A useful addition to a growing body of literature challenging young readers to help make change in the world.

READ REVIEW

OUR FUTURE

HOW KIDS ARE TAKING ACTION

From the Kid Activists series

Ten stories of young people working toward a better future worldwide continue a series focused on youth activism.

This fourth in a series that began with Our Earth (2010) follows the pattern established previously. Each spread introduces a young person (or pair) working in a particular problem area: clean water, racial justice, plastic waste, transgender rights, animal slaughter, refugees, bullying, gun violence, and environmental protections. The left-hand page shows a stylized portrait done by the author/illustrator using a mixed-media encaustic technique and a quotation from the young activist. On the right are a photograph, text describing the issue and the subject’s actions, and a sidebar showing other examples of activism in the same field. These actions vary: starting or joining a campaign or a walkout, taking a knee in a local football game, writing to and meeting with politicians, filing a court case, writing and performing music, and even proposing legislation. These young subjects range in age, from barely in elementary school to high school. They come from widely ranging backgrounds, races, and ethnicities, offering models for readers of all sorts. In the backmatter there are additional short examples as well as suggestions for “What YOUth Can Do.” Finally there is a long list of websites for reference and further information.

A useful addition to a growing body of literature challenging young readers to help make change in the world. (Nonfiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77260-103-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Second Story Press

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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Go adventuring with a better guide.

50 ADVENTURES IN THE 50 STATES

From the The 50 States series

Find something to do in every state in the U.S.A.!

This guide highlights a location of interest within each of the states, therefore excluding Washington, D.C., and the territories. Trivia about each location is scattered across crisply rendered landscapes that background each state’s double-page spread while diminutive, diverse characters populate the scenes. Befitting the title, one “adventure” is presented per state, such as shrimping in Louisiana’s bayous, snowshoeing in Connecticut, or celebrating the Fourth of July in Boston. While some are stereotypical gimmes (surfing in California), others have the virtue of novelty, at least for this audience, such as viewing the sandhill crane migration in Nebraska. Within this thematic unity, some details go astray, and readers may find themselves searching in vain for animals mentioned. The trivia is plentiful but may be misleading, vague, or incorrect. Information about the Native American peoples of the area is often included, but its brevity—especially regarding sacred locations—means readers are floundering without sufficient context. The same is true for many of the facts that relate directly to expansion and colonialism, such as the unexplained near extinction of bison. Describing the genealogical oral history of South Carolina’s Gullah community as “spin[ning] tales” is equally brusque and offensive. The book tries to do a lot, but it is more style than substance, which may leave readers bored, confused, slightly annoyed—or all three. (This book was reviewed digitally with 12.2-by-20.2-inch double-page spreads viewed at 80% of actual size.)

Go adventuring with a better guide. (tips on local adventuring, index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-5445-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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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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