Schatz and Stahl (Rad American Women A-Z, 2015, etc.) partner again to present young women and girls who have achieved great things.

The subjects of the powerful profiles in this book are mostly teenagers, some as young as 10 at the beginnings of their journeys to greatness. Most readers will know such names as Anne Frank and Malala Yousafzai, but they will learn many new names as well. Stories like those of Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theatre’s first African-American principal ballerina, and Yusra Mardini, the young Syrian swimmer who pulled 18 other refugees through the sea to safety, engage readers with emotional depth and demonstrate the value of perseverance. Various ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds are represented in this mix of modern and historical figures, though most are from the United States and born within the past 100 years. The black-and-white papercut illustrations give a memorable impression of each girl profiled. The careful inclusion of Jazz Jennings, Janet Mock, and Amandla Stenberg makes room for multiple constructions of girlhood. Carefully researched and utterly compelling, this volume is hard to put down. At the end, a blank profile asks the reader to fill in their own rad reality and dreams for making the world a better place. Eight pages of “More Rad Girls” offer many more names to look up, and the opening “Note on Gender” acknowledges heroes and readers of all gender identities while upholding the value of a volume with girls at the center.

Engaging and inspiring. (sources, index) (Collective biography. 10-16)

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-58110-6

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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Puccini wins the prize for most-maligned great composer. In a fit of depressive self-deprecation, Puccini himself called his own music ``sugary,'' and the persistent popularity of his mature operas at box-offices around the world for nearly a century has too often provoked critical condescension, as if art so well-loved could not possibly be worth much. But that situation, thankfully, is changing, and this much-needed essay collection on Puccini by leading scholars of 19th- and 20th-century Italian opera is worth a good deal more than several new biographies. The volume ranges from a lengthy piece on Puccini's family by his granddaughter (one of the editors) to chapters devoted to Puccini's ``musical world'' and each of his operas by luminaries such as William Weaver, Harvey Sachs, Fedele D'Amico, Verdi heavyweights Mary Jane Phillips-Matz and Julian Budden, and William Ashbrook. A favorite: David Hamilton's expert investigation of the early Tosca recordings, especially the legendary ``Mapelson cylinders'' of live Metropolitan Opera performances from 1902-03, to see what light they shed on Puccini's original interpreters. The editors, perhaps hoping to attract non-musicologist admirers of the Luccan master, issue the disclaimer that ``this is not a work of scholarship'' (even though two of the chapters make a start on an accessible Puccini bibliography). They needn't have worried. Lovers of Puccini and Italian opera at every level of interest and knowledge will want this book. (Photographs—not seen)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 1994

ISBN: 0-393-02930-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1994

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One of the great pitchers in baseball history (and one of the most outspoken and disagreeable), Gibson recalls his storied career with the capable help of Wheeler (I Had a Hammer, not reviewed) and shows he's not done being ``difficult.'' A ferocious competitor who made his living pitching high and tight, Gibson had a reputation throughout his 17 years with the St. Louis Cardinals for being just as uncompromising and angry off the field, especially concerning racial matters. Gibson was raised in an Omaha, Nebr., housing project, where his older brother was hero, mentor, and coach. After college, Gibson, who claims that he was better at basketball than baseball, signed a contract with both the Cardinals and the Harlem Globetrotters, playing one year for the latter. He calls his first professional baseball manager, Johnny Keane, ``the closest thing to a saint that I came across in baseball.'' When Keane replaced Solly Hemus (whom Gibson despised) in 1961, it turned the Cardinals', and Gibson's, fortunes around. Known for his extraordinary performances in the postseason, Gibson had a World Series record of 7-2, with a 1.89 ERA and an incredible 92 strikeouts over 81 innings. He won 20 games in five different seasons and in 1968 posted a 1.12 ERA in 305 innings. Gibson offers some fun and insightful recollections of big games, friends, and teammates such as Tim McCarver, Joe Torre, and Bob Uecker, and legendary matchups with Juan Marichal (``the best pitcher of my generation''), Sandy Koufax, and Don Drysdale. Despite his Hall of Fame credentials, Gibson claims he's been ostracized from the game and hasn't held a baseball job since 1984. Though he grouses a lot about being slighted by major league baseball and rehashes all-too-familiar racial difficulties, it is refreshing to get the fiery Gibson's take on the grand old game. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) (First printing of 75,000; $75,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-670-84794-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1994

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