A well-organized and thoroughly researched account of a remarkable historical figure.

READ REVIEW

JEANNETTE RANKIN

AMERICA'S FIRST CONGRESSWOMAN

A biography for middle-grade readers tells the story of the first woman elected to federal office in the United States.

Aronson (Bronislaw Huberman, 2018) introduces young readers to Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), who was elected to Congress twice and voted against the United States’ entry into both world wars. The book takes readers on a chronological tour of her life, from her childhood on a Montana ranch to her work as part of the women’s suffrage movement and social work, moving into her political career and anti-war activism. It brings the story full circle with her late-in-life opposition to the Vietnam War, when a new generation of activists looked up to her as a role model. Through well-documented research—the backmatter includes citations, a bibliography, and a timeline of Rankin’s life—Aronson provides a thorough overview of her subject. He includes plenty of specific detail (“She was handed a bouquet of flowers and then driven down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol in an open car, waving to supporters as she was escorted by 25 flag-draped cars”) while sticking to documented facts, and the numerous photographs and scanned newspaper images add to the reader’s understanding of the various time periods. Aronson’s prose is straightforward, conveying information without rhetorical flourishes: “On November 6, 1916, Rankin had the opportunity to vote for the first time in her life in a main election—and she voted for herself.” He does a good job of establishing Rankin’s historical noteworthiness but not overselling her legislative accomplishments, acknowledging the symbolic value of her initial election and her votes against the wars but also noting that the votes cost her re-elections in both cases. He also draws links between her relatively short congressional career and her lifelong activism. The concise narrative provides an age-appropriate amount of information, and it will be a useful addition to middle-school library shelves—particularly in light of the historic number of women elected to Congress last November.

A well-organized and thoroughly researched account of a remarkable historical figure.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-73207-755-3

Page Count: 126

Publisher: Double M Books Inc.

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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