WOMEN IN MEDIEVAL TIMES

THE OTHER HALF OF HISTORY

Children know the medieval period best for its knights in shining armor. With an eye to redressing the omission of women from many historical accounts, MacDonald highlights some of the better-known women of the time, as well as the lives of everyday women, in this overview. While the other books in this series explore specific countries (Women in Ancient Greece, 1999, etc.), this history covers a broad spectrum of Christian women in many European nations. Contents include the role of women in medieval society, marriage, motherhood, health, dress, work, and religion, as well as short biographical information on notable women. Each subject is divided into paragraphs under bold headings in the style of an encyclopedia article. In a paragraph entitled “Multicultural,” MacDonald acknowledges that medieval Muslim, Jewish, and pagan women did exist; however, scanty information about them is given. Numerous reproductions of illustrations taken from books and paintings of the time break up the text, as do boxed quotations and anecdotes taken from original sources. The illustrations are accompanied by excellent explanatory captions; in fact, quotations and the captioned illustrations are often more interesting and specific than the text, which is quite general. A survey of five hundred years of history cannot cover so large a subject in depth, and this one omits many historical events that affected women’s lives, but students looking for another source for information on women will find this helpful. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: July 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-87226-569-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2000

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A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers.

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BECOMING MUHAMMAD ALI

From the Becoming Ali series , Vol. 1

Two bestselling authors imagine the boyhood of the man who became the legendary boxing icon Muhammad Ali.

Cassius was a spirited child growing up in segregated Louisville, Kentucky. He had a loving home with his parents and younger brother, Rudy. Granddaddy Herman also was an important figure, imparting life lessons. His parents wanted him to succeed in school, but Cassius had difficulty reading and found more pleasure in playing and exploring outdoors. Early on, he and Rudy knew the restrictions of being African American, for example, encountering “Whites Only” signs at parks, but the brothers dreamed of fame like that enjoyed by Black boxer Joe Louis. Popular Cassius was especially close to Lucius “Lucky” Wakely; despite their academic differences, their deep connection remained after Lucky received a scholarship to a Catholic school. When Cassius wandered into the Columbia Boxing Gym, it seemed to be destiny, and he developed into a successful youth boxer. Told in two voices, with prose for the voice of Lucky and free verse for Cassius, the narrative provides readers with a multidimensional view of the early life of and influences on an important figure in sports and social change. Lucky’s observations give context while Cassius’ poetry encapsulates his drive, energy, and gift with words. Combined with dynamic illustrations by Anyabwile, the book captures the historical and social environment that produced Muhammad Ali.

A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers. (bibliography) (Biographical novel. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-49816-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown and HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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FARMER GEORGE PLANTS A NATION

A pleasing new picture book looks at George Washington’s career through an agricultural lens. Sprinkling excerpts from his letters and diaries throughout to allow its subject to speak in his own voice, the narrative makes a convincing case for Washington’s place as the nation’s First Farmer. His innovations, in addition to applying the scientific method to compost, include a combination plow-tiller-harrow, the popularization of the mule and a two-level barn that put horses to work at threshing grain in any weather. Thomas integrates Washington’s military and political adventures into her account, making clear that it was his frustration as a farmer that caused him to join the revolutionary cause. Lane’s oil illustrations, while sometimes stiff, appropriately portray a man who was happiest when working the land. Backmatter includes a timeline, author’s notes on both Mount Vernon and Washington the slaveholder, resources for further exploration and a bibliography. (Picture book/biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-59078-460-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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