Inspiring and hopeful if not easy.

The long and troubled history of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and its place in three of the major religions of the world is told in all its complicated glory.

Beginning over 4,000 years ago in the time of the Canaanites and continuing until the current millennium, Cooper tackles the daunting task of providing a mostly linear history of this place that has been built, destroyed, rebuilt, captured, and controlled by nearly every culture, sect, faction, or faith ever found in that part of the world. Of course it is not just the history of the temple, but of the city of Jerusalem that surrounds it. Names and dates fly in an unrelenting flow of information, barely allowing readers to grasp the material before moving on to the next era. The author maintains an accessible, neutral, and evenhanded narration, encompassing Jewish, Christian, and Muslim viewpoints and motivations, while taking almost obsessive care in documenting every person and event, with references from the Bible or Quran and, wherever possible, with historical or archaeological findings. There is a plethora of black-and-white illustrations, of varying degrees of clarity, in the form of archival illustrations, maps, and photographs. It is a fascinating, frightening, bloody, and deeply disturbing tale. However, dedicated older readers will find much to ponder. (Finished illustrations not seen.)

Inspiring and hopeful if not easy.   (author’s note, notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-59643-530-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: April 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017



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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