A portrait of a courageous and admirable young voice for change—but no substitute for the book that is its major source.

MALALA YOUSAFZAI

SHOT BY THE TALIBAN, STILL FIGHTING FOR EQUAL EDUCATION

A cursory introduction to the Pakistani teenager who earned international attention (and a Nobel Peace Prize nomination) after surviving a Taliban gunman’s assassination attempt.

Doeden draws largely from Yousafzai’s 2013 autobiography and a handful of news reports to craft his account. He explains how she, as the eldest daughter of a dedicated founder of girls schools in Pakistan and co-author (at the age of 11) of a personal blog sponsored by the BBC Urdu, became a public face for Muslim girls’ education—and therefore a Taliban target. Silenced only temporarily by a bullet to the head in 2012, she has gone on not only to become an even more vocal advocate for equal (not to say any) education, but to challenge President Barack Obama face to face about the use of military drones in her country. It’s a straightforward account geared to those who aren’t ready to tackle longer, richer resources. Most of the cramped color photos, and all of the unhelpful pull quotes, serve to fill space more than anything else.

A portrait of a courageous and admirable young voice for change—but no substitute for the book that is its major source. (map, endnotes, bibliography) (Biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-4907-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Lerner

Review Posted Online: July 16, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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Ocasio-Cortez may be a “trailblazer” who “walks her talk,” but this is addressed to readers who already know that.

THE ABCS OF AOC

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ FROM A TO Z

An alphabetic double fanfare for the 116th Congress’ youngest elected member.

In a misapplied apparent effort to reach two tiers of future voters, Wilson runs through the alphabet twice, assigning a character trait or, more often, broad issue to each letter—“Democracy” and “Jobs” on up to “Xenophobia” and, finally, “Zeal”—and unpacking it…briefly at first, then later, on a second go-round, in slightly more detail but at the same general reading level. Thus, under A for “Advocate,” readers learn that “Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez works to enact laws that will change lives for the better” in her community, and then, in the second alphabet, that she has a progressive platform and a Green New Deal. Unfortunately, the author renders moot her own argument that AOC is a true “Revolutionary” rather than just a “reformer” by describing how she won election to “Congress” by gathering “Grassroots” support, backs at least most of her chosen party’s policies, and places high value on “Teamwork.” Aside from mentions of the Afro-Latinx representative’s Bronx childhood and Jewish forebears, her family and private life remain largely unexplored. Leaving the second alphabet a set of boxed narrative blocks, Quiles illustrates the first with scenes of Ocasio-Cortez dancing, speaking, or hanging out with racially diverse supporters in urban settings.

Ocasio-Cortez may be a “trailblazer” who “walks her talk,” but this is addressed to readers who already know that. (endnotes) (Informational picture book. 10-12, adult)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-49514-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2019

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THE 25 GREATEST BASEBALL PLAYERS OF ALL TIME

In no particular order and using no set criteria for his selections, veteran sportscaster Berman pays tribute to an arbitrary gallery of baseball stars—all familiar names and, except for the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, retired from play for decades. Repeatedly taking the stance that statistics are just numbers but then reeling off batting averages, home-run totals, wins (for pitchers) and other data as evidence of greatness, he offers career highlights in a folksy narrative surrounded by photos, side comments and baseball-card–style notes in side boxes. Readers had best come to this with some prior knowledge, since he casually drops terms like “slugging percentage,” “dead ball era” and “barnstorming” without explanation and also presents a notably superficial picture of baseball’s history—placing the sport’s “first half-century” almost entirely in the 1900s, for instance, and condescendingly noting that Jackie Robinson’s skill led Branch Rickey to decide that he “was worthy of becoming the first black player to play in the majors.” The awesome feats of Ruth, Mantle, the Gibsons Bob and Josh, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb and the rest are always worth a recap—but this one’s strictly minor league. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4022-3886-4

Page Count: 138

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

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