She didn’t like people passing her on the trail, the author notes, but readers could do worse than follow behind.

READ REVIEW

WHEN GRANDMA GATEWOOD TOOK A HIKE

A tribute to the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in one go.

Houts milks the tale for its inspirational value. The industrious mother of 11 and an inveterate walker, 67-year-old Emma Gatewood reads a magazine story about men who had taken the 2,000-mile hike and: “ ‘Hmmph,’ thought spunky old Emma. ‘If a man can do it, so can I!’ ” Her first try, starting from Maine’s Mount Katahdin, quickly ends in failure—her sturdy, no-nonsense white frame reduced, in Magnus’ painted scene, to a picture of misery, covered in scratches and black fly welts. She hits her stride on the second try, going south to north through verdant woods and living comfortably off the land for nearly five months in 1955. “I did it. I said I’d do it, and I’ve done it!” (Just for good measure, she went on to do it twice more.) Aside from a pair of farm children who greet her along the way and one face in a crowd scene, everyone in the illustrations is white. The author leaves out the not-always-pleasant details of Gatewood’s private life (covered, for older audiences, in Ben Montgomery’s Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, 2014) but adds more about her later treks, plus a photo, at the end, then closes by inviting readers to “think of Grandma Gatewood as you set your sights on your own goals. No matter what mountains might stand in your way.”

She didn’t like people passing her on the trail, the author notes, but readers could do worse than follow behind. (source note) (Picture book/biography. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8214-2235-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Ohio Univ.

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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Readers who pursue the context will discover that the girl who became an Israeli prime minister had a social conscience.

GOLDIE TAKES A STAND!

GOLDA MEIR'S FIRST CRUSADE

A group of school friends provides Golda Meir with her first leadership test.

Golda is the child of Russian-Jewish immigrants living in Milwaukee when she becomes active in the American Young Sisters Society. As their president, Golda tasks them to raise money to buy new textbooks for classmates. The neighborhood is very poor, and pennies are precious to the shoppers who patronize her parents’ store, so it’s no easy feat. The young girl is highly motivated and struggles to write a speech for a fundraiser, finally deciding to “speak from my heart.” The event is a success, and Golda immediately decides to found a new group and “be [its] president!” In her first book for children, Krasner presents a pleasantly fictionalized story about a future world leader. Garrity-Riley’s digitally manipulated gouache-and-collage illustrations are a nice accompaniment featuring wallpaper backgrounds and fashionable period clothing. However the overall effect, with so many washed-out browns and blues, is drab. Pale circles of cheek blush on the characters bring to mind pages from a shopping catalog. Stopping short of Meir’s Zionist passion and move to Palestine, the book forces readers to consult the biographical note to understand why Goldie is important beyond the story.

Readers who pursue the context will discover that the girl who became an Israeli prime minister had a social conscience. (photographs, places to visit, bibliography) (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-1200-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Kar-Ben

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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Garcia is apparently lost to history aside from her petition, but its very existence marks her as “truly an unforgettable...

WHEN THE SLAVE ESPERANÇA GARCIA WROTE A LETTER

By way of tribute, two admirers spin a tale around a truly rare document: a petition sent by an 18th-century enslaved woman to a Brazilian governor.

The letter, a brief one reporting a new master’s ill treatment and begging for permission to rejoin her husband and have her children baptized, was discovered only in 1979 and is presented here in a modernized translation. Around it Rosa embroiders a rudimentary storyline that feels oddly disconnected. She begins with Garcia herself explaining that her previous, Jesuit owners had taught her to read and write before she was separated from her husband, then switches to the third person at an arbitrary point, then just as abruptly shifts from narrative to exposition at the end. Also, there being no record of a reply to the letter, Rosa opts just to leave Garcia waiting for one, closing with the hyperbolic claim that her “voice was a forceful cry for liberation.” Hees’ richly hued illustrations show Afro-Brazilian influences in stylized background settings made of patterned bands and very dark-skinned figures with strong, composed features. A historical note includes a map of the colonial locale but no reproduction of the actual letter.

Garcia is apparently lost to history aside from her petition, but its very existence marks her as “truly an unforgettable woman!” (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-55498-729-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Groundwood

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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