A meager introduction to an important subject. Though the author cites dramatic statistics (``we generate enough garbage each day [in the US] to fill 63,000 garbage trucks that hold 7 to 14 tons of trash each''), he offers little that's new; mostly, fictional sixth-graders report on the problems and suggest predictable, often simplistic solutions. The subtitle (Learning the Four R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover) says it all. Photos are muddy and often marginal—e.g., shelves of potato chip bags. (Are there better ways to package potato chips?) Little attention is given to the real problems of collecting, reprocessing, and finding markets for recycled materials. Most helpful features in this ``Better Earth Series'' entry are the lists of places to write for more information and extensive further reading. Glossary; index. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-89490-399-3

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Enslow

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993


With an emphasis on Western “makers” of the millennium, and, perhaps inevitably, deep coverage of the last 200 years and fleeting coverage of the first few centuries, this volume offers brief biographical sketches of 1,000 people who had an impact on the last 1,000 years. Profusely illustrated and printed on heavy glossy stock, this is a coffee table book for children, meant to be dipped into rather than read from start to finish. Organized chronologically, with a chapter for each century, the parade of people is given context through a timeline of major events, with those of particular importance discussed in special boxes. As with any effort of this kind, there are surprising omissions (the publisher is creating a website for readers’ own suggestions) and inclusions, a Western predominance that grows more pronounced in the later centuries, and an emphasis on sports and celebrity that finishes off the last few decades. The selection can seem highly subjective and provocatively arbitrary, e.g., the US presidents from Nixon back to Teddy Roosevelt are all covered, but none after Nixon. Still, there is a clear effort to include a wide variety of countries and cultures, and this ambitious effort will be the starting point for many historical journeys. (chronology, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7894-4709-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: DK Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1999



The author of the century-old, still-beloved Little Women led an extraordinarily interesting life herself, as Warrick makes plain in this dutiful biography. Alcott’s often-absent father, full of educational dreams and schemes and a friend of Emerson, her hard-working and hard-pressed mother, and her three sisters (models, as is well-known, for the siblings in the book) moved a great deal as she was growing up. Alcott soon realized that if there was to be money, she had to make it, and found a career writing sensational trash under a pseudonym and wonderful family stories under her own name. The biography opens with the story of Alcott’s letters from a Civil War hospital where she worked as a nurse, published in Boston Commonwealth magazine and her first real literary success. Vignettes and quotations enliven the text, which is written in a direct and straightforward style. Alcott’s work as a feminist and her possible love life are mentioned, if briefly. For those seeking yet another biography, this will serve. (b&w photos, not seen, chronology, notes, glossary, index) (Biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-7660-1254-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Enslow

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 1999

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