A story of bitter cold infused with warmth and with the fighting spirit of its courageous subject.

The tale of an indomitable sailor who survived challenge after challenge—including the wreck of Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance.

Irish-born sailor Tom Crean’s (1877-1938) life changed forever when he agreed to join a voyage destined for Antarctica. Signing on to the Discovery, Crean was involved in early exploration of the continent and ultimately made three treks to the Antarctic—the last of which extended more than two years and involved a death-defying journey back to civilization after the loss of the famous Endurance. Each journey was fraught with dangers, from starvation and malnutrition to frostbite and hypothermia. But still, Crean returned. Though the story does not shy away from the tragedies and horrors of exploration, noting the loss of both human and animal companions on each journey, Thermes’ narration is age-appropriate. Readers fascinated by the sea or by our least-populated continent will find this biography gripping, and educators and caregivers will appreciate the robust backmatter, which includes an afterword, a timeline, and a list of select sources that encourage further study. Relying on panels, as in a graphic novel, the illustrations, rendered in colored pencil and watercolor, capture the warmth of the ships and the cold expanses of the glaciers and ice. Thermes makes excellent use of the pages’ white spaces to capture the beauty and the loneliness of Antarctica, further pulling readers into Crean’s journey. Crean and his crewmates present White. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A story of bitter cold infused with warmth and with the fighting spirit of its courageous subject. (facts about Antarctica) (Biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-11772-9

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022


From the All About America series

Shot through with vague generalities and paired to a mix of equally generic period images and static new art, this overview remorselessly sucks all the juice from its topic.

This survey of the growth of industries in this country from the Colonial period to the post–World War II era is written in the driest of textbook-ese: “Factories needed good transportation so that materials could reach them and so that materials could reach buyers”; “The metal iron is obtained by heating iron ore”; “In 1860, the North said that free men, not slaves, should do the work.” This text is supplemented by a jumble of narrative-overview blocks, boxed side observations and terse captions on each thematic spread. The design is packed with overlapping, misleadingly seamless and rarely differentiated mixes of small, heavily trimmed contemporary prints or (later) photos and drab reconstructions of workshop or factory scenes, along with pictures of significant inventions and technological innovations (which are, in several cases, reduced to background design elements). The single, tiny map has no identifying labels. Other new entries in the All About America series deal similarly with Explorers, Trappers, and Pioneers, A Nation of Immigrants and Stagecoaches and Railroads. Utilitarian, at best—but more likely to dim reader interest than kindle it. (index, timeline, resource lists) (Nonfiction. 8-10)


Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7534-6670-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kingfisher

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012




It’s an often-told story, but the author is still in a position to give it a unique perspective.

The author of Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America (2004) tells her father’s tale again, for younger readers.

Though using a less personal tone this time and referring to herself in the third person, Robinson still devotes as much attention to his family life, youth and post-baseball career as she does to his achievements on the field. Writing in short sentences and simple language, she presents a clear picture of the era’s racial attitudes and the pressures he faced both in the military service and in baseball—offering plenty of clear reasons to regard him not just as a champion athlete, but as a hero too. An early remark about how he ran with “a bunch of black, Japanese, and Mexican boys” while growing up in Pasadena is insensitively phrased, and a sweeping claim that by 1949 “[t]he racial tension was broken” in baseball is simplistic. Nevertheless, by and large her account covers the bases adequately. The many photos include an admixture of family snapshots, and a closing Q-and-A allows the author to announce the imminent release of a new feature film about Robinson.

It’s an often-told story, but the author is still in a position to give it a unique perspective. (Biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-54006-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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