An excellent, historically accurate account of the beginnings of the Lutheran denomination of Protestantism.

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THE LIFE AND TIMES OF MARTIN LUTHER

The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation occasions a new biography of its prime mover.

In 1517, Martin Luther revolutionized church doctrine when he posted his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, to protest the sale of indulgences in Rome. This biography, set against the backdrop of the late Middle Ages, progresses chronologically toward this event and its aftermath through well-defined stages of Luther’s life. From the cover art’s graphic depiction of the world being turned on its head, through pages reminiscent of a family album, the design is particularly well-suited to the subject. Illustrations resembling etchings are based on archival portraits of Luther, his family, and leading European figures of the 15th and 16th centuries. (Two pages of concluding notes describe their subjects.) While skewed toward a young Lutheran audience, the book has a strong narrative structure that focuses on the profound impact that Luther had on his times, including his translation of the Bible into the vernacular so that ordinary Germans could read it themselves. Luther’s religious life, from becoming a monk to being outlawed by the emperor after he uttered his famous phrase, “Here I stand,” is dramatically conveyed through text and illustration. The underpinnings of Luther’s philosophy are clearly articulated in explanations of several individual theses.

An excellent, historically accurate account of the beginnings of the Lutheran denomination of Protestantism. (Biography. 7-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5495-7

Page Count: 44

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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An empowering choice.

WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT ELECTIONS

Shamir and Faulkner take readers on a trip through various moments in U.S. history as they explore the democratic process.

The text begins in 1884, when a young man rides for hours to deliver his local ballot box in the state of Nebraska. The book then jumps in nonlinear fashion from key moment to key moment, explaining its importance: Native Americans were granted citizenship in 1924 (their status as members of sovereign nations goes unmentioned); the emergency number 911 was created in 1968; George Washington was the only presidential candidate ever to run unopposed. The information is divided into general paragraphs that begin with a question and text boxes that supply trivia and provide additional context to the paragraphs. Children’s and teens’ roles are often cited, such as their participation in the civil rights movement and the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18. The information ranges from national elections to local, expanding on what can be done on a national level and what can occur locally. Along the way, Faulkner includes a diverse mixture of citizens. A range of ethnic groups, minorities, and people of various body sizes and abilities are included, making the book visually welcoming to all readers. An early image depicting a blind woman with both guide dog and cane appears to be the only visual misstep. The backmatter includes a timeline and sources for additional reading.

An empowering choice. (Informational picture book. 7-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3807-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is...

THE ENDLESS STEPPE

GROWING UP IN SIBERIA

To Esther Rudomin at eleven Siberia meant the metaphor: isolation, criminals and cruel punishment, snow and wolves; but even in Siberia there is satisfaction from making a friend of a prickly classmate, from seeing a Deanna Durbin movie four times, from earning and studying and eventually belonging.

Especially in Siberia, where not wolves but hunger and dirt and cold are endemic, where shabbiness and overcrowding are taken for granted, where unselfishness is exceptional. At the heart of Mrs. Hautzig's memoir of four years as a Polish deportee in Russia during World War II is not only hardihood and adaptability but uniquely a girl like any other. Abruptly seized in their comfortable home in Vilna, Esther and her family, are shipped in cattle cars to Rubtsovsk in the Altai Territory, work as slave laborers in a gypsum mine until amnesty, then are "permitted" lobs and lodging in the village--if someone will take them in. After sleeping on the floor, a wooden platform is very welcome; after sharing a room with two other families, a separate dung hut seems a homestead. Then Esther goes to school, the greatest boon, and, to her mother's horror, wants to be like the Siberians....Deprivation does not make Esther grim: the saddest day of her life is her father's departure for a labor brigade at the front, her sharpest bitterness is for the bland viciousness of individuals.

Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is a beautiful book with no bar to wide acceptance (and a rich non-juvenile jacket by Nonny Hogrogian). (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 15, 1968

ISBN: 978-0-06-447027-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: T.Y. Crowell

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1968

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