Readable and informative.

READ REVIEW

MORE DEADLY THAN WAR

THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE SPANISH FLU AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR

Facts, quotes, anecdotes, and visual images tell the combined history of the 1918 flu epidemic and World War I, emphasizing the role of disease in changing history.

The introduction and nine chapters open with apt quotes, usually followed by a personal story, such as one in which a 16-year-old Walt Disney contracts the flu during Red Cross training. Statistics underscore the power of the epidemic, in which 100 million may have died worldwide. The ties between the war and the epidemic are made clear throughout. The first case was reported in an army camp in Kansas. Troops spread the disease around the U.S. and brought it to Europe, where it killed combatants on both sides of the war. Civilians caught it at schools and parades, and with no cure available, it was devastating. Although most of the medical, political, and military figures introduced are white males, brief sections discuss racism and the flu, relating stories about Native Alaskans on the Seward Peninsula and an Ogala family in Nebraska. Adequate black-and-white photographs break up the text every few pages. The smooth narrative excels at connecting the epidemic and the war but assumes a modicum of background knowledge about the war and occasionally suffers from repetitiveness. A 40-page appendix reviews the role of disease in history.

Readable and informative. (notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-14512-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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Macy wheels out another significant and seldom explored chapter in women’s history.

MOTOR GIRLS

HOW WOMEN TOOK THE WHEEL AND DROVE BOLDLY INTO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Well-documented proof that, when it came to early automobiles, it wasn’t just men who took the wheel.

Despite relentlessly flashy page design that is more distracting than otherwise and a faint typeface sure to induce eyestrain, this companion to Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (2011) chronicles decided shifts in gender attitudes and expectations as it puts women (American women, mostly) behind the wheel in the first decades of the 20th century. Sidebar profiles and features, photos, advertisements, and clippings from contemporary magazines and newspapers festoon a revved-up narrative that is often set in angular blocks for added drama. Along with paying particular attention to women who went on the road to campaign for the vote and drove ambulances and other motor vehicles during World War I, Macy recounts notable speed and endurance races, and she introduces skilled drivers/mechanics such as Alice Ramsey and Joan Newton Cuneo. She also diversifies the predominantly white cast with nods to Madam C.J. Walker, her daughter, A’Lelia (both avid motorists), and the wartime Colored Women’s Motor Corps. An intro by Danica Patrick, checklists of “motoring milestones,” and an extended account of an 1895 race run and won by men do more for the page count than the overall story—but it’s nonetheless a story worth the telling.

Macy wheels out another significant and seldom explored chapter in women’s history. (index, statistics, source notes, annotated reading list) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2697-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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Levinson builds her dramatic account around the experiences of four young arrestees—including a 9-year-old, two teenage...

WE'VE GOT A JOB

THE 1963 BIRMINGHAM CHILDREN'S MARCH

Triumph and tragedy in 1963 “Bombingham,” as children and teens pick up the flagging civil rights movement and give it a swift kick in the pants.

Levinson builds her dramatic account around the experiences of four young arrestees—including a 9-year-old, two teenage activists trained in nonviolent methods and a high school dropout who was anything but nonviolent. She opens by mapping out the segregated society of Birmingham and the internal conflicts and low levels of adult participation that threatened to bring the planned jail-filling marches dubbed “Project C” (for “confrontation”), and by extension the entire civil rights campaign in the South, to a standstill. Until, that is, a mass exodus from the city’s black high schools (plainly motivated, at least at first, almost as much by the chance to get out of school as by any social cause) at the beginning of May put thousands of young people on the streets and in the way of police dogs, fire hoses and other abuses before a national audience. The author takes her inspiring tale of courage in the face of both irrational racial hatred and adult foot-dragging (on both sides) through the ensuing riots and the electrifying September bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, then brings later lives of her central participants up to date.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-56145-627-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2012

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