An admirable tribute to a life that holds some timely lessons.

HIDDEN POWERS

LISE MEITNER'S CALL TO SCIENCE

A collection of poems charts the life of Lise Meitner, a pioneering scientist who survived two world wars.

As a young Jewish girl in 1880s Austria, Meitner longed to study chemistry, but her options were limited due to her gender. After she finally managed to earn a Ph.D. and became a professor in Berlin, she was “both flattered and annoyed” to be compared to Marie Curie; “no one expects every man to be like Pierre Curie.” Deliberate, delicate verse describes well the blistering unfairness of sexist academia and the complications inherent in having mentors who don’t share one’s marginalized identities. Appearances by other European physicists, including Einstein, Niels Bohr, and Meitner’s longtime collaborator Otto Hahn, show these revered minds as generally forthright individuals struggling against the rising tide of fascism. While at first reluctant to leave the German laboratory where she worked for years, Meitner eventually escaped to Sweden in 1938, where she continued her work with Hahn from afar. In 1946 she experienced the bitterness of seeing Hahn accept the Nobel Prize for discovering nuclear fission—without mentioning her central role. More than that, though, the devastation of the atomic bomb and the Holocaust haunted her. She lost trust in her home, and “there can be no science without trust.” Appropriately, the fictionalized biography ends on a decidedly bittersweet note.

An admirable tribute to a life that holds some timely lessons. (author’s note, timeline, biographies, selected bibliography) (Verse biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66590-250-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star.

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DAUGHTER OF THE DEEP

A teenager faces seemingly insurmountable challenges in this riveting modern-day spinoff of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

For Ana Dakkar and her fellow ninth graders at Harding-Pencroft Academy, there is nothing more momentous than the weekend trials each student must ace at the end of freshman year. Students who fail to showcase their survival skills are asked to leave the academy, a heavily guarded place Ana has thought of as home since the mysterious deaths of her parents. Though Ana’s brother, Dev, is a senior, what happens at trials is such a closely guarded secret that no one in her year knows what to expect. While her group is out on the water for their trials, Harding-Pencroft is demolished in an attack orchestrated by a rival school. As Ana and her classmates discover that the events depicted in Jules Verne’s classic novels were real, Riordan’s lifelong love of the source material is clear—especially when Ana learns information that will help her find a way to protect the group. A foreword by Roshani Chokshi introduces this adventure that is both great entertainment and centers a well-developed protagonist who is thoughtfully shown dealing with loss. Ana is of Bundeli Indian descent, and her group of peers, who are diverse in various ways, experience losses and struggles of their own. (Final illustrations not seen.)

A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star. (Harding-Pencroft Academy guide, cast list) (Adventure. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-07792-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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An impressive sequel.

PAX, JOURNEY HOME

Boy and fox follow separate paths in postwar rebuilding.

A year after Peter finds refuge with former soldier Vola, he prepares to leave to return to his childhood home. He plans to join the Junior Water Warriors, young people repurposing the machines and structures of war to reclaim reservoirs and rivers poisoned in the conflict, and then to set out on his own to live apart from others. At 13, Peter is competent and self-contained. Vola marvels at the construction of the floor of the cabin he’s built on her land, but the losses he’s sustained have left a mark. He imposes a penance on himself, reimagining the story of rescuing the orphaned kit Pax as one in which he follows his father’s counsel to kill the animal before he could form a connection. He thinks of his heart as having a stone inside it. Pax, meanwhile, has fathered three kits who claim his attention and devotion. Alternating chapters from the fox’s point of view demonstrate Pax’s care for his family—his mate, Bristle; her brother; and the three kits. Pax becomes especially attached to his daughter, who accompanies him on a journey that intersects with Peter’s and allows Peter to not only redeem his past, but imagine a future. This is a deftly nuanced look at the fragility and strength of the human heart. All the human characters read as White. Illustrations not seen.

An impressive sequel. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-293034-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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