A facile portrait that substitutes positivity and platitudes for real insight.

A quickie profile of a “daddy’s girl” who has only ever wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps while “remaining her own person.”

Opening and closing with strong hints that she may try to follow her father into the Oval Office too in a few years, Doeden retraces Trump’s course from childhood and the Marla Maples scandal through schooling, modeling, marriage, and starting a family along with various business enterprises. He salutes her intelligence and work ethic, suggests that she joined her father’s campaign more out of family loyalty than agreement with his stated platform, and claims that working in the White House “will give her a chance to help drive policies about which she is passionate, including childcare reform.” Readers hoping for insight into her character, values, or specifics of those “policies” will find no more than bland generalities here. Color photos show her looking glossy and glamorous while posing at podiums, with her children, her father, and (possibly former) “close friend” Chelsea Clinton.

A facile portrait that substitutes positivity and platitudes for real insight. (source notes, timeline, print and web resources, index) (Biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-8624-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Lerner

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017



An inventive introduction to a fascinating historical figure.

Another collaborative effort by the team that created The Poet King of Tezcoco: A Great Leader of Ancient Mexico (2007) chronicles the life of a controversial figure in pre-colonial Mesoamerica.

The indigenous woman who would serve as Hernán Cortés’ interpreter and companion was born in the early 1500s as Malinali and later christened Marina. She is now called La Malinche. Besides serving as translator to the Spaniard, she also gave him advice on native customs, religious beliefs and the ways of the Aztec. While Marina’s decision to help the Spanish in their often brutal quest for supremacy has led to many negative associations, others see her as the mother of all Mexicans, as she and Cortés had the first recorded mestizo. Although many of the details surrounding the specifics of Marina’s life were unrecorded, Serrano strengthens the narrative with quotations by her contemporaries and provides a balanced look at the life of a complicated, oft-maligned woman. Headers provide structure as events sometimes shift from the specific to the very broad, and some important facts are glossed over or relegated to the timeline. Reminiscent of pre-colonial documents, the illustrations convey both Marina’s adulation of Cortés and the violence of the Spanish conquest, complete with severed limbs, decapitations and more.

An inventive introduction to a fascinating historical figure. (map, chronology, glossary, sources and further reading) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-55498-111-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Sept. 11, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012



Solidly historical and far more heartfelt than those on the overcrowded shelf of assignment-fodder profiles.

A reverent tribute to the great Hunkpapa chief and holy man, cast as a memoir with a rich array of new and contemporary illustrations.

Nelson also pays tribute (as he has elsewhere) to ledger-book art, with scenes done in that simple style. Here they depict, along with mystical symbols and traditional hunts and battles, a steamboat, a busy city street, the slaughter of women and children at Killdeer Mountain, Custer’s death (depicted as a suicide) at Little Big Horn, and Sitting Bull’s murder by a Lakota police officer. Sitting Bull himself, aptly named for a buffalo that would never back down, retraces in dignified language his early years, long struggles with the “wasichus” over invasions and broken promises, and his end. His is a strong voice, whether scorning subservient “Hang-Around-the-Forts” or commending his great contemporaries—of Crazy Horse: “He fought like a thunderstorm. I liked that man.” He closes with a stirring exhortation to “honor those traditions that still serve our people,” to “Brave up!” and to “go forth with a good heart.” The first-person narration makes this problematic as nonfiction, but the backmatter provides a wealth of information. Along with period photos distributed throughout and a detailed timeline of Lakota history up to Wounded Knee, Nelson’s lengthy closing notes on Lakota practices and spiritual beliefs will leave readers with a rich picture of this noble figure’s personal and cultural context.

Solidly historical and far more heartfelt than those on the overcrowded shelf of assignment-fodder profiles. (endnotes, bibliography, index) (Historical fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0731-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

Close Quickview