These inspiring stories of people who challenged the status quo make for riveting reading, as well as excellent starting...



An inspiring, informative collection of profiles of people who sacrificed freedom and life to take stands against oppression and to champion human rights.

Sophie and Hans Scholl, leaders of a secret student movement opposing the Nazi regime, were executed for treason. Andrei Sakharov helped develop the Soviet Union's first atomic bomb but later became an outspoken critic of nuclear proliferation and was effectively kept under house arrest for years. Aung San Suu Kyi also spent years under house arrest for protesting Burma's dictatorship. For decades, Helen Suzman was the sole member of the South African parliament to fight against apartheid. Rosa Parks' refusal to relinquish her seat prompted the Montgomery bus boycott, one of the first major triumphs of the civil rights movement. Archbishop Oscar Romero challenged El Salvador's oppressive regime and was assassinated. The last and weakest chapter discusses the popular uprising in Egypt that brought down Hosni Mubarak's government. Scandiffio's concise, engaging profiles offer readers an informative overview of these heroes and their accomplishments, and occasional sidebars provide background information.

These inspiring stories of people who challenged the status quo make for riveting reading, as well as excellent starting points for research and discussions about civil disobedience, ethics and morality. (Nonfiction. 11 & up) (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction11 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55451-383-3

Page Count: 172

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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Telgemeier has created an utterly charming graphic memoir of tooth trauma, first crushes and fickle friends, sweetly reminiscent of Judy Blume’s work. One night, Raina trips and falls after a Girl Scout meeting, knocking out her two front teeth. This leads to years of painful surgeries, braces, agonizing root canals and other oral atrocities. Her friends offer little solace through this trying ordeal, spending more of their time teasing than comforting her. After years of these girls’ constant belittling, Raina branches out and finds her own voice and a new group of friends. Young girls will relate to her story, and her friend-angst is palpable. Readers should not overlook this seemingly simply drawn work; the strong writing and emotionally expressive characters add an unexpected layer of depth. As an afterword, the author includes a photo of her smiling, showing off the results of all of the years of pain she endured. Irresistible, funny and touching—a must read for all teenage girls, whether en-braced or not. (Graphic memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-13205-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Bantam Discovery

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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A tribute to young people’s resistance in the face of oppression.


In 1983 South Korea, Kim was learning to navigate university and student political activism.

The daughter of modest restaurant owners, Kim was apolitical—she just wanted to make her parents proud and be worthy of her tuition expenses. Following an administrator’s advice to avoid trouble and pursue extracurriculars, she joined a folk dance team where she met a fellow student who invited her into a banned book club. Kim was fearful at first, but her thirst for knowledge soon won out. As she learned the truth of her country’s oppressive fascist political environment, Kim became closer to the other book club members while the authorities grew increasingly desperate to identify and punish student dissidents. The kinetic manhwa drawing style skillfully captures the personal and political history of this eye-opening memoir. The disturbing elements of political corruption and loss of human rights are lightened by moving depictions of sweet, funny moments between friends as well as deft political maneuvering by Kim herself when she was eventually questioned by authorities. The art and dialogue complement each other as they express the tension that Kim and her friends felt as they tried to balance school, family, and romance with surviving in a dangerous political environment. References to fake news and a divisive government make this particularly timely; the only thing missing is a list for further reading.

A tribute to young people’s resistance in the face of oppression. (Graphic memoir. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-945820-42-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Iron Circus Comics

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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