An effective complement to an enduring chronicle of the Holocaust.

An informative volume created with the assistance of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam places Frank’s diary in context.

Archival photos give faces to the Frank family, the other inhabitants of the Secret Annex, and the brave non-Jewish Dutch citizens who assisted the eight Jews to hide for over two years in a few small rooms in the heart of their city. Woodward includes background information on Hitler’s rise to power and the German takeover of the Netherlands as she also details Anne’s early life in Germany (where she was born), then the prewar years in the Netherlands, and finally the fraught years after life began to change due to the Nazi restrictions on Jewish life. Taken all together, the text will help young readers understand the situation that necessitated the move into the rooms behind Anne’s father’s office. They will learn that the Frank family had been trying to leave for the United States since 1938 but, like many others, were prevented from doing so by the difficult process of getting the proper visa. The succinct but meaty two-page spreads are filled with photos of people, a model of the Annex, and artifacts from the period; excerpts from the diary appear in many pages. With the help of this book, the words of Anne’s diary will come alive. The retail edition is sold in a slipcase with both the book and a separate folder with photo reproductions of some of the items Frank had with her in the Annex; the library edition does not include slipcase or folder.

An effective complement to an enduring chronicle of the Holocaust. (timeline, index) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-2281-0301-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020



Logically pointing out that the American cowboy archetype didn’t spring up from nowhere, Sandler, author of Cowboys (1994) and other volumes in the superficial, if luxuriously illustrated, “Library of Congress Book” series, looks back over 400 years of cattle tending in North America. His coverage ranges from the livestock carried on Columbus’s second voyage to today’s herding-by-helicopter operations. Here, too, the generous array of dramatic early prints, paintings, and photos are more likely to capture readers’ imaginations than the generality-ridden text. But among his vague comments about the characters, values, and culture passed by Mexican vaqueros to later arrivals from the Eastern US, Sadler intersperses nods to the gauchos, llaneros, and other South American “cowmen,” plus the paniolos of Hawaii, and the renowned African-American cowboys. He also decries the role film and popular literature have played in suppressing the vaqueros’ place in the history of the American West. He tackles an uncommon topic, and will broaden the historical perspective of many young cowboy fans, but his glance at modern vaqueros seems to stop at this country’s borders. Young readers will get a far more detailed, vivid picture of vaquero life and work from the cowboy classics in his annotated bibliography. (Notes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2001

ISBN: 0-8050-6019-7

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000




The life of Manjiro Nakahama, also known as John Mung, makes an amazing story: shipwrecked as a young fisherman for months on a remote island, rescued by an American whaler, he became the first Japanese resident of the US. Then, after further adventures at sea and in the California gold fields, he returned to Japan where his first-hand knowledge of America and its people earned him a central role in the modernization of his country after its centuries of peaceful isolation had ended. Expanding a passage from her Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun (1985, Newbery Honor), Blumberg not only delivers an absorbing tale of severe hardships and startling accomplishments, but also takes side excursions to give readers vivid pictures of life in mid-19th-century Japan, aboard a whaler, and amidst the California Gold Rush. The illustrations, a generous mix of contemporary photos and prints with Manjiro’s own simple, expressive drawings interspersed, are at least as revealing. Seeing a photo of Commodore Perry side by side with a Japanese artist’s painted portrait, or strange renditions of a New England town and a steam train, based solely on Manjiro’s verbal descriptions, not only captures the unique flavor of Japanese art, but points up just how high were the self-imposed barriers that separated Japan from the rest of the world. Once again, Blumberg shows her ability to combine high adventure with vivid historical detail to open a window onto the past. (source note) (Biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2001

ISBN: 0-688-17484-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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