Tangled tales and knotty challenges for veteran maze runners.

READ REVIEW

GREEK MYTHS AND MAZES

Unusual journeys await young explorers in an introduction to select ancient Greek myths, legends, monsters, and sites that have been mapped onto a series of mazes.

Working on large folio spreads, Bajtlik concocts massive tangles of routes and passageways for viewers to tackle: There’s the Minotaur’s labyrinth, of course, but also intricate visual plotlines for the “Twelve Labors of Heracles,” the voyage of the Argo, the Trojan War, Odysseus’ journey home, and how Oedipus came to marry his mother. There are fanciful scenes too, such as a cross-section of fiery Mount Etna showing the forge of Hephaestus and a sea battle between Achaeans and Trojans. Mazes are present but peripheral in other scenes, such as an aerial view of the Acropolis, a “Bestiary” of 35 mythical creatures, and an overview of the ancient Olympics with 14 events identified. Tiny figures, nearly all light skinned and mostly in armor or filmy dress but occasionally naked, pose dramatically as if drawn directly from old murals and ceramics. Most bear identifying names or labels. Readers in search of less arduous versions can turn to the back, past a partial family tree of gods and heroes, to sanitized prose summaries and descriptions that (unlike the sometimes-graphic mazes) downplay the sex and violence. These summaries mention no sources but do include relevant expressions still in use, such as “Achilles’ heel” and “siren song.”

Tangled tales and knotty challenges for veteran maze runners. (Novelty. 7-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0964-8

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick Studio

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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What makes one person step into danger to help others? A question worthy of discussion, with this title as an admirable...

THE BRAVE CYCLIST

THE TRUE STORY OF A HOLOCAUST HERO

An extraordinary athlete was also an extraordinary hero.

Gino Bartali grew up in Florence, Italy, loving everything about riding bicycles. After years of studying them and years of endurance training, he won the 1938 Tour de France. His triumph was muted by the outbreak of World War II, during which Mussolini followed Hitler in the establishment of anti-Jewish laws. In the middle years of the conflict, Bartali was enlisted by a cardinal of the Italian church to help Jews by becoming a document courier. His skill as a cyclist and his fame helped him elude capture until 1944. When the war ended, he kept his clandestine efforts private and went on to win another Tour de France in 1948. The author’s afterword explains why his work was unknown. Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum, honored him as a Righteous Among the Nations in 2013. Bartali’s is a life well worth knowing and well worthy of esteem. Fedele’s illustrations in mostly dark hues will appeal to sports fans with their action-oriented scenes. Young readers of World War II stories will gain an understanding from the somber wartime pages.

What makes one person step into danger to help others? A question worthy of discussion, with this title as an admirable springboard. (photograph, select bibliography, source notes) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-68446-063-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Capstone Editions

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Gives readers a fresh and thrilling sense of what it took to make history.

A PLACE TO LAND

The backstory of a renowned address is revealed.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech” is one of the most famous ever given, yet with this book, Wittenstein and Pinkney give young readers new insights into both the speech and the man behind it. When Dr. King arrived in Washington, D.C., for the 1963 March on Washington, the speech was not yet finished. He turned to his fellow civil rights leaders for advice, and after hours of listening, he returned to his room to compose, fine-tuning even the day of the march. He went on to deliver a powerful speech, but as he closed, he moved away from the prepared text and into a stirring sermon. “Martin was done circling. / The lecture was over. / He was going to church, / his place to land, / and taking a congregation / of two hundred and fifty thousand / along for the ride.” Although much hard work still lay ahead, the impact of Dr. King’s dramatic words and delivery elevated that important moment in the struggle for equal rights. Wittenstein’s free-verse narrative perfectly captures the tension leading up to the speech as each adviser urged his own ideas while remaining a supportive community. Pinkney’s trademark illustrations dramatize this and the speech, adding power and further illuminating the sense of historical importance.

Gives readers a fresh and thrilling sense of what it took to make history. (author’s note, lists of advisers and speakers, bibliography, source notes) (Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4331-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Neal Porter/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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