Powerful, engaging, and enlightening.

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MARTIN AND BOBBY

A JOURNEY TOWARD JUSTICE

The parallel lives and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy turn and intersect in this innovative double biography.

Murphy uses extensive primary sources to create intimate portraits—drawing on their words and thoughts when they were not in the public eye, experiences of their co-workers and friends, and the feelings of common people who heard them speak. In Part 1, April 1968, Martin prepares to march in Memphis with the Poor People’s Campaign, work that Bobby encouraged; Bobby has decided to run for president, a move that Martin privately condoned. Martin is shot and killed; Bobby must announce the news at a campaign rally in a black neighborhood. Part 2 moves back in to recount their different family histories, the questions they struggled with as leaders, the pressure they were under and the pressure they applied to achieve their goals, their respective growth as leaders in an increasingly divided nation, the moments before their assassinations, and the nation’s reactions. The presentation is objective yet flattering (the common people and co-workers consulted loved these men). The text ends with a call to action, comparing the 1960s to our current political situation. This book brings to life the high stakes involved in principled leadership and highlights the fact that effective leaders do not act in a vacuum but take on challenges because they are passionate about their causes.

Powerful, engaging, and enlightening. (author’s note, timeline, places to visit, notes, bibliography) (Biography. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-64160-010-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead.

THE PERFECT HORSE

THE DARING RESCUE OF HORSES KIDNAPPED DURING WORLD WAR II

Letts adapts her bestselling 2016 work of the same title for young readers.

As World War II sweeps across Europe, the fates of several master horsemen become entwined. In Poland, Andrzej Kristalovich, head of the national stud farm, sees his life’s work disappear when Russian soldiers capture his horses. Nazi Germans, invading next, restore some of the animals in order to breed them for the Third Reich. Meanwhile, in Vienna, Olympic medalist Alois Podhajsky is desperately trying to care for the Lipizzan stallions at the famed Spanish Riding School even as the invading Germans capture the Lipizzan stud farms and move most of the horses to Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, at an American Army base in Kansas, Maj. Hank Reed is overseeing the cavalry’s transition from horses, no longer useful in warfare, to mechanized vehicles. These threads come together at the end of the war when Reed orchestrates a complex rescue of both sets of horses. This is not a particularly successful adaptation. It’s shorter than the original, but both the storyline and timeline are fragmented, making it difficult for the putative audience of 8- to 12-year-olds to follow, and extraneous details fail to advance the main narrative. Aside from a map and archival images (both not seen), there is no timeline or other visual aid to help organize the narrative. Characters are all white.

If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead. (author’s note, characters, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64474-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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THE CIVIL WAR AT SEA

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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