A fascinating and inspiring tale.

SKI SOLDIER

A WORLD WAR II BIOGRAPHY

Born in Massachusetts, Peter Seibert loved to ski. It was only natural that he would enlist during World War II in the 10th Mountain Division to serve as a soldier who fought on skis.

In spare, brief free-verse lines that will enable readers’ eyes to slide effortlessly down the pages, Borden relates the story of a boy who grew up skiing, doing whatever he could to get out on the snow. Talented and skillful, Seibert was winning races in his teens. After enlisting, followed by many months of training in the Rocky Mountains, he was sent to war in Italy’s Apennines, towering heights that were held by the Germans in seemingly unassailable positions. Hiking up in darkness and snow, Seibert’s division positioned itself for a surprise dawn attack, described with ample suspense. Although that attack was successful, only days later Seibert would be badly injured in another battle, ending his war but beginning a long recuperation driven by his determination to ski again. Like many members of the Mountain Division, Seibert was a pioneer in the American ski industry and would go on to found the ski resort of Vail. An accurate, high-interest narrative focused on a mature topic but written at an accessible reading level is a rare gem. Many period photographs are included (revealing Seibert and his fellows to be white), as is excellent backmatter.

A fascinating and inspiring tale. (Verse nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62979-674-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats.

50 IMPRESSIVE KIDS AND THEIR AMAZING (AND TRUE!) STORIES

From the They Did What? series

Why should grown-ups get all the historical, scientific, athletic, cinematic, and artistic glory?

Choosing exemplars from both past and present, Mitchell includes but goes well beyond Alexander the Great, Anne Frank, and like usual suspects to introduce a host of lesser-known luminaries. These include Shapur II, who was formally crowned king of Persia before he was born, Indian dancer/professional architect Sheila Sri Prakash, transgender spokesperson Jazz Jennings, inventor Param Jaggi, and an international host of other teen or preteen activists and prodigies. The individual portraits range from one paragraph to several pages in length, and they are interspersed with group tributes to, for instance, the Nazi-resisting “Swingkinder,” the striking New York City newsboys, and the marchers of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Mitchell even offers would-be villains a role model in Elagabalus, “boy emperor of Rome,” though she notes that he, at least, came to an awful end: “Then, then! They dumped his remains in the Tiber River, to be nommed by fish for all eternity.” The entries are arranged in no evident order, and though the backmatter includes multiple booklists, a personality quiz, a glossary, and even a quick Braille primer (with Braille jokes to decode), there is no index. Still, for readers whose fires need lighting, there’s motivational kindling on nearly every page.

A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats. (finished illustrations not seen) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-14-751813-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Puffin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl.

FRIENDS FOREVER

From the Friends series , Vol. 3

Shannon just wants to get through eighth grade in one piece—while feeling like her own worst enemy.

In this third entry in popular author for young people Hale’s graphic memoir series, the young, sensitive overachiever is crushed by expectations: to be cool but loyal to her tightknit and dramatic friend group, a top student but not a nerd, attractive to boys but true to her ideals. As events in Shannon’s life begin to overwhelm her, she works toward finding a way to love and understand herself, follow her passions for theater and writing, and ignore her cruel inner voice. Capturing the visceral embarrassments of middle school in 1987 Salt Lake City, Shannon’s emotions are vivid and often excruciating. In particular, the social norms of a church-oriented family are clearly addressed, and religion is shown as being both a comfort and a struggle for Shannon. While the text is sometimes in danger of spelling things out a little too neatly and obviously, the emotional honesty and sincerity drawn from Hale’s own life win out. Pham’s artwork is vibrant and appealing, with stylistic changes for Shannon’s imaginings and the leeching out of color and use of creative panel structures as her anxiety and depression worsen.

A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl. (author's note, gallery) (Graphic memoir. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-31755-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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