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HEDY AND HER AMAZING INVENTION

A solid, factual addition to the STEM and notable-women shelves.

No one suspected that an actress would create a groundbreaking technology….

From childhood, Hedwig Kiesler had two interests: the way things worked and the way people acted. Straightforward text coupled with engaging full-page and spot illustrations made primarily with paper collage tells the eventful story of the girl who would become Hedy Lamarr. The account moves chronologically from her curiosity as a child living in poverty-stricken Austria through her development as an actress, her fledgling attempts at invention, and her escape from an unhappy marriage to America to her support of Allied troops during World War II and her continued interest in science and new ideas. Hedy’s co-creation of frequency hopping—a technology still used widely in missiles, microwaves, software, and cellphones—is shown to be a major accomplishment even though it was not recognized as such until many years later. Although there is insufficient contextualization of how her opportunities may have been limited by gender roles of the time, this is a clear and interesting portrait, and Hedy is portrayed as a strong, intelligent woman full of talent and innovation and is sure to provide young readers with inspiration and encouragement to investigate new ideas of their own. Divided into chapters, the book has lengthier text than the simultaneously publishing picture-book biography Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life, by Laurie Wallmark and illustrated by Katy Wu.

A solid, factual addition to the STEM and notable-women shelves. (Biography. 7-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-998-7999-9-5

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Penny Candy

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2018

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WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT ELECTIONS

An empowering choice.

Shamir and Faulkner take readers on a trip through various moments in U.S. history as they explore the democratic process.

The text begins in 1884, when a young man rides for hours to deliver his local ballot box in the state of Nebraska. The book then jumps in nonlinear fashion from key moment to key moment, explaining its importance: Native Americans were granted citizenship in 1924 (their status as members of sovereign nations goes unmentioned); the emergency number 911 was created in 1968; George Washington was the only presidential candidate ever to run unopposed. The information is divided into general paragraphs that begin with a question and text boxes that supply trivia and provide additional context to the paragraphs. Children’s and teens’ roles are often cited, such as their participation in the civil rights movement and the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18. The information ranges from national elections to local, expanding on what can be done on a national level and what can occur locally. Along the way, Faulkner includes a diverse mixture of citizens. A range of ethnic groups, minorities, and people of various body sizes and abilities are included, making the book visually welcoming to all readers. An early image depicting a blind woman with both guide dog and cane appears to be the only visual misstep. The backmatter includes a timeline and sources for additional reading.

An empowering choice. (Informational picture book. 7-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3807-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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IF YOU LIVED DURING THE PLIMOTH THANKSGIVING

Essential.

A measured corrective to pervasive myths about what is often referred to as the “first Thanksgiving.”

Contextualizing them within a Native perspective, Newell (Passamaquoddy) touches on the all-too-familiar elements of the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving and its origins and the history of English colonization in the territory now known as New England. In addition to the voyage and landfall of the Mayflower, readers learn about the Doctrine of Discovery that arrogated the lands of non-Christian peoples to European settlers; earlier encounters between the Indigenous peoples of the region and Europeans; and the Great Dying of 1616-1619, which emptied the village of Patuxet by 1620. Short, two- to six-page chapters alternate between the story of the English settlers and exploring the complex political makeup of the region and the culture, agriculture, and technology of the Wampanoag—all before covering the evolution of the holiday. Refreshingly, the lens Newell offers is a Native one, describing how the Wampanoag and other Native peoples received the English rather than the other way around. Key words ranging from estuary to discover are printed in boldface in the narrative and defined in a closing glossary. Nelson (a member of the Leech Lake Band of Minnesota Chippewa) contributes soft line-and-color illustrations of the proceedings. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Essential. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-72637-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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