From the Rise. Risk. Remember. Incredible Stories of Courageous Black Women series

A remarkable true story about harnessing one’s inherent dignity in a hostile world.

A biography inspired by—and presented alongside—a Black woman’s firsthand account of her experiences as a Civil War nurse.

The story opens in Savannah, Georgia, where Susie Baker lives with her grandmother Dolly, who was born enslaved but now manages her own laundry business. Susie’s mother is enslaved on the Grest Farm, but Dolly persuaded Mr. Grest to let Susie and two younger siblings live in the city with her. Susie dreams of freedom and secretly attends a school run by a free Black woman; later she’s tutored by Mrs. Beasley, who teaches her about history, civics, and current events, including the debate over abolition. After Susie and her siblings are sent back to the Grest plantation, her uncle and his family decide to run away to join the Union Army. Susie, now 14, joins them. She works with the Union Army, organizing a laundry business and school and becoming one of the first Black nurses. An epilogue touches upon Susie’s life after the war, including her move to Boston and her work as an advocate for Black children’s education. The confident voice of the first-person narration brings history to life in a thrilling way and will resonate with readers. Taylor’s original memoir, published in 1902, is included in full, allowing readers to juxtapose the two texts.

A remarkable true story about harnessing one’s inherent dignity in a hostile world. (authors’ note, list of troops, list of battles) (Nonfiction. 11-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9781665919944

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023



Intrepid explorer Lourie tackles the “Father of Waters,” the Mighty Mississippi, traveling by canoe, bicycle, foot, and car, 2,340 miles from the headwaters of the great river at the Canadian border to the river’s end in the Gulf of Mexico. As with his other “river titles” (Rio Grande, 1999, etc.), he intertwines history, quotes, and period photographs, interviews with people living on and around the river, personal observations, and contemporary photographs of his journey. He touches on the Native Americans—who still harvest wild rice on the Mississippi, and named the river—loggers, steamboats, Civil War battles, and sunken treasure. He stops to talk with a contemporary barge pilot, who tows jumbo-sized tank barges, or 30 barges carrying 45,000 tons of goods up and down and comments: “You think ‘river river river’ night and day for weeks on end.” Lourie describes the working waterway of locks and barges, oil refineries and diesel engines, and the more tranquil areas with heron and alligators, and cypress swamps. A personal travelogue, historical geography, and welcome introduction to the majestic river, past and present. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-56397-756-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000



If Freedman wrote the history textbooks, we would have many more historians. Beginning with an engrossing description of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, he brings the reader the lives of the American colonists and the events leading up to the break with England. The narrative approach to history reads like a good story, yet Freedman tucks in the data that give depth to it. The inclusion of all the people who lived during those times and the roles they played, whether small or large are acknowledged with dignity. The story moves backwards from the Boston Tea Party to the beginning of the European settlement of what they called the New World, and then proceeds chronologically to the signing of the Declaration. “Your Rights and Mine” traces the influence of the document from its inception to the present ending with Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The full text of the Declaration and a reproduction of the original are included. A chronology of events and an index are helpful to the young researcher. Another interesting feature is “Visiting the Declaration of Independence.” It contains a short review of what happened to the document in the years after it was written, a useful Web site, and a description of how it is displayed and protected today at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. Illustrations from the period add interest and detail. An excellent addition to the American history collection and an engrossing read. (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8234-1448-5

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000

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