SHACKLES FROM THE DEEP

TRACING THE PATH OF A SUNKEN SLAVE SHIP, A BITTER PAST, AND A RICH LEGACY

Cottman wrote a well-received version of this story for adults (The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie, 1999), and this retelling...

A Pulitzer Prize–winning African-American journalist recounts how his passion for scuba diving led to an emotional connection to a shipwrecked slave vessel.

The story of the discovery of the wreckage of the Henrietta Marie began when a Panamanian treasure-hunter discovered shackles in the Gulf of Mexico; the later discoveries of an iron cannon and the ship’s bell verified that it was a slave ship and identified it. Cottman had loved swimming and diving since he was a child in Detroit, so when given the opportunity to join the National Association of Black Scuba Divers and their expedition to explore the slave ship site, he jumped at the chance. In preparation, Cottman set out to learn everything he could about the Henrietta Marie by teaming up with David Moore, the white researcher who helped discover the ship’s watch bell, and visiting multiple sites including a foundry in rural England, a farm in Jamaica, and the storied Gorée Island in Senegal. Cottman weaves his personal story of discovery with history of the slave trade, helping readers understand why a sunken slave ship from the 1700s still matters. His emotional attachment to the artifacts, including child-sized shackles, deepens the storytelling in this highly readable narrative.

Cottman wrote a well-received version of this story for adults (The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie, 1999), and this retelling for young readers is just as intriguing. (timeline, map, color photographs, epilogue, suggestions for further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2663-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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A YOUNG PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

REVISED AND UPDATED

A refreshed version of a classic that doesn’t hold up to more recent works.

A new edition of late author Zinn’s 2007 work, which was adapted for young readers by Stefoff and based on Zinn’s groundbreaking 1980 original for adults.

This updated version, also adapted by Stefoff, a writer for children and teens, contains new material by journalist Morales. The work opens with the arrival of Christopher Columbus and concludes with a chapter by Morales on social and political issues from 2006 through the election of President Joe Biden seen through the lens of Latinx identity. Zinn’s work famously takes a radically different perspective from that of most mainstream history books, viewing conflicts as driven by rich people taking advantage of poorer ones. Zinn professed his own point of view as being “critical of war, racism, and economic injustice,” an approach that felt fresh among popular works of the time. Unfortunately, despite upgrades that include Morales’ perspective, “a couple of insights into Native American history,” and “a look at the Asian American activism that flourished alongside other social movements in the 1960s and 1970s,” the book feels dated. It entirely lacks footnotes, endnotes, or references, so readers cannot verify facts or further investigate material, and the black-and-white images lack credits. Although the work seeks to be inclusive, readers may wonder about the omission of many subjects relating to race, gender, and sexuality, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, Indian boarding schools, the Tulsa Race Massacre, Loving v. Virginia, the Stonewall Uprising, Roe v. Wade, Title IX, the AIDS crisis, and the struggle for marriage equality.

A refreshed version of a classic that doesn’t hold up to more recent works. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2023

ISBN: 9781644212516

Page Count: 544

Publisher: Triangle Square Books for Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2024

ENEMY CHILD

THE STORY OF NORMAN MINETA, A BOY IMPRISONED IN A JAPANESE AMERICAN INTERNMENT CAMP DURING WORLD WAR II

Written straightforwardly, it’s not the most engaging read, but it is an invaluable record of an incredible life.

An encompassing look at Norman Mineta, the first Asian-American to serve as mayor of a major American city, a Congressman, and Secretary of Commerce and Transportation under George W. Bush.

Mineta is a Nisei, a second-generation Japanese-American, born in San Jose, California. Writing efficiently with concise descriptors, Warren narrates in the third person, focusing primarily on the family and social environment of Mineta’s school-age years. Warren starts with Mineta’s father and his immigration to the U.S. for work. He wisely became fluent in English while working in the fields, later establishing his own insurance business, enabling him to give all five children great educational opportunities. Their lives are quickly disrupted by World World II. Mineta now 11, his parents, and most of his much-older siblings are sent to an assembly center in Santa Anita, California. Eventually they end up in Heart Mountain War Relocation Center, Wyoming. The experience drives Mineta to later pursue politics and to introduce the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, offering camp survivors restitution and a formal apology from the government. Warren includes anecdotes of white allies, including a chapter about Alan Simpson, a childhood acquaintance and later a political ally of Mineta in Congress. Pronunciation guides to Japanese are provided in the text. Archival photographs provide visuals, and primary-source quotes—including racial slurs—contribute historical context. No timeline is provided.

Written straightforwardly, it’s not the most engaging read, but it is an invaluable record of an incredible life. (author’s note, bibliography, index) (Biography. 10-15)

Pub Date: April 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4151-8

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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