A thought-provoking treatise on charting one’s destiny without societal constrictions.

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A PIRATE'S LIFE FOR SHE

SWASHBUCKLING WOMEN THROUGH THE AGES

A survey of seldom-heard accounts of female pirates.

Organized loosely by motivation for becoming a pirate, each chapter covers a woman buccaneer from ancient times to the late 19th century. Some individuals were rulers who took up piratical navy practices, others began as thieves or sex workers. Readers learn mostly about white women who sailed all over the world, but the profiles include Muslim ruler Sayyida al-Hurra from Granada and Cheng I Sao from China, the most successful pirate (of any gender) of all time. Readers may question whether a single act of piracy makes a couple of the women worthy of the title of “pirate,” but the accounts universally make for good stories. Sidebars provide pertinent historical context, such as background on the status of women in medieval Europe and the history of Viking longships. Duncombe (Pirate Women, 2017, etc.) is invested in her topic, stressing how these historical figures who rebelled against the status quo can help modern women feel empowered. She also acknowledges the difficulty of establishing firm historical facts in many cases and often includes contradictory reports, encouraging readers to be open to different interpretations. Illustrations and maps would have greatly enhanced the text. Each chapter ends with further reading, although many of the works cited are too complex for this book’s intended audience.

A thought-provoking treatise on charting one’s destiny without societal constrictions. (notes, selected bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64160-055-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.

MAYA LIN

THINKING WITH HER HANDS

One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A touching portrait of a remarkable celebrity influencer who used her exposure to inspire herself and others.

ALWAYS SMILE

CARLEY ALLISON'S SECRETS FOR LAUGHING, LOVING AND LIVING

When the late Canadian figure skater and singer/songwriter Carley Allison, was diagnosed with a rare and deadly cancer at 17, she shared her difficult journey through treatment.

This authorized biography draws from Carley’s blog, text messages, photos on social media, and interviews with family and friends. All testify to Carley’s popularity, upbeat personality, athleticism, competitive drive, and generosity throughout her brief life. She set and met tough goals for herself through surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. Medical intervention exhausted, she tried residential treatment at an alternative Florida institute claiming cancer cures via a raw, vegan diet. Against her parents’ wishes, doctors told then-19-year-old Carley that she was dying. The timing of events isn’t always clear, and interviews are undated, but the clear intention is to inspire others to remain optimistic and positive: When an effort fails, there’s always something else to try. Contradicting that message is the equally strong portrait of someone exceptional afflicted with an exceedingly rare cancer. Carley, who was of European and Iranian descent, was supported by a loving, financially comfortable family and a loyal network of friends. It’s when the mask of cheery optimism falters that readers truly connect with Carley; then her journey becomes ours. Readers comfortable with social media will be drawn in by the large number of photographs, varied formats, and brief segments.

A touching portrait of a remarkable celebrity influencer who used her exposure to inspire herself and others. (Biography. 12-16)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0040-0

Page Count: 392

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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