This first book in the Fighting for Justice series is a must-read for all civics classrooms.

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FRED KOREMATSU SPEAKS UP

From the Fighting for Justice series

When Fred Korematsu, a young Japanese-American man, defied U.S. governmental orders by refusing to report to prison camps during World War II, he and his allies set in motion a landmark civil liberties case.

Like any American, Fred dreams of marriage and raising a family with his sweetheart, Ida, a daughter of Italian immigrants. But after the attack on Pearl Harbor, wartime hysteria spreads, and Japanese natives and Japanese-Americans on the West Coast are ordered to prison camps. Knowing this is unjust, Fred changes his name and calls himself "Spanish Hawaiian" but becomes dismayed knowing others are imprisoned in camps. His identity ultimately discovered, he is jailed following his arrest for his refusal to report to the camps and there meets Ernest Besig, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. Together, they begin a long and against-all-odds fight against injustice. Written in free verse, Fred’s story engages in powerful bursts and shows how speaking out brings complex consequences. Enhanced with pictures and archival materials, well-researched and approachable historical essays interspersed throughout Fred’s account offer context, while Houlette’s reverent illustrations give humanity to Fred’s plight. Co-authors Atkins and Yogi raise good questions (such as, “Have you ever been blamed for something just because of how you look?”) that will inspire a new generation of activists.

This first book in the Fighting for Justice series is a must-read for all civics classrooms. (resources for activism, note from Karen Korematsu, bibliography) (Blended nonfiction/historical fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-59714-368-4

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Heyday

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have...

SHE DID IT!

21 WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WAY WE THINK

Caldecott Medalist McCully delves into the lives of extraordinary American women.

Beginning with the subject of her earlier biography Ida M. Tarbell (2014), McCully uses a chronological (by birth year) structure to organize her diverse array of subjects, each of whom is allotted approximately 10 pages. Lovely design enhances the text with a full-color portrait of each woman and small additional illustrations in the author/illustrator’s traditional style, plenty of white space, and spare use of dynamic colors. This survey provides greater depth than most, but even so, some topics go troublingly uncontextualized to the point of reinforcing stereotype: “In slavery, Black women had been punished for trying to improve their appearance. Now that they were free, many cared a great deal about grooming”; “President Roosevelt ordered all Japanese Americans on the West Coast to report to internment camps to keep them from providing aid to the enemy Japanese forces.” Of the 21 surveyed, one Japanese-American woman (Patsy Mink) is highlighted, as are one Latinx woman (Dolores Huerta), one Mohegan woman (Gladys Tantaquidgeon), three black women (Madam C.J. Walker, Ella Baker, and Shirley Chisholm), four out queer white women (Billie Jean King, Barbara Gittings, Jane Addams, and Isadora Duncan; the latter two’s sexualities are not discussed), two Jewish women (Gertrude Berg and Vera Rubin), and three women with known disabilities (Addams, Dorothea Lange, and Temple Grandin).

Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have otherwise yet to be featured in nonfiction for young readers. (sources) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-01991-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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Directly and humorously written, this volume will cultivate a growth mindset.

EVEN MORE FANTASTIC FAILURES

TRUE STORIES OF PEOPLE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD BY FALLING DOWN FIRST

In this follow-up to Fantastic Failures (2018), Reynolds shares stories of more people who found their way to success after failure.

The names are famous—Barack Obama, Beyoncé Knowles, Greta Thunberg—and not so famous—like social worker and philanthropist Alan Naiman, and inventor of Kevlar, Stephanie Kwolek. They are diverse in age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, and the areas of their passions, but they all have one thing in common: They achieved and excelled only after intense, often prolonged, rejection, pain, confusion, difficulty, and/or discouragement. Reynolds uses the engaging technique of hooking readers by opening each profile with a paragraph that describes an easy, predictable climb to the top, written in the familiar tone of many puff pieces. He then follows this fictional, idealistic story with the real one. This pattern helps readers see that stories of easy success are much less interesting and impressive than tales of hard-won glory. Toward the end of each story, Reynolds addresses readers with thoughtful advice based on the life in question, encouraging them to see difficulties and detours as steppingstones on their paths to their purposes. The chapters are adorned with black-and-white portraits of each individual, tiny sidebars highlighting additional personalities, and separate, pagelong sections called “The Flop Files” with still more examples. A list of questions at the end encourages readers to think deeply about intrinsic motivation, core values, and big dreams.

Directly and humorously written, this volume will cultivate a growth mindset. (Nonfiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-58270-733-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Beyond Words/Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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