This impressive treatment of a complex, admirable scientist and man provides hours of learning for curious kids.

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GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER FOR KIDS

HIS LIFE AND DISCOVERIES, WITH 21 ACTIVITIES

From the ...For Kids series

Carver’s life and work are explored in meticulous detail in this activity-filled biography.

Readers who simply associate Carver’s name with the peanut may be surprised to learn how he learned his homesteading and farming skills, that he was an early conservationist, or that he vigorously disagreed with Booker T. Washington at the Tuskegee Institute on some matters despite their common goals. Readers will learn not only what is known about Carver’s life and work, but why some details are difficult to confirm (even Carver did not correct what he saw written about himself) and how the social climate of Reconstruction and segregation affected his work. The indignity of having to enter a separate door to speak to a white audience, and of giving the same speech to black and white audiences at separate times, is not brushed aside, but it is Carver’s personality, immense achievements, and recognition that shine. Thoroughly researched and honestly presented, this book is filled with enlightening information and is also an excellent example for young readers of how to present historical accounts. The activities are inspired by Carver’s life and values, and most are not only easy to do at home, but involve skills readers can build on, like making a rock collection and cooking with weeds.

This impressive treatment of a complex, admirable scientist and man provides hours of learning for curious kids. (timeline, resources, notes, bibliography) (Biography. 9-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-91586-400-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2018

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A splendid volume for young adventurers.

SURVIVOR KID

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t...

HURRICANE HARVEY

DISASTER IN TEXAS AND BEYOND

The devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey is explained, from the storm’s origin to its ongoing aftermath, in this photo-heavy book.

In retelling the story of how a storm got so big it caused 82 deaths and billions of dollars in damage along the Texas coast, Minneapolis-based author Felix details the science of hurricanes for those unfamiliar and unpacks why this and a series of other hurricanes made for one of the most damaging weather years on record. Although it’s packed with info-boxes, a glossary, tips for safety during a hurricane and helping survivors afterward, a snapshot of five other historic hurricanes, and well-curated photos, it misses an opportunity to convey some of the emotion and pain victims endured and continue to feel. Instead, much of the text feels like a summation of news reports, an efficient attempt to answer the whys of Hurricane Harvey, with only a few direct quotations. Readers learn about Virgil Smith, a Dickinson, Texas, teen who rescued others from floodwaters with an air mattress, but the information is secondhand. The book does answer, clearly and concisely, questions a kid might have about a hurricane, such as what happens to animals at the zoo in such an emergency and how a tropical storm forms in the first place. A portion of the book’s proceeds are to be donated to the Texas Library Association’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The photos effectively convey the scope of Harvey’s impact, but while journalistically sound, this informative book doesn’t capture the fear and shock those who lived through the hurricane must have felt. (Nonfiction. 9-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-2888-8

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: March 19, 2018

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