Save this one for only the most dedicated of World War II buffs.

SECRET SOLDIERS

HOW THE U.S. TWENTY-THIRD SPECIAL TROOPS FOOLED THE NAZIS

During World War II, the U.S. 23rd Headquarters Special Troops was created to launch a series of operations to deceive the Germans.

Artists, actors, telegraphers, set designers, engineers, and sound technicians were recruited for this secret unit—an atypical group of soldiers. By using prerecorded sounds of moving tanks, staging false camps with inflatable tanks and artillery, driving around the countryside wearing fake unit patches, and feeding locals false information, the men of the 23rd may have influenced the course of the war. Although the information presented is accurate and generally interesting, the structure of this effort is unsatisfactory. Numerous pageslong supplemental sections (printed on darkened pages and in a sans-serif type) provide additional information on topics introduced in the narrative, but these sections confusingly interrupt the story, sometimes midsentence, and too often come before the topics are introduced. Other additional sections provide brief biographies of some members of the 23rd, sometimes long before or after they’re mentioned in the story. Additionally, each operation performed by the unit is described in repetitive detail, reporting over and over the use of uniform unit patches and unit designations on vehicles. Backmatter, however, is ample and detailed, including extensive source notes, a bibliography, image credits, and an index (the latter two not seen).

Save this one for only the most dedicated of World War II buffs. (Nonfiction. 11-18)

Pub Date: April 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8153-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Though not the most balanced, an enlightening look back for the queer future.

A QUEER HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

An adaptation for teens of the adult title A Queer History of the United States (2011).

Divided into thematic sections, the text filters LGBTQIA+ history through key figures in each era from the 1500s to the present. Alongside watershed moments like the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, the text brings to light less well-known people, places, and events: the 1625 free love colony of Merrymount, transgender Civil War hero Albert D.J. Cashier, and the 1951 founding of the Mattachine Society, to name a few. Throughout, the author and adapter take care to use accurate pronouns and avoid imposing contemporary terminology onto historical figures. In some cases, they quote primary sources to speculate about same-sex relationships while also reminding readers of past cultural differences in expressing strong affection between friends. Black-and-white illustrations or photos augment each chapter. Though it lacks the teen appeal and personable, conversational style of Sarah Prager’s Queer, There, and Everywhere (2017), this textbook-level survey contains a surprising amount of depth. However, the mention of transgender movements and activism—in particular, contemporary issues—runs on the slim side. Whereas chapters are devoted to over 30 ethnically diverse gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer figures, some trans pioneers such as Christine Jorgensen and Holly Woodlawn are reduced to short sidebars.

Though not the most balanced, an enlightening look back for the queer future. (glossary, photo credits, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-8070-5612-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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With the demand for all things Hamilton still strong, this will resonate with many teen readers.

ALEXANDER HAMILTON, REVOLUTIONARY

Over 200 years after his death in a duel with former Vice President Aaron Burr, founding father Alexander Hamilton’s story is a major player in popular culture.

Brockenbrough begins her narrative with a list of the contradictions of Hamilton’s life and then sets out to describe many of them in detail. Hamilton’s wretched childhood and struggles for survival and an education set a tone that depicts him as the consummate self-made man whose flaws damaged both his political career and personal life. Hamilton’s courtship and marriage to Elizabeth Schuyler, a daughter of one of the country’s most influential families, is a key part, along with prominent figures from American history. Sometimes the intricacies of Revolutionary War strategy and Constitutional Convention maneuvering slow things down, making the pace uneven. However, tidbits about Hamilton’s role in the episode with Benedict Arnold and his close relationships with fellow soldier John Laurens and his sister-in-law Angelica Church are intriguing. The story is targeted to an older audience than Teri Kanefield’s Alexander Hamilton: The Making of America (2017), so the sex scandal that derailed Hamilton’s political career is part of the story, as is, of course, the duel that ended his life. After the epilogue, the volume includes information on 18th-century medicine, attire, and warfare among other contextualizing topics ; the volume will be illustrated with archival material (not seen).

With the demand for all things Hamilton still strong, this will resonate with many teen readers. (timeline, source notes, bibliography, index) (Biography. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-12319-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 7, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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