TECUMSEH

SHOOTING STAR OF THE SHAWNEE

From the Sterling Biographies series

More a historical narrative than a character portrait, this account of Tecumseh’s efforts to create a tribal confederacy in the Old Northwest focuses on the great Shawnee leader’s many battles and negotiations with then–Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison and then his disastrous—ultimately fatal—alliance with the British during the War of 1812. Replete with side essays on such varied subtopics as the Northwest Territory, the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12 and the Battle of Lake Erie, it also boasts often–full-color illustrations from archival sources (many of these later paintings and old prints that are inaccurate, as the discursive captions often rightly note, and sometimes too small to make out anyway). In all, this will provide students a coherent view of events if not a clear understanding of Shawnee culture or Tecumseh’s heroic personal qualities. If it's not the 100-page holy grail of middle-grade biographies, it is still pretty close. (glossary, bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4027-6847-7

Page Count: 124

Publisher: Sterling

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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Readers of either edition will be in for a grand, inspiring, sometimes hilarious ride.

SPACEMAN

THE TRUE STORY OF A YOUNG BOY'S JOURNEY TO BECOMING AN ASTRONAUT (ADAPTED FOR YOUNG READERS)

A 2016 memoir from the first astronaut to tweet from space, lightly tweaked for younger readers.

Along with some reworking of the prose, Massimino drops chapters on his father’s death and his schooling in NASA fundraising and media relations. As a result, though this edition isn’t significantly shorter or easier to read than the original, his valorization of teamwork, maintaining a positive attitude, and overcoming past struggles and reverses through determination play out less in his private life than in his roller-coaster ride through school, astronaut training, and two missions into space. Fortunately, he also paints vivid word pictures, whether capturing the heady experience of playing with an Astronaut Snoopy as a child (“I still have him, only now he’s been to space for real”) or, memorably, the removal of what he repeatedly describes as “111 very tiny screws” from a failed device on the Hubble Space Telescope. Readers will feel his profound shock, but also relief, upon learning (in a segment pointedly titled “Russian Roulette”) that the shuttle Columbia had come apart upon reentry on the mission just after his. Yes, he writes, it’s very nearly impossible to become an astronaut, but: “I wanted to grow up to be Spider-Man—and I did.” Photo illustrations not seen.

Readers of either edition will be in for a grand, inspiring, sometimes hilarious ride. (Autobiography. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12086-6

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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  • SPONSORED PLACEMENT

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

AFTER ALL I'VE DONE

A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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SHIPWRECKED!

THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF A JAPANESE BOY

The life of Manjiro Nakahama, also known as John Mung, makes an amazing story: shipwrecked as a young fisherman for months on a remote island, rescued by an American whaler, he became the first Japanese resident of the US. Then, after further adventures at sea and in the California gold fields, he returned to Japan where his first-hand knowledge of America and its people earned him a central role in the modernization of his country after its centuries of peaceful isolation had ended. Expanding a passage from her Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun (1985, Newbery Honor), Blumberg not only delivers an absorbing tale of severe hardships and startling accomplishments, but also takes side excursions to give readers vivid pictures of life in mid-19th-century Japan, aboard a whaler, and amidst the California Gold Rush. The illustrations, a generous mix of contemporary photos and prints with Manjiro’s own simple, expressive drawings interspersed, are at least as revealing. Seeing a photo of Commodore Perry side by side with a Japanese artist’s painted portrait, or strange renditions of a New England town and a steam train, based solely on Manjiro’s verbal descriptions, not only captures the unique flavor of Japanese art, but points up just how high were the self-imposed barriers that separated Japan from the rest of the world. Once again, Blumberg shows her ability to combine high adventure with vivid historical detail to open a window onto the past. (source note) (Biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2001

ISBN: 0-688-17484-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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