Better used as a browsable research resource than an account to read straight through.

THE TEXAS CHRONICLES

THE HISTORY OF TEXAS FROM EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY

Beginning in 1536 with Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca and ending with March 2, 2019’s Texas Independence Day, this boils down some 45 significant moments to dispatches from fictional newspaper correspondents.

An “agriculture correspondent” writes in 1887 about the windmill revolution changing farming, for instance, while the “space correspondent” reports in 1969 about the moon landing. Along the way are short informational boxes adding brief context, additional events taking place around the same time, or counterpoints to those stories. In their brevity, they often raise more questions than they answer, such as a brief paragraph about unspecified Native Americans that concludes, “Their artifacts are evidence of complex cultures.” The volume feels both dense, with lots and lots of text in tight columns, and selective in content, given the whole book is 42 pages long. Made in partnership with the Bullock Texas State History Museum, it’s a handsome hardback with lots of artwork and photos, but if its target audience is middle graders, the choice to present history in the form of a print-newspaper format seems questionably dated. Much more successfully executed is a large fold-out timeline of Texas history, a map, a showcase of notable spots to visit, the flags of Texas, and a Texas “honor roll” that has room for both Alamo defender Davy Crockett and Houston native Beyoncé.

Better used as a browsable research resource than an account to read straight through. (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: July 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9998028-7-5

Page Count: 42

Publisher: What on Earth Books

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have...

SHE DID IT!

21 WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WAY WE THINK

Caldecott Medalist McCully delves into the lives of extraordinary American women.

Beginning with the subject of her earlier biography Ida M. Tarbell (2014), McCully uses a chronological (by birth year) structure to organize her diverse array of subjects, each of whom is allotted approximately 10 pages. Lovely design enhances the text with a full-color portrait of each woman and small additional illustrations in the author/illustrator’s traditional style, plenty of white space, and spare use of dynamic colors. This survey provides greater depth than most, but even so, some topics go troublingly uncontextualized to the point of reinforcing stereotype: “In slavery, Black women had been punished for trying to improve their appearance. Now that they were free, many cared a great deal about grooming”; “President Roosevelt ordered all Japanese Americans on the West Coast to report to internment camps to keep them from providing aid to the enemy Japanese forces.” Of the 21 surveyed, one Japanese-American woman (Patsy Mink) is highlighted, as are one Latinx woman (Dolores Huerta), one Mohegan woman (Gladys Tantaquidgeon), three black women (Madam C.J. Walker, Ella Baker, and Shirley Chisholm), four out queer white women (Billie Jean King, Barbara Gittings, Jane Addams, and Isadora Duncan; the latter two’s sexualities are not discussed), two Jewish women (Gertrude Berg and Vera Rubin), and three women with known disabilities (Addams, Dorothea Lange, and Temple Grandin).

Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have otherwise yet to be featured in nonfiction for young readers. (sources) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-01991-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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Copious kid-friendly information on a vitally important topic, stylishly presented, makes this book essential. Knowledge is...

EAT THIS!

HOW FAST FOOD MARKETING GETS YOU TO BUY JUNK (AND HOW TO FIGHT BACK)

A comprehensive compilation of fast-food marketing practices aimed at youth and ways kids can recognize and combat them.

In this slim, 15-chapter book, Curtis begins with the basics, clearly explaining what marketing is: “the art and science of persuasion.” The author’s upbeat, nonpatronizing tone is a selling point in itself as she explains how fast-food marketers place product brands in entertainment culture—movies, TV shows, and video games—to persuade kids to identify with or become loyal to a type of junk food; how they infiltrate schools by creating fundraisers and teaching resources that feature their product; and how they create kid-friendly spokescharacters such as Ronald McDonald, among many other manipulative practices. The good news is that the book’s target audience—kids—will feel empowered as they learn how they are being influenced and are educated in ways to fight back. Segments labeled “Do This!” suggest ways readers can participate in anti–fast-food advocacy and tell stories of real-life kids and parents who exposed junk-food marketing practices. Facts about the unhealthy results of eating fast food based on statistics from countries around the world are included as well as information on what real food is. Collins’ snappy designs depict youth of many ethnicities and share space with clear, well-chosen stock photographs.

Copious kid-friendly information on a vitally important topic, stylishly presented, makes this book essential. Knowledge is power. (sources, glossary, author interview) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-88995-532-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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