WE ARE PATRIOTS

HOPE’S REVOLUTIONARY WAR DIARY

With war an ever-present possibility and uncertain of their future, Hope and her family struggle to survive in Philadelphia in 1776. Part of the My America series and a sequel to Five Smooth Stones: Hope’s Diary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1776 (not reviewed), Hope’s latest journal entries find her family in the country having fled from the turmoil of the city. Hope’s brother has run off to fight with the Red Coats and was thrown into prison as a spy. Her father is fighting as a patriot, but he has not been home in more than a year. With a new baby to care for and worries about the state of their home, Hope’s mother returns all of them to the city where they must survive persecution from the invading British troops and the continuing threat of war. Desperate to have some normalcy in their lives, they reopen their bakery, and Hope returns to school. Soon, British soldiers overrun their home and Hope’s father returns from the front with stories and scars from the battles he has seen. Hope learns that her father has joined the Sons of Liberty, and she fears that they may not survive the coming months. Strong imagery and well-researched details make this an engrossing as well as educational selection. Readers will eagerly await the next installment. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-439-21039-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2002

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OWNEY, THE MAIL-POUCH POOCH

Going back to contemporary sources, Kerby retraces the travels of a stray terrier who became the semi-official mascot of the U.S. Postal Service in the 1890s and who, aboard ship and train, escorted mailbags to hundreds of destinations around the world. She sticks largely to facts—finding that accounts of how he got his name differ, she doesn’t try to explain its origin, for instance—but does tuck in occasional invented details to smooth the narrative. Although the text notes that his preserved body is still on display at the U.S. Postal Museum in Washington, D.C., it neglects to mention that he met his end by violence. Ever alert and sporting a harness increasingly covered in tags attached at his many stopovers, the small dog makes an engaging centerpiece in Barasch’s watercolor sketches. His tale has been told several times for younger audiences, most recently in Irene Kelly’s A Small Dog’s Big Life (2005); still, dog lovers will lap up this latest iteration. (photos, research note, sources) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: May 7, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-374-35685-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Frances Foster/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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A skimpy alternative to Adrian Lister and Martin Ursell’s Ice Age Tracker’s Guide (2010).

TOBY AND THE ICE GIANTS

A small bison meets some ice age megafauna in this prehistoric ramble.

Assuring his mom that “I’m big now. I’m not scared!” little Toby scampers off. He collides with a grumpy woolly rhinoceros, introduces himself to a Megatherium, wonders at a woolly mammoth’s tusks, and sidles anxiously past a handful of other Pleistocene creatures—including a group of fur-clad humans—before gamboling back to safety. Along with exchanged greetings, each encounter comes with a side box of descriptive facts and comments, plus a small image of the animal posed next to a human (in modern dress) for comparison. Young viewers will marvel at the succession of massive ruminants and predators, which Lillington renders in watercolors with reasonable accuracy, if anthropomorphic facial expressions. He offers measurements in metric units only (except for humans, whose weight is opaquely designated “average”). Rather anticlimactically, he caps his gallery with a perfunctory, unillustrated list of “some other amazing ice age animals that Toby didn’t get to meet!”

A skimpy alternative to Adrian Lister and Martin Ursell’s Ice Age Tracker’s Guide (2010). (Informational picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-909263-58-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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