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A book to be read and remembered: a tribute to children whose lives were lost to forces not of their own creation.

An homage to the children killed during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

On Sept. 11, 1973, the democratically elected government of Chile was overthrown by a violent military coup, supported by the CIA. A right-wing authoritarian military dictatorship ruled Chile for the next 17 years. Only when democracy returned to Chile did the world find out how many had died at the hands of the regime. Among that number were 34 children under the age of 14. Ferrada has written a tender poem for each one of these children—most with an uplifting nature theme—as a way of naming them and remembering them. The effect is to reclaim their childhoods: Luz is “a collector of sounds”; Gabriel “likes to imagine that the stars are holes in the sky.” Chillingly, their full names and ages are listed at the end along with the notation killed or, in one case, disappeared. Some were but a few months old; many were just preschoolers. Originally published in Spanish in 2013 for adults, the book is now being reissued for children accompanied by soft-edged artwork done in watercolors, graphite, pastels, charcoal, and colored pencils that lends an ethereal quality. The author points out the importance of telling this story, “knowing that at this moment, many children feel afraid, suffer tragedies, and even lose their lives because of political violence.”

A book to be read and remembered: a tribute to children whose lives were lost to forces not of their own creation. (Poetry. 8-adult)

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5567-1

Page Count: 76

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2021

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An authentic and moving time capsule of middle school angst, trauma, and joy.

Through the author’s own childhood diary entries, a seventh grader details her inner life before and after 9/11.

Alyssa’s diary entries start in September 2000, in the first week of her seventh grade year. She’s 11 and dealing with typical preteen concerns—popularity and anxiety about grades—along with other things more particular to her own life. She’s shuffling between Queens and Manhattan to share time between her divorced parents and struggling with thick facial hair and classmates who make her feel like she’s “not a whole person” due to her mixed White and Puerto Rican heritage. Alyssa is endlessly earnest and awkward as she works up the courage to talk to her crush, Alejandro; gushes about her dreams of becoming a shoe designer; and tries to solve her burgeoning unibrow problem. The diaries also have a darker side, as a sense of impending doom builds as the entries approach 9/11, especially because Alyssa’s father works in finance in the World Trade Center. As a number of the diary entries are taken directly from the author’s originals, they effortlessly capture the loud, confusing feelings middle school brings out. The artwork, in its muted but effective periwinkle tones, lends a satisfying layer to the diary’s accessible and delightful format.

An authentic and moving time capsule of middle school angst, trauma, and joy. (author's note) (Graphic memoir. 8-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 17, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-77427-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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No one writes history for children better than the latest Wilder Award winner; funny, pungent and impeccably accurate, her contribution to the plethora of books written for the Constitution's bicentennial should be at the top of everyone's purchase list. Assembling attention-grabbing tidbits that illuminate personalities (Franklin observed that if the President's term wasn't limited there'd be no way to get rid of him short of shooting him) re-create conditions in the 18th century (delegates sweltered as windows were kept shut during a heat wave to keep out noise and flies), and give an excellent feel for the kind of horse-trading that was required before an acceptable document was produced (it took 60 ballots just to settle on the Electoral College). Fritz surveys the background that made some kind of unity necessary (during the Revolution, when Washington asked some New Jersey soldiers to swear allegiance to the US, they turned him down flat), as well as events from the gathering of delegates (they trickled in from May to August) to the adoption of the Constitution by the states. She summarizes important features of the Constitution, especially the checks and balances it embodies, and the argumentative response that delayed ratification. A few amplifying notes and the text of the Constitution (as sent to Congress on September 18, 1787) are appended. Lively and fascinating, this will be a delightful surprise to any child who stumbles on it as part of an assignment; it is sure to open minds to the interest and relevance of history.

Pub Date: April 23, 1987

ISBN: 0698116240

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1987

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