The people of the small towns and farms in La Montagne Protestante region of Southern France established homes and schools to rescue children fleeing almost certain transport to Nazi concentration camps. They came from all over Europe, and most were alone. With careful research and interviews, the authors provide background information of several who survived, to create narratives about their experiences before fleeing to Le Chambon and life there. Photographs and sketches accompany their tales, told in diary-like entries: age, date, place and personal stories in short, fast informative chapters. This story is inspiring—not because of the writing style, which is neutral, clear and pedestrian, but because the authors have brought the inspiring deeds of the Chambonese to life. Why did they do it? “Because we could not NOT do it,” said a woman interviewed about the acts of ordinary people who became quiet heroes. An absolute must. (Maps, index, bibliography, photographs, notes, glossary, pronunciation guide, source notes) (Nonfiction. 6-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8234-1928-9

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2007



Marguerite Henry died barely two years ago, after living the life of which most writers dream: She wrote from the time she was young, her parents encouraged her, she published early and often, and her books were honored and loved in her lifetime. Her hobby, she said, was words, but it was also her life and livelihood. Her research skills were honed by working in her local library, doing book repair. Her husband Sidney supported and encouraged her work, and they traveled widely as she carefully researched the horses on Chincoteague and the burros in the Grand Canyon. She worked in great harmony with her usual illustrator, Wesley Dennis, and was writing up until she died. Collins is a bit overwrought in his prose, but Henry comes across as strong and engaging as she must have been in person. Researchers will be delighted to find her Newbery acceptance speech included in its entirety. (b&w photos, bibliography, index) (Biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 10, 1999

ISBN: 1-883846-39-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1999


In The Young Oxford History of African Americans series, a thoroughly researched, thoughtfully written history starting with the first Africans on the continent to American blacks during the Revolution. The subtitle, ``African Americans 16171776,'' is misleading: Wood (for adults, Black Majority, 1974, etc.) begins around 1500, with the emergence of the Spanish slave trade. From there, he traces the role of Africans in the earliest settlements in North America and describes the different policies towards them under Spanish, French, Dutch, and British jurisdiction. The rest of the book—illustrated with black-and-white maps, reproductions, and photographs—deals with the early history of American slavery, specifically with the institutionalization of racism. At the same time, Wood looks at the culture and everyday life of slave communities, illustrating his narrative with a number of intriguing biographies. While his selection of facts and figures is illuminating throughout, what makes the work a particular pleasure are Wood's inspired discussions; he ably links facts and puts them into larger contexts for readers. An obscure chapter in American history, rendered vividly. (chronology, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-19-508700-3

Page Count: 125

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1995

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