Absolutely necessary

READ REVIEW

SPEAKING OUR TRUTH

A JOURNEY OF RECONCILIATION

Smith offers readers a sojourn through Canadian history chronicling the residential school experience through the stories of the survivors.

For over 150 years, thousands of indigenous children were forcibly taken by Canadian government officials and provided with an education that would eradicate the cultural identities of indigenous peoples. Children in these residential schools were malnourished, endured physical and sexual abuse, and were forbidden to speak their languages or practice their own spirituality. Many died. Following a formal apology from the Canadian government in 2008, survivors of this experience were allowed for the first time to publicly voice their stories for official documentation. In vignettes threaded throughout, individual survivors reflect on the impact that this cultural genocide had on their individual lives and within their communities. Generations of trauma led to destructive patterns of behavior, mental illness, and addictions. Smith (of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish heritage) includes messages of resilience from community leaders and elders and devotes an entire chapter to interviews with young people as they express how important it is for them to contribute to the healing of their communities. One Indigenous podcaster says, “Reconciliation is asking myself who my Ancestors were the day before they went to residential school, then doing everything I can to return to that.” Smith’s book is an effort that returns, offering diverse voices that invite the world into the reconciliation experience.

Absolutely necessary . (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1583-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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A slim volume big on historical information and insight.

COME ON IN, AMERICA

THE UNITED STATES IN WORLD WAR I

A wide-ranging exploration of World War I and how it changed the United States forever.

Students who know anything about history tend to know other wars better—the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam. But it was World War I that changed America and ushered in a new role for the United States as a world political and economic leader. Two million Americans were sent to the war, and in the 19 months of involvement in Europe, 53,000 Americans were killed in battle, part of the staggering total death toll of 10 million, a war of such magnitude that it transformed the governments and economies of every major participant. Osborne’s straightforward text is a clear account of the war itself and various related topics—African-American soldiers, the Woman’s Peace Party, the use of airplanes as weapons for the first time, trench warfare, and the sinking of the Lusitania. Many archival photographs complement the text, as does a map of Europe (though some countries are lost in the gutter). A thorough bibliography includes several works for young readers. A study of World War I offers a context for discussing world events today, so this volume is a good bet for libraries and classrooms—a well-written treatment that can replace dry textbook accounts.

A slim volume big on historical information and insight. (timeline, source notes, credits) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2378-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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UNDERSTANDING MYSELF

A KID'S GUIDE TO INTENSE EMOTIONS AND STRONG FEELINGS

Facile pop-psychology from a clinical psychologist with the credentials to know better. Assigning a chapter each to a select range of feelings—nearly all of them painful or negative ones, such as guilt, fear or anger, with but one shorter chapter allotted to the likes of love and joy—Lamia offers generalizations about what emotional responses look and feel like, typical circumstances that might cause them to arise and superficial insights (“Negative or worried thoughts spoil a good mood”). She also offers bland palliative suggestions (“Forgive yourself and move on”), self-quizzes, sound-bite comments in the margins from young people and, in colored boxes labeled “Psych Notes,” relevant research abstracts from cited but hard-to-obtain professional sources. Aside from a mildly discouraging view of “Infatuation,” she isn’t judgmental or prescriptive, but her overview is so cursory that she skips the stages of grief, makes no distinction between disgust and contempt and barely takes notice of depression. Teens and preteens might come away slightly more self-aware, but they won’t find either motivation or tools to help them cope with major upset. (Self-help. 12-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4338-0890-6

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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