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BORDERLANDS AND THE MEXICAN AMERICAN STORY

From the Race to the Truth series

A powerful must-read for students of North American history.

A thorough yet concise recounting of the ways the U.S./Mexico border has shaped how history has been told.

The work opens 23,000 years ago, when North America was settled by its first people. This framing lays the foundation for the often overlooked fact that a steady stream of migration and trade has flowed back and forth between what is now the U.S. and Mexico long before the modern border existed, making the case that our histories are interwoven. For example, many Indigenous people in Mexico and the western U.S. speak Uto-Aztecan languages, including Nahuatl, Shoshone, Hopi, and Comanche. The book also informs readers about darker episodes, such as enslavement and policies based on eugenics. Romo celebrates lesser-known heroes, like the 19th-century Mexican American leader Juan Cortina, who helped defend the borderlands community from violent invaders, and he holds up for scrutiny harmful misinformation, such as the Texas Creation Myth, an incomplete narrative from an Anglo perspective that was long taught in schools. Text boxes titled “Let’s Think About This” appear throughout this comprehensive history, posing questions for readers to ponder that encourage deeper thinking about historical biases. By the end, they’ll understand how past events have led to the present-day situation at the border. The concise chapters are enhanced with photos and broken down into accessible chunks, making this a strong work for any student, teacher, or parent seeking an accurate, well-researched distillation of complex events.

A powerful must-read for students of North American history. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 20, 2024

ISBN: 9780593567753

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: yesterday

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EXCLUSION AND THE CHINESE AMERICAN STORY

From the Race to the Truth series

Deftly written and informative; a call for vigilance and equality.

An examination of the history of Chinese American experiences.

Blackburn opens with a note to readers about growing up feeling invisible as a multicultural, biracial Chinese American. She notes the tremendous diversity of Chinese American history and writes that this book is a starting point for learning more. The evenly paced narrative starts with the earliest recorded arrival of the Chinese in America in 1834. A teenage girl, whose real name is unknown, arrived in New York Harbor with the Carnes brothers, merchants who imported Chinese goods and put her on display “like an animal in a circus.” The author then examines shifting laws, U.S. and global political and economic climates, and changing societal attitudes. The book introduces the highlighted people—including Yee Ah Tye, Wong Kim Ark, Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, and Vincent Chen—in relation to lawsuits or other transformative events; they also stand as examples for explaining concepts such as racial hierarchy and the model minority myth. Maps, photos, and documents are interspersed throughout. Chapters close with questions that encourage readers to think critically about systems of oppression, actively engage with the material, and draw connections to their own lives. Although the book covers a wide span of history, from the Gold Rush to the rise in anti-Asian hate during the Covid-19 pandemic, it thoroughly explains the various events. Blackburn doesn’t shy away from describing terrible setbacks, but she balances them with examples of solidarity and progress.

Deftly written and informative; a call for vigilance and equality. (resources, bibliography, image credits) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 26, 2024

ISBN: 9780593567630

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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WOLFPACK (YOUNG READERS EDITION)

HOW YOUNG PEOPLE WILL FIND THEIR VOICE, UNITE THEIR PACK, AND CHANGE THE WORLD

A powerful resource for young people itching for change.

Soccer star and activist Wambach adapts Wolfpack (2019), her New York Times bestseller for adults, for a middle-grade audience.

YOU. ARE. THE. WOLVES.” That rallying cry, each word proudly occupying its own line on the page, neatly sums up the fierce determination Wambach demands of her audience. The original Wolfpack was an adaptation of the viral 2018 commencement speech she gave at Barnard College; in her own words, it was “a directive to unleash [the graduates’] individuality, unite the collective, and change the world.” This new adaption takes the themes of the original and recasts them in kid-friendly terms, the call to action feeling more relevant now than ever. With the exception of the introduction and closing remarks, each short chapter presents a new leadership philosophy, dishing out such timeless advice as “Be grateful and ambitious”; “Make failure your fuel”; “Champion each other”; and “Find your pack.” Chapters utilize “rules” as a framing device. The first page of each presents a generalized “old” and “new” rule pertaining to that chapter’s guiding principle, and each chapter closes with a “Call to the Wolfpack” that sums up those principles in more specific terms. Some parts of the book come across as somewhat quixotic or buzzword-heavy, but Wambach deftly mitigates much of the preachiness with a bluff, congenial tone and refreshing dashes of self-deprecating humor. Personal anecdotes help ground each of the philosophies in applicability, and myriad heavy issues are respectfully, yet simply broached.

A powerful resource for young people itching for change. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-76686-1

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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