WHAT IF YOU MET A PIRATE?

From the What If You Met… series

Adkins rejects the conventional glamorous image of the pirate to construct a scruffier, though only slightly less romanticized, one in this sweeping history of privateers, buccaneers, freebooters, and similar nautical nogoodnicks. Though he may characterize them as “violent, wicked criminals,” he downplays the more lurid tales of their bad behavior, focusing instead on generalities about their habits, hygiene (“Most pirates had bad teeth, and not very many of them”), and seamanship. He also introduces Sir Francis Drake, William Kidd, Henry Morgan, and other piratical luminaries—often so that he can go on about their bad ends. Scattering loosely drawn but practiced vignettes of men and ships around snippets of historical fact, Adkins offers nothing new beyond a distinctly personal tone, but the topic is hot just now, and there’s enough about ships and sailing here to draw more than narrowly focused pirate fans. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-59643-007-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2004

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The actual visuals could be livelier, but younger readers after a mental big picture of the struggle will be well served.

IF YOU LIVED DURING THE CIVIL WAR

From the If You Lived series

An overview of the war’s course, cost, and immediate aftermath.

This latest in the relaunch of the If You Lived series follows the question-and-answer format of If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War (1994) by Kay Moore, illustrated by Anni Matsick, and covers similar subject matter, though with updated language (enslaved people rather than slaves ) and different questions. Patrick answers questions such as “Did Abraham Lincoln own enslaved people?” and “Did women fight in the Civil War?” He didn’t, they of course did…and along with hundreds of women, Patrick notes, Native Americans of several named nations also fought, on both sides. Though she is wrong in claiming that the fate of the submarine Hunley remains unknown (the wreckage was discovered in 1995), in general her accounts of the war’s major causes, campaigns, and effects on daily life are accurate if broadly brushed, and her expanded coverage of Reconstruction adds historical context that Moore’s work lacked. With a few exceptions, Harris goes for depictions of generic, stolid-looking light- or dark-skinned soldiers and civilians rather than specific portraits. There are no source or resource lists, but a few small maps and stylized battle scenes are interspersed.

The actual visuals could be livelier, but younger readers after a mental big picture of the struggle will be well served. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-71280-3

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

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A story of bitter cold infused with warmth and with the fighting spirit of its courageous subject.

THE INDESTRUCTIBLE TOM CREAN

HEROIC EXPLORER OF THE ANTARCTIC

The tale of an indomitable sailor who survived challenge after challenge—including the wreck of Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance.

Irish-born sailor Tom Crean’s (1877-1938) life changed forever when he agreed to join a voyage destined for Antarctica. Signing on to the Discovery, Crean was involved in early exploration of the continent and ultimately made three treks to the Antarctic—the last of which extended more than two years and involved a death-defying journey back to civilization after the loss of the famous Endurance. Each journey was fraught with dangers, from starvation and malnutrition to frostbite and hypothermia. But still, Crean returned. Though the story does not shy away from the tragedies and horrors of exploration, noting the loss of both human and animal companions on each journey, Thermes’ narration is age-appropriate. Readers fascinated by the sea or by our least-populated continent will find this biography gripping, and educators and caregivers will appreciate the robust backmatter, which includes an afterword, a timeline, and a list of select sources that encourage further study. Relying on panels, as in a graphic novel, the illustrations, rendered in colored pencil and watercolor, capture the warmth of the ships and the cold expanses of the glaciers and ice. Thermes makes excellent use of the pages’ white spaces to capture the beauty and the loneliness of Antarctica, further pulling readers into Crean’s journey. Crean and his crewmates present White. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A story of bitter cold infused with warmth and with the fighting spirit of its courageous subject. (facts about Antarctica) (Biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-11772-9

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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