Moving and important.

A graphic nonfiction book shares the history and legacy of the Holocaust through the stories of two Polish Jewish survivors.

Bluma Tishgarten and Felix Goldberg fell in love at a displaced persons camp outside Munich in 1945 and went on to raise a family in the United States, leaving Europe and the horrors of the Holocaust behind. Bluma and her sister had weathered Bergen-Belsen and Dachau; Felix had survived Auschwitz and the death march to Buchenwald. These stories are shared in tandem, a split perspective winding them together and including relevant historical information. Kinetic artwork in a classic graphic novel style accompanies the text, bringing their story to a new audience. The book frames itself as “a cautionary tale of what happens when people stand by and allow antisemitism, hate and prejudice to run rampant,” joining a repertoire of Holocaust sources that call a new generation to action over the fascistic tendencies still alive in our world. The American military is positioned heroically in the text, and America is portrayed as the land of the free, where an immigrant’s dreams of a better life can and will come true. An afterword by editor and project manager John Shableski briefly contextualizes America’s own history of racial oppression within the book’s overarching mission, but a nuanced consideration of America is lacking in the main text.

Moving and important. (family photos, timeline, glossary, resources, index) (Graphic biography. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-63761-021-3

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Imagine & Wonder Publishers

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022



Fans of all things martial will echo his “HOOYAH!”—but the troubled aftermath comes in for some attention too.

Abridged but not toned down, this young-readers version of an ex-SEAL sniper’s account (SEAL Team Six, 2011) of his training and combat experiences in Operation Desert Storm and the first Battle of Mogadishu makes colorful, often compelling reading.

“My experiences weren’t always enjoyable,” Wasdin writes, “but they were always adrenaline-filled!” Not to mention testosterone-fueled. He goes on to ascribe much of his innate toughness to being regularly beaten by his stepfather as a child and punctuates his passage through the notoriously hellacious SEAL training with frequent references to other trainees who fail or drop out. He tears into the Clinton administration (whose “support for our troops had sagged like a sack of turds”), indecisive commanders and corrupt Italian “allies” for making such a hash of the entire Somalian mission. In later chapters he retraces his long, difficult physical and emotional recovery from serious wounds received during the “Black Hawk Down” operation, his increasing focus on faith and family after divorce and remarriage and his second career as a chiropractor.

Fans of all things martial will echo his “HOOYAH!”—but the troubled aftermath comes in for some attention too. (acronym/ordinance glossary, adult level reading list) (Memoir. 12-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-250-01643-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012



A solid and captivating look at these remarkable pioneers of modern fiction.

The wild freedom of the imagination and the heart, and the tragedy of lives ended just as success is within view—such a powerful story is that of the Brontë children.

Reef’s gracefully plotted, carefully researched account focuses on Charlotte, whose correspondence with friends, longer life and more extensive experience outside the narrow milieu of Haworth, including her acquaintance with the novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, who became her biographer, revealed more of her personality. She describes the Brontë children’s early losses of their mother and then their two oldest siblings, conveying the imaginative, verbally rich life of children who are essentially orphaned but share both the wild countryside and the gifts of story. Brother Branwell’s tragic struggle with alcohol and opium is seen as if offstage, wounding to his sisters and his father but sad principally because he never found a way to use literature to save himself. Reef looks at the 19th-century context for women writers and the reasons that the sisters chose to publish only under pseudonyms—and includes a wonderful description of the encounter in which Anne and Charlotte revealed their identities to Charlotte’s publisher. She also includes brief, no-major-spoilers summaries of the sisters’ novels, inviting readers to connect the dots and to understand how real-life experience was transformed into fiction.

A solid and captivating look at these remarkable pioneers of modern fiction.   (notes and a comprehensive bibliography) (Biography. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-57966-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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