A smart salute to MWD that deserves a wide readership beyond dog lovers and military buffs.



As we come to appreciate more and more the emotional and sentient lives of animals, take a moment to consider the military working dog.

As readers will learn in this admirable introduction to the military’s K-9 corps, they thrive and suffer as much as the women and men who serve. The book starts with a guided tour of the training work and why some breeds have a natural aptitude for the work. It goes on to provide specific vignettes on dogs at war—with vest-pocket biographies of some better-known champs: Nemo, Chips, Sgt. Stubby—while accompanied by numerous photos. Boxed features break up the text and focus closely on various aspects of MWD work (dogs working near helicopters wear goggles to protect their eyes, for instance) as well as debunking myths (dogs bite to kill, dogs go home with handlers each night, dogs are euthanized once their usefulness is over). Hovering over the story are the extreme dangers that the dogs encounter—not because their lives are less worthy, but because they know what they are doing. It comes down to the senses, as Goldsmith explains how the dogs’ noses work (sniffing out improvised explosive devices and alerting soldiers to incoming poisonous gas) and how their hearing helps soldiers avoid ambushes. Kennel masters and handlers contribute first-person accounts.

A smart salute to MWD that deserves a wide readership beyond dog lovers and military buffs. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-1012-9

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.



One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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From the Ape Quartet series , Vol. 1

Congolese-American Sophie makes a harrowing trek through a war-torn jungle to protect a young bonobo.

On her way to spend the summer at the bonobo sanctuary her mother runs, 14-year-old Sophie rescues a sickly baby bonobo from a trafficker. Though her Congolese mother is not pleased Sophie paid for the ape, she is proud that Sophie works to bond with Otto, the baby. A week before Sophie's to return home to her father in Miami, her mother must take advantage
of a charter flight to relocate some apes, and she leaves Sophie with Otto and the sanctuary workers. War breaks out, and after missing a U.N. flight out, Sophie must hide herself and Otto from violent militants and starving villagers. Unable to take Otto out of the country, she decides finding her mother hundreds of miles to the north is her only choice. Schrefer jumps from his usual teen suspense to craft this well-researched tale of jungle survival set during a fictional conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Realistic characters (ape and human) deal with disturbing situations described in graphic, but never gratuitous detail. The lessons Sophie learns about her childhood home, love and what it means to be endangered will resonate with readers.

Even if some hairbreadth escapes test credulity, this is a great next read for fans of our nearest ape cousins or survival adventure. (map, author's note, author Q&A) (Adventure. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-16576-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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