Inspiring and hopeful if not easy.

READ REVIEW

FAITH AND FURY

THE TEMPLE MOUNT AND THE NOBLE SANCTUARY: THE STORY OF JERUSALEM'S MOST SACRED SPACE

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

Review Posted Online: April 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead.

THE PERFECT HORSE

THE DARING RESCUE OF HORSES KIDNAPPED DURING WORLD WAR II

Letts adapts her bestselling 2016 work of the same title for young readers.

As World War II sweeps across Europe, the fates of several master horsemen become entwined. In Poland, Andrzej Kristalovich, head of the national stud farm, sees his life’s work disappear when Russian soldiers capture his horses. Nazi Germans, invading next, restore some of the animals in order to breed them for the Third Reich. Meanwhile, in Vienna, Olympic medalist Alois Podhajsky is desperately trying to care for the Lipizzan stallions at the famed Spanish Riding School even as the invading Germans capture the Lipizzan stud farms and move most of the horses to Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, at an American Army base in Kansas, Maj. Hank Reed is overseeing the cavalry’s transition from horses, no longer useful in warfare, to mechanized vehicles. These threads come together at the end of the war when Reed orchestrates a complex rescue of both sets of horses. This is not a particularly successful adaptation. It’s shorter than the original, but both the storyline and timeline are fragmented, making it difficult for the putative audience of 8- to 12-year-olds to follow, and extraneous details fail to advance the main narrative. Aside from a map and archival images (both not seen), there is no timeline or other visual aid to help organize the narrative. Characters are all white.

If readers can make sense of this story, they’re likely able to tackle the original instead. (author’s note, characters, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-64474-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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THE CIVIL WAR AT SEA

In this companion to Portraits of War: Civil War Photographers and Their Work (1998), Sullivan presents an album of the prominent ships and men who fought on both sides, matched to an engrossing account of the war's progress: at sea, on the Mississippi, and along the South's well-defended coastline. In his view, the issue never was in doubt, for though the Confederacy fought back with innovative ironclads, sleek blockade runners, well-armed commerce raiders, and sturdy fortifications, from the earliest stages the North was able to seal off, and then take, one major southern port after another. The photos, many of which were made from fragile glass plates whose survival seems near-miraculous, are drawn from private as well as public collections, and some have never been published before. There aren't any action shots, since mid-19th-century photography required very long exposure times, but the author compensates with contemporary prints, plus crisp battle accounts, lucid strategic overviews, and descriptions of the technological developments that, by war's end, gave this country a world-class navy. He also profiles the careers of Matthew Brady and several less well-known photographers, adding another level of interest to a multi-stranded survey. (source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7613-1553-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Millbrook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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