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Makes a strong case that where “she persisted,” others really can follow.

Inspirational profiles of 50 women who threw their hats into the U.S. political arena.

Flanked by various combinations of “power symbols” representing positive values or character traits, the alphabetically arranged entries include both current presidential hopefuls Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren and the iconic likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Battling Bella” Abzug, Barbara Jordan, Abigail Adams, and deep state chief executive Edith Wilson, “the first woman to act as president of the United States” while her husband was incapacitated. Focusing more on each woman’s achievements and major areas of interest than party affiliation or political lean, the authors offer a good mix of players on state and local as well as national stages, with a conscious eye to diversity: Nonwhite women make up just under half the roster. The profiles all come in at a little more than a page in length, and, along with the selected symbols, each features two quotes and a career resume (to date). Each also comes decorated with a smiling painted portrait so staid that even Shirley Chisholm and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who in real life had, and have, world-class game faces) look constipated. Nonetheless, younger activists and public servants in search of courageous, tough-minded role models will be spoiled for choice even before they get to the concluding list of 30 “more leaders to discover.”

Makes a strong case that where “she persisted,” others really can follow. (index, endnotes) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0846-7

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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An introduction to ancient Egypt and the Pharaohs buried in the Valley of the Kings. The authors begin with how archaeologist Howard Carter found the tomb of King Tut, then move back 3,000 years to the time of Thutmosis I, who built the first tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Finally they describe the building of the tomb of a later Pharaoh, Ramses II. The backward-forward narration is not always easy to follow, and the authors attribute emotions to the Pharaohs without citation. For example, “Thutmosis III was furious [with Hatshepsut]. He was especially annoyed that she planned to be buried in KV 20, the tomb of her father.” Since both these people lived 3,500 years ago, speculation on who was furious or annoyed should be used with extreme caution. And the tangled intrigue of Egyptian royalty is not easily sorted out in so brief a work. Throughout, though, there are spectacular photographs of ancient Egyptian artifacts, monuments, tomb paintings, jewels, and death masks that will appeal to young viewers. The photographs of the exposed mummies of Ramses II, King Tut, and Seti I are compelling. More useful for the hauntingly beautiful photos than the text. (brief bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7922-7223-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2001

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Barnard’s brave effort to cram such an immense subject into 40 pages leads to some debatable claims. He opens with a sweeping history of Muslim expansion (“Early Muslims knew they had a lot of catching up to do to equal or surpass the great civilizations that preceded and surrounded them”) and continues generalizing throughout (“Until the twentieth century, most buildings in most cities owed much of their look to Islam”). Single-topic spreads cover the development of Arabic calligraphy and the mass production of paper, revolutions in mathematics and medicine, artistic and architectural motifs, astronomy and navigation, plus the importation of new foodstuffs, ideas (e.g., marching bands, hospitals) and technology to the West. The array of street scenes, portraits, maps, still-lifes and diagrams add visual appeal but sometimes fall into irrelevancy. Labored stylistic tics stale (the Caliph’s pigeon post was “the email of the day,” the astrolabe was “the GPS device of its day,” the translation of Classical texts was “the Human Genome Project of its day”). The author winds down with a discussion of how the dismissive attitude of Renaissance “Petrarchists” led to a general loss of appreciation for Muslim culture and scholarship, then finishes abruptly with a page of adult-level “Further Reading.” Enthusiastic, yes; judicious and well-organized, not so much. (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-375-84072-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2011

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