REAL AMERICAN GIRLS TELL THEIR OWN STORIES

This slim collection of actual writings of American girls from colonial times to the mid-20th century contains some real gems that are sure to inspire readers to learn more about history. Their first insight will be that girls who lived long ago weren’t really that different from their modern counterparts. They played games and played jokes on one another, were interested in boys, knew that their teachers and parents didn’t understand them, were picked on by big brothers and sisters, and worried about what the future held for them. Some of the entries are funny, some serious, but all are informative and entertaining, augmented by the co- authors’ introductory notes for every entry and black-and-white photographs of the spirited and spunky girls who wrote such wonderful descriptions of their lives. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-689-82083-6

Page Count: 103

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1999

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Wheeler offers a scrapbook-style travelogue of her seven-month stint on the world’s coldest continent. Letters to her...

GREETINGS FROM ANTARCTICA

            In an eye-opening companion to such works as Jennifer Armstrong’s Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World (1999) and Elizabeth Cody Kimmel’s Ice Story (p.  66) on Shackleton, readers get a contemporary look at Antarctica.

            Wheeler offers a scrapbook-style travelogue of her seven-month stint on the world’s coldest continent.  Letters to her godson, Daniel, describe a harsh environment so cold that dental fillings fall out.  Double-page spreads dotted with full-color snapshots form short chapters on the icy region, suiting up, the difficulties of everyday existence, food and drink, shelter, transportation, entertainment, and wildlife.  The last third of the volume is devoted to current scientific pursuits as well as an overview of famous expeditions to the nearly uninhabitable “bottom of the planet.”  The cheery photographs – most by the author – show her dwarfed by the Barne glacier, posing with Emperor penguins, even building an igloo.  While the chatty letters highlight personal details of the trip, boxed inserts provide background information.  Key dates in Antarctic history complete this accessible profile, ideal as entry into units on the region.  (maps, charts, diagrams, further reading, index)  (Nonfiction.  8-12)

Pub Date: July 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-87226-295-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1999

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TAKE A SEAT—MAKE A STAND

A HERO IN THE FAMILY

Perfectly pitched to its target elementary audience, this tells the story of Sarah Keys Evans, a young woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus three years before Rosa Parks did the same.

While serving in the Women’s Army Corps in 1952, Evans took a bus to visit her family in North Carolina. At the time, discrimination on busses that crossed state lines was forbidden by law, but the bus company had its own rules. When she reached her home state, the driver demanded that she move to the back of the bus, and had her arrested when she refused. Evans filed a lawsuit against the bus company, eventually winning the case. Nathan reproduces many family photographs of Evans, clearly and concisely explaining her fight. She portrays Evans as an extremely shy young woman; because of her restrained personality, she comes across to readers with heightened courage. By weaving in photographs and Evans’s life story with her legal battle, the book will hold reader interest. Nathan strikes just the right balance of emotion and facts necessary to reach children within the context of a history lesson. As a result, this thin volume would be a good choice for elementary classrooms as part of a Civil Rights unit.

A winner. (Nonfiction. 6-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 978-0-595-41761-2

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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