COLD WAR CORRESPONDENT

A KOREAN WAR TALE

From the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series , Vol. 11

Exciting reportorial derring-do.

In this 11th edition of Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, Marguerite Higgins, war correspondent, takes over the narration to share harrowing stories of being a frontline reporter.

The story follows Higgins as she risks life and limb as the Far East correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune, covering the Korean War in 1950. As Westerners flee Korea when the North Korean People’s Army crosses the 38th parallel and invades the democratic South, Higgins and her fellow reporters try to get in. The mostly black-and-white—with touches of yellow—graphic format enhances Higgins’ experiences. Readers will see what being a real-life war correspondent is truly like as they observe Higgins escaping a sinking ship, reporting from no man’s land, interviewing Gen. Douglas MacArthur, nursing soldiers, and being temporarily banned from the front just for being a woman. Readers will even learn how reporters sent their articles back to the U.S.: in Morse code, via trans-Pacific telegraph. Beyond Higgins’ personal, gripping story, Hale coherently and accurately conveys the factors that led to the Korean War, the political gambling by the U.S. and the Soviet Union, and battle strategies. While Korea is the setting, however, the story is told from a U.S. perspective, focusing on American war heroes and reporters who are mostly male (Higgins is a notable exception) and White.

Exciting reportorial derring-do. (bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4951-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

JUST PRETEND

A rich and deeply felt slice of life.

Crafting fantasy worlds offers a budding middle school author relief and distraction from the real one in this graphic memoir debut.

Everyone in Tori’s life shows realistic mixes of vulnerability and self-knowledge while, equally realistically, seeming to be making it up as they go. At least, as she shuttles between angrily divorced parents—dad becoming steadily harder to reach, overstressed mom spectacularly incapable of reading her offspring—or drifts through one wearingly dull class after another, she has both vivacious bestie Taylor Lee and, promisingly, new classmate Nick as well as the (all-girl) heroic fantasy, complete with portals, crystal amulets, and evil enchantments, taking shape in her mind and on paper. The flow of school projects, sleepovers, heart-to-heart conversations with Taylor, and like incidents (including a scene involving Tori’s older brother, who is having a rough adolescence, that could be seen as domestic violence) turns to a tide of change as eighth grade winds down and brings unwelcome revelations about friends. At least the story remains as solace and, at the close, a sense that there are still chapters to come in both worlds. Working in a simple, expressive cartoon style reminiscent of Raina Telgemeier’s, Sharp captures facial and body language with easy naturalism. Most people in the spacious, tidily arranged panels are White; Taylor appears East Asian, and there is diversity in background characters.

A rich and deeply felt slice of life. (afterword, design notes) (Graphic memoir. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-53889-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

VAQUEROS

AMERICA’S FIRST COWBOYS

Logically pointing out that the American cowboy archetype didn’t spring up from nowhere, Sandler, author of Cowboys (1994) and other volumes in the superficial, if luxuriously illustrated, “Library of Congress Book” series, looks back over 400 years of cattle tending in North America. His coverage ranges from the livestock carried on Columbus’s second voyage to today’s herding-by-helicopter operations. Here, too, the generous array of dramatic early prints, paintings, and photos are more likely to capture readers’ imaginations than the generality-ridden text. But among his vague comments about the characters, values, and culture passed by Mexican vaqueros to later arrivals from the Eastern US, Sadler intersperses nods to the gauchos, llaneros, and other South American “cowmen,” plus the paniolos of Hawaii, and the renowned African-American cowboys. He also decries the role film and popular literature have played in suppressing the vaqueros’ place in the history of the American West. He tackles an uncommon topic, and will broaden the historical perspective of many young cowboy fans, but his glance at modern vaqueros seems to stop at this country’s borders. Young readers will get a far more detailed, vivid picture of vaquero life and work from the cowboy classics in his annotated bibliography. (Notes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2001

ISBN: 0-8050-6019-7

Page Count: 116

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2000

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