place, the United States’ first shelter just for women. At each stage of Kip’s journey, illustrations capture the mood. The front endpapers, washes of gray and blue, lead into mostly gray scenes from the Depression, with spots of bright colors in Granny’s kitchen and on Kip’s dress. Splashes of color highlight scenes of the civil rights movement when Kip, as an adult, dedicates her life to helping end poverty, and the grays and colors mix as she struggles to create a sanctuary for Boston’s homeless women. Colorful washes grace illustrations of Rosie’s Place and the final endpapers. The book closes with extensive backmatter about Kip, the Depression, and causes of homelessness. Illustrations depict people of a broad range of ethnicities and ages. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A worthy social justice story about a compassionate woman who dedicated her life to helping others. (Picture-book biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1129-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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A measured corrective to pervasive myths about what is often referred to as the “first Thanksgiving.”

Contextualizing them within a Native perspective, Newell (Passamaquoddy) touches on the all-too-familiar elements of the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving and its origins and the history of English colonization in the territory now known as New England. In addition to the voyage and landfall of the Mayflower, readers learn about the Doctrine of Discovery that arrogated the lands of non-Christian peoples to European settlers; earlier encounters between the Indigenous peoples of the region and Europeans; and the Great Dying of 1616-1619, which emptied the village of Patuxet by 1620. Short, two- to six-page chapters alternate between the story of the English settlers and exploring the complex political makeup of the region and the culture, agriculture, and technology of the Wampanoag—all before covering the evolution of the holiday. Refreshingly, the lens Newell offers is a Native one, describing how the Wampanoag and other Native peoples received the English rather than the other way around. Key words ranging from estuary to discover are printed in boldface in the narrative and defined in a closing glossary. Nelson (a member of the Leech Lake Band of Minnesota Chippewa) contributes soft line-and-color illustrations of the proceedings. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Essential. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-72637-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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Like oil itself, this is a book that needs to be handled with special care.

In 1977, the oil carrier Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of oil into a formerly pristine Alaskan ocean inlet, killing millions of birds, animals, and fish. Despite a cleanup, crude oil is still there.

The Winters foretold the destructive powers of the atomic bomb allusively in The Secret Project (2017), leaving the actuality to the backmatter. They make no such accommodations to young audiences in this disturbing book. From the dark front cover, on which oily blobs conceal a seabird, to the rescuer’s sad face on the back, the mother-son team emphasizes the disaster. A relatively easy-to-read and poetically heightened text introduces the situation. Oil is pumped from the Earth “all day long, all night long, / day after day, year after year” in “what had been unspoiled land, home to Native people // and thousands of caribou.” The scale of extraction is huge: There’s “a giant pipeline” leading to “enormous ships.” Then, crash. Rivers of oil gush out over three full-bleed wordless pages. Subsequent scenes show rocks, seabirds, and sea otters covered with oil. Finally, 30 years later, animals have returned to a cheerful scene. “But if you lift a rock… // oil / seeps / up.” For an adult reader, this is heartbreaking. How much more difficult might this be for an animal-loving child?

Like oil itself, this is a book that needs to be handled with special care. (author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3077-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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