From the Rad Women series

A concise and intriguing survey of the relentless fight for social change.

An examination of social movements that changed U.S. history and culture.

The team of Schatz and Stahl, collaborators on the Rad Women series that explores the impacts of women and progressive movements, in their latest entry present challenges to the status quo in U.S. history. In addition to centering little-known incidents, the focus is on grassroots organizations and underrepresented individuals who pushed for change and responded to injustice. When familiar narratives are included, it is with an original perspective. The creators are clear about their point of view: “These are the stories and truths that many people would prefer to deny, the details that often get ignored, glossed over, sanitized, or left out—especially in history books.” The role of Harriet Tubman as a spy and operative in the Civil War’s Combahee River Raid highlights another side of her work as a liberator of enslaved persons. A look at Jane Addams and Hull House shines a light on support for immigrants in the late 19th century. Details about the Black Lives Matter and the Youth Climate movements provide useful context about contemporary activism. Attention is also paid to the arts, including music, theater, and visual art. The lively writing and the complementary black-and-white illustrations make this an enticing read. Useful sidebars and additional definitions expand upon the main text.

A concise and intriguing survey of the relentless fight for social change. (notes on the illustrations, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-5683-8

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020



Fans of all things martial will echo his “HOOYAH!”—but the troubled aftermath comes in for some attention too.

Abridged but not toned down, this young-readers version of an ex-SEAL sniper’s account (SEAL Team Six, 2011) of his training and combat experiences in Operation Desert Storm and the first Battle of Mogadishu makes colorful, often compelling reading.

“My experiences weren’t always enjoyable,” Wasdin writes, “but they were always adrenaline-filled!” Not to mention testosterone-fueled. He goes on to ascribe much of his innate toughness to being regularly beaten by his stepfather as a child and punctuates his passage through the notoriously hellacious SEAL training with frequent references to other trainees who fail or drop out. He tears into the Clinton administration (whose “support for our troops had sagged like a sack of turds”), indecisive commanders and corrupt Italian “allies” for making such a hash of the entire Somalian mission. In later chapters he retraces his long, difficult physical and emotional recovery from serious wounds received during the “Black Hawk Down” operation, his increasing focus on faith and family after divorce and remarriage and his second career as a chiropractor.

Fans of all things martial will echo his “HOOYAH!”—but the troubled aftermath comes in for some attention too. (acronym/ordinance glossary, adult level reading list) (Memoir. 12-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-250-01643-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012



A solid and captivating look at these remarkable pioneers of modern fiction.

The wild freedom of the imagination and the heart, and the tragedy of lives ended just as success is within view—such a powerful story is that of the Brontë children.

Reef’s gracefully plotted, carefully researched account focuses on Charlotte, whose correspondence with friends, longer life and more extensive experience outside the narrow milieu of Haworth, including her acquaintance with the novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, who became her biographer, revealed more of her personality. She describes the Brontë children’s early losses of their mother and then their two oldest siblings, conveying the imaginative, verbally rich life of children who are essentially orphaned but share both the wild countryside and the gifts of story. Brother Branwell’s tragic struggle with alcohol and opium is seen as if offstage, wounding to his sisters and his father but sad principally because he never found a way to use literature to save himself. Reef looks at the 19th-century context for women writers and the reasons that the sisters chose to publish only under pseudonyms—and includes a wonderful description of the encounter in which Anne and Charlotte revealed their identities to Charlotte’s publisher. She also includes brief, no-major-spoilers summaries of the sisters’ novels, inviting readers to connect the dots and to understand how real-life experience was transformed into fiction.

A solid and captivating look at these remarkable pioneers of modern fiction.   (notes and a comprehensive bibliography) (Biography. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 23, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-57966-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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