It’s conventional fare, but it’s systematic and at least a little broader in scope than older titles.

THE NEGRO LEAGUES

CELEBRATING BASEBALL'S UNSUNG HEROES

A broad survey of African-Americans in baseball, from the end of the Civil War to the era of Jackie Robinson and the last of the barnstormers.

Though far from “unsung” considering Kadir Nelson’s soaring We Are the Ship (2008) and the plethora of both general histories and individual biographies available, black players from Robinson, Satchel Paige, and Josh Gibson to less-prominent ground breakers such as Moses Fleetwood Walker, Rube Foster, and Toni Stone certainly merit another tip of the cap. Unlike Nelson, Doeden doesn’t pull readers out onto the field of dreams. Instead, mixing in notable games and spotlight player profiles, plus plenty of team and individual photos, Doeden offers a fluent if standard-issue chronicle of the rises and falls of significant Negro Leagues and independent teams in the wake of professional baseball’s exclusion of African-Americans. (Other minorities get no more than a few references and an intriguing group portrait of a diverse “All Nations” team from around 1915.) Also, in a closing “Legacy” chapter, he brings his account up to the present by analyzing, albeit in a superficial way, the modern decline in the percentage of African-Americans in the ranks of the modern major leagues.

It’s conventional fare, but it’s systematic and at least a little broader in scope than older titles. (notes, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-2753-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2016

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It’s a topic of major concern, but there’s little here to kindle that concern in young readers or to set the book apart from...

SEVEN BILLION AND COUNTING

THE CRISIS IN GLOBAL POPULATION GROWTH

A slim volume combines a background overview with a call to action.

Andregg begins by citing a 2011 figure for human numbers and vaguely noting that “[p]eople are planting crops in areas with poor soil in an effort to feed growing populations.” He goes on to explain the basics of demographics, then presents an eye-glazing continent-by-continent review of trends in birth rates, death rates, growth rates, life expectancies and similar indicators. In equally abstract terms he also covers population-related wildlife and environmental issues, plus international efforts to reduce human birth rates. Aside from intriguing posters and public-service advertisements from various countries promoting said family-planning initiatives, the illustrations are largely just generic crowd shots. The sound-bite quotes at chapter heads and elsewhere are more specifically sourced than the facts and figures in the narrative or the charts with which it is punctuated. Unappealing extracurricular activities proposed at the end include starting a club to discuss population issues and conducting a survey (suggested question: “What kind of population policy do you think the United States should have? Why?”).

It’s a topic of major concern, but there’s little here to kindle that concern in young readers or to set the book apart from the assignment-fodder herd. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7613-6715-4

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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WHAT THE EAGLE SEES

INDIGENOUS STORIES OF REBELLION AND RENEWAL

The co-authors of Turtle Island: The Story of North America's First People (2017) team up again, this time addressing encounters between the Indigenous people of North America and European invaders.

A standout overview of Indigenous struggles, this slim volume highlights the scope of influence Europeans had on this continent by going beyond the standard story of English Pilgrims to include the Vikings and Spanish. The book follows a series of nonconsecutive events that highlight the resistance strategies, coping mechanisms, and renewal efforts undertaken by Indigenous nations primarily in present-day Canada and the U.S. Visually engaging, with colorful maps, drawings, photos, and artwork, the book includes modern moments in Native culture as well as history based on archaeological findings. Young readers will be introduced to an Indigenous astronaut and anthropologist as well as musicians, social activists, Olympians, soldiers, healers, and artists. The chapter titled “Assimilation” is a fine introduction to Indigenous identity issues, covering forcible conversion, residential schools, coercive adoption, and government naming policies. By no means comprehensive in their approach, Yellowhorn (Piikani) and Lowinger have focused on pivotal events designed to educate readers about the diversity of colonized experiences in the Americas. Sections in each chapter labeled “Imagine” are especially powerful in helping young readers empathize with Indigenous loss.

Essential. (author’s note, glossary, selected sources, image credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-77321-328-6

Page Count: 132

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2019

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