A terrific piece of paleoanthropology, with a smart blend of scientific sobriety and narrative verve.


Advances in paleoanthropology are given a bracing, clearsighted overview in this enhanced e-book from Berger and Aronson, based on the 2012 print book of the same name.

Many easily recognize the discovery of 3-million-year-old Lucy as a vital moment in the human progress. But except for articles published in rarified journals, the general public hasn’t heard nearly enough from the paleoanthropological front since her discovery, and this work helps to set that record straight. It uses the findings of co-author Berger and his son as a hinge to learning from the fossil record; of “training your eye to see what you need to see” out in the field. Using the National Geographic Society’s trademark crack photography and layman’s language, the book takes readers from Lucy through a very helpful timeline of famous fossil finds in Africa and the introduction of dating techniques. It constructs a braided evolutionary trail that includes a member Berger named sediba, who had traits quite separate from chimpanzees and may prove to be a link to the deep past. Enhancements include an introductory video that uses Google Earth to zero in on Berger’s dig sites outside of Johannesburg, another, nifty video that gives a “3-D” look at the titular skull, enlargeable photos that often appear in swipeable galleries, and active hyperlinks from Web-based resources in the bibliography, allowing galvanized readers instant, direct access to further information.

A terrific piece of paleoanthropology, with a smart blend of scientific sobriety and narrative verve. (Nonfiction enhanced e-book. 10 & up)

Pub Date: April 23, 2013


Page Count: -

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2013

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A guidebook for taking action against racism.

The clear title and bold, colorful illustrations will immediately draw attention to this book, designed to guide each reader on a personal journey to work to dismantle racism. In the author’s note, Jewell begins with explanations about word choice, including the use of the terms “folx,” because it is gender neutral, and “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world. She also chooses to capitalize Black, Brown, and Indigenous as a way of centering these communities’ voices; "white" is not capitalized. Organized in four sections—identity, history, taking action, and working in solidarity—each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous section. Underlined words are defined in the glossary, but Jewell unpacks concepts around race in an accessible way, bringing attention to common misunderstandings. Activities are included at the end of each chapter; they are effective, prompting both self-reflection and action steps from readers. The activities are designed to not be written inside the actual book; instead Jewell invites readers to find a special notebook and favorite pen and use that throughout. Combining the disruption of common fallacies, spotlights on change makers, the author’s personal reflections, and a call to action, this powerful book has something for all young people no matter what stage they are at in terms of awareness or activism.

Essential. (author’s note, further reading, glossary, select bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4521-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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It’s slanted toward action-oriented readers, who will find that Briticisms meld with all the other wonders of magic school.


From the Harry Potter series , Vol. 1

In a rousing first novel, already an award-winner in England, Harry is just a baby when his magical parents are done in by Voldemort, a wizard so dastardly other wizards are scared to mention his name.

So Harry is brought up by his mean Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia Dursley, and picked on by his horrid cousin Dudley. He knows nothing about his magical birthright until ten years later, when he learns he’s to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hogwarts is a lot like English boarding school, except that instead of classes in math and grammar, the curriculum features courses in Transfiguration, Herbology, and Defense Against the Dark Arts. Harry becomes the star player of Quidditch, a sort of mid-air ball game. With the help of his new friends Ron and Hermione, Harry solves a mystery involving a sorcerer’s stone that ultimately takes him to the evil Voldemort. This hugely enjoyable fantasy is filled with imaginative details, from oddly flavored jelly beans to dragons’ eggs hatched on the hearth.

It’s slanted toward action-oriented readers, who will find that Briticisms meld with all the other wonders of magic school. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 978-0-590-35340-3

Page Count: 309

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1998

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