THE RICHES OF OSEOLA McCARTY

Coleman (To Be a Drum, p. 264, etc.) writes with feeling of an African-American woman whose work ethic proved inspiring. At the age of five Oseola (Ola) McCarty moved to Hattiesburg, Mississippi with her grandmother and aunt. Both the women worked hard every day, and Ola was taught to do all the things they did, from making soap, to washing the clothes by hand on a washboard, to heating the irons on the stove to press the stubborn wrinkles out of the damp garments and linens. For their backbreaking work, which started at seven in the morning and lasted until late at night, Ola and her grandmother were paid 50 cents a bundle—as much as a customer could tie into a bedsheet. Still, Ola learned that it was important to save as much as she could every week in a bank account. A lifetime later, at 87, Ola had to quit working for health reasons, but wondered what to do with the considerable amount of money she had saved; she decided to give most of what she had—well over $150,000—to the University of Southern Mississippi for a scholarship fund, which was named for her. The action brought her fame and many awards, but Ola remained the frugal person she had always been. The story, illustrated with black-and-white woodcut-like prints, is full of wisdom and quiet courage; readers will be drawn to the simplicity of the habits that led to Ola’s riches. A small, fine book. (Biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8075-6961-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Whitman

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1998

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda.

BOOKMARKS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

From the Here's Hank series , Vol. 1

Hank Zipzer, poster boy for dyslexic middle graders everywhere, stars in a new prequel series highlighting second-grade trials and triumphs.

Hank’s hopes of playing Aqua Fly, a comic-book character, in the upcoming class play founder when, despite plenty of coaching and preparation, he freezes up during tryouts. He is not particularly comforted when his sympathetic teacher adds a nonspeaking role as a bookmark to the play just for him. Following the pattern laid down in his previous appearances as an older child, he gets plenty of help and support from understanding friends (including Ashley Wong, a new apartment-house neighbor). He even manages to turn lemons into lemonade with a quick bit of improv when Nick “the Tick” McKelty, the sneering classmate who took his preferred role, blanks on his lines during the performance. As the aforementioned bully not only chokes in the clutch and gets a demeaning nickname, but is fat, boastful and eats like a pig, the authors’ sensitivity is rather one-sided. Still, Hank has a winning way of bouncing back from adversity, and like the frequent black-and-white line-and-wash drawings, the typeface is designed with easy legibility in mind.

An uncomplicated opener, with some funny bits and a clear but not heavy agenda. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-448-48239-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: Dec. 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

TOMAS AND THE LIBRARY LADY

A charming, true story about the encounter between the boy who would become chancellor at the University of California at Riverside and a librarian in Iowa. Tom†s Rivera, child of migrant laborers, picks crops in Iowa in the summer and Texas in the winter, traveling from place to place in a worn old car. When he is not helping in the fields, Tom†s likes to hear Papa Grande's stories, which he knows by heart. Papa Grande sends him to the library downtown for new stories, but Tom†s finds the building intimidating. The librarian welcomes him, inviting him in for a cool drink of water and a book. Tom†s reads until the library closes, and leaves with books checked out on the librarian's own card. For the rest of the summer, he shares books and stories with his family, and teaches the librarian some Spanish. At the end of the season, there are big hugs and a gift exchange: sweet bread from Tom†s's mother and a shiny new book from the librarianto keep. Col¢n's dreamy illustrations capture the brief friendship and its life-altering effects in soft earth tones, using round sculptured shapes that often depict the boy right in the middle of whatever story realm he's entered. (Picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-679-80401-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1997

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more