An inspiring resource for readers as well as a springboard for research.

CANADIAN WOMEN NOW AND THEN

MORE THAN 100 STORIES OF FEARLESS TRAILBLAZERS

This anthology honors the accomplishments of contemporary Canadian women as well as their predecessors who paved the way.

The members of this impressive ensemble are diverse in age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and ability, ranging from activist Anjali Katta, who founded GirlsCo. to raise money for girls’ education at the age of 16, to Shanawdithit, the last surviving member of the Indigenous Beothuk people in Newfoundland, whose drawings and writings are the sole records of her people. Actors, athletes, dancers, inventors, explorers, painters, scientists, and the like are each given a dedicated chapter. Typically one contemporary individual is spotlighted on verso opposite a pioneer of that career. Occasionally an additional woman is highlighted or there’s a footnote with additional names and accomplishments. Each account includes Faddoul’s realistic portrait as well as a brief biography. These highlight important dates, early influences, and struggles as well as contributions to the advancement of society. About 50 women are honored in this format while an additional 50-plus more are recognized with a smaller portrait and brief description placed after the discussion guide and before the biography and index. The sheer number of individuals prohibits in-depth details of the life and work of any one, but MacLeod writes efficiently, even addressing controversies some individuals may present.

An inspiring resource for readers as well as a springboard for research. (Collective biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0061-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Like oil itself, this is a book that needs to be handled with special care.

OIL

In 1977, the oil carrier Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of oil into a formerly pristine Alaskan ocean inlet, killing millions of birds, animals, and fish. Despite a cleanup, crude oil is still there.

The Winters foretold the destructive powers of the atomic bomb allusively in The Secret Project (2017), leaving the actuality to the backmatter. They make no such accommodations to young audiences in this disturbing book. From the dark front cover, on which oily blobs conceal a seabird, to the rescuer’s sad face on the back, the mother-son team emphasizes the disaster. A relatively easy-to-read and poetically heightened text introduces the situation. Oil is pumped from the Earth “all day long, all night long, / day after day, year after year” in “what had been unspoiled land, home to Native people // and thousands of caribou.” The scale of extraction is huge: There’s “a giant pipeline” leading to “enormous ships.” Then, crash. Rivers of oil gush out over three full-bleed wordless pages. Subsequent scenes show rocks, seabirds, and sea otters covered with oil. Finally, 30 years later, animals have returned to a cheerful scene. “But if you lift a rock… // oil / seeps / up.” For an adult reader, this is heartbreaking. How much more difficult might this be for an animal-loving child?

Like oil itself, this is a book that needs to be handled with special care. (author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3077-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for...

TWO MEN AND A CAR

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, AL CAPONE, AND A CADILLAC V-8

A custom-built, bulletproof limo links two historical figures who were pre-eminent in more or less different spheres.

Garland admits that a claim that FDR was driven to Congress to deliver his “Day of Infamy” speech in a car that once belonged to Capone rests on shaky evidence. He nonetheless uses the anecdote as a launchpad for twin portraits of contemporaries who occupy unique niches in this country’s history but had little in common. Both were smart, ambitious New Yorkers and were young when their fathers died, but they definitely “headed in opposite directions.” As he fills his biographical sketches with standard-issue facts and has disappointingly little to say about the car itself (which was commissioned by Capone in 1928 and still survives), this outing seems largely intended to be a vehicle for the dark, heavy illustrations. These are done in muted hues with densely scratched surfaces and angled so that the two men, the period backgrounds against which they are posed, and the car have monumental looks. It’s a reach to bill this, as the author does, a “story about America,” but it does at least offer a study in contrasts featuring two of America’s most renowned citizens. Most of the human figures are white in the art, but some group scenes include a few with darker skin.

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for thought. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-88448-620-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more