THE CENTURY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Just in time for the millennium comes this adaptation of Jennings and Brewster’s The Century (1998). Still a browsable, coffee-table edition, the book divides the last 100 years more or less by decade, with such chapter headings as “Shell Shock,” “Global Nightmare,” and “Machine Dreams.” A sweeping array of predominantly black-and-white photographs documents the story in pictures—from Theodore Roosevelt to O.J., the Panama Canal to the crumbling Berlin Wall, the dawn of radio to the rise of Microsoft—along with plenty of captions and brief capsules of historical events. Setting this volume apart, and making it more than just a glossy textbook overview of mega-events, are blue sidebars that chronicle the thoughts, actions, and attitudes of ordinary men, women, and children whose names did not appear in the news. These feature-news style interviews feature Milt Hinton on the Great Migration, Betty Broyles on a first automobile ride, Sharpe James on the effect of Jackie Robinson’s success on his life, Clara Hancox on growing up in the Depression, Marnie Mueller on life as an early Peace Corps volunteer, and more. The authors define the American century by “the inevitability of change,” a theme reflected in the selection of photographs and interviews throughout wartime and peacetime, at home and abroad. While global events are included only in terms of their impact on Americans, this portfolio of the century is right for leafing through or for total immersion. (index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-385-32708-0

Page Count: 245

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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WILLIAM PENN

FOUNDER OF PENNSYLVANIA

In his absorbing picture-book biography aimed at a slightly older audience, Kroll (Robert Fulton, 1999, etc.) immediately informs readers that Penn was a rebel. “Born to a life of privilege, William Penn chose dissent instead,” ignoring the status quo in favor of following his convictions, in an era of great religious and political tumult. Drawn by the belief that every individual could communicate directly with God, Penn became a Quaker; his desire for religious freedom and tolerance prompted him and his followers to travel to the land that would become Pennsylvania. Arrested over and over again for espousing his beliefs and betrayed by his business manager, Penn struggled all his life because of his convictions. The text is highly event-oriented and packed with information; the portrayal of Penn is somewhat impersonal, but readers will learn of and be impressed by his accomplishments. Himler’s watercolors accurately conjure time and place, and underscore more somber elements of the story. (chronology) (Picture book/biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 15, 2000

ISBN: 0-8234-1439-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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TO BIGOTRY NO SANCTION

THE STORY OF THE OLDEST SYNAGOGUE IN AMERICA

The Touro Synagogue of Newport, Rhode Island, is the oldest Jewish house of worship in the US; Fisher traces its history and details the design and construction of the beautiful two-story Georgian-style building, describing “the quietness of the building’s exterior, its gentleness” which “belied the tormented history of its congregants, resolute in their beliefs.” Constructed from 1759—1763, the synagogue was the focus of President George Washington’s comments in 1790 that “the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.” This well-documented history will remind readers that the US was settled by people of many faiths who were united in their “search for freedom and peace of mind.” (photos and reproductions, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1401-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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