A well-written, extensive history that doesn’t seem to know its audience.

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THE US CONGRESS FOR KIDS

OVER 200 YEARS OF LAWMAKING, DEAL-BREAKING, AND COMPROMISING, WITH 21 ACTIVITIES

From the For Kids series

The latest installment of the For Kids series examines the history and functions of the United States Congress.

Noting low approval ratings Congress receives from many Americans, Reis encourages readers to see what an amazing institution Congress is, pointing out its role in overthrowing slavery, giving women the right to vote, making strides in civil rights and challenging executive branch authority. Chapter 1—“Unfinished Business: Congress and Slavery”—opens with a lively account of Preston Brooks’ attack on Sen. Charles Sumner on the eve of the Civil War, and following chapters continue the focus on volatile issues facing Congress and American society since our government’s founding—creating the judicial system, enacting the Bill of Rights, seeking a policy on immigration, impeaching presidents and investigating potential dangers to American society. Unfortunately, this volume, like others in the series, is trapped by its “For Kids” formula, as the historical content is well-suited for an older, middle school audience while many of the activities are for younger kids: Create your own “Congressional Money,” make a capital for a Capitol column using paper-towel cores and yogurt cups, and create a Capitol dome using toothpicks and gumdrops. Backmatter includes an excellent guide to websites for kids, and the bibliography notes books suitable for young readers.

A well-written, extensive history that doesn’t seem to know its audience. (afterword, source notes, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61374-977-7

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2014

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Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have...

SHE DID IT!

21 WOMEN WHO CHANGED THE WAY WE THINK

Caldecott Medalist McCully delves into the lives of extraordinary American women.

Beginning with the subject of her earlier biography Ida M. Tarbell (2014), McCully uses a chronological (by birth year) structure to organize her diverse array of subjects, each of whom is allotted approximately 10 pages. Lovely design enhances the text with a full-color portrait of each woman and small additional illustrations in the author/illustrator’s traditional style, plenty of white space, and spare use of dynamic colors. This survey provides greater depth than most, but even so, some topics go troublingly uncontextualized to the point of reinforcing stereotype: “In slavery, Black women had been punished for trying to improve their appearance. Now that they were free, many cared a great deal about grooming”; “President Roosevelt ordered all Japanese Americans on the West Coast to report to internment camps to keep them from providing aid to the enemy Japanese forces.” Of the 21 surveyed, one Japanese-American woman (Patsy Mink) is highlighted, as are one Latinx woman (Dolores Huerta), one Mohegan woman (Gladys Tantaquidgeon), three black women (Madam C.J. Walker, Ella Baker, and Shirley Chisholm), four out queer white women (Billie Jean King, Barbara Gittings, Jane Addams, and Isadora Duncan; the latter two’s sexualities are not discussed), two Jewish women (Gertrude Berg and Vera Rubin), and three women with known disabilities (Addams, Dorothea Lange, and Temple Grandin).

Despite its not insignificant flaws, this book provides insights into the lives of important women, many of whom have otherwise yet to be featured in nonfiction for young readers. (sources) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-01991-0

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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Copious kid-friendly information on a vitally important topic, stylishly presented, makes this book essential. Knowledge is...

EAT THIS!

HOW FAST FOOD MARKETING GETS YOU TO BUY JUNK (AND HOW TO FIGHT BACK)

A comprehensive compilation of fast-food marketing practices aimed at youth and ways kids can recognize and combat them.

In this slim, 15-chapter book, Curtis begins with the basics, clearly explaining what marketing is: “the art and science of persuasion.” The author’s upbeat, nonpatronizing tone is a selling point in itself as she explains how fast-food marketers place product brands in entertainment culture—movies, TV shows, and video games—to persuade kids to identify with or become loyal to a type of junk food; how they infiltrate schools by creating fundraisers and teaching resources that feature their product; and how they create kid-friendly spokescharacters such as Ronald McDonald, among many other manipulative practices. The good news is that the book’s target audience—kids—will feel empowered as they learn how they are being influenced and are educated in ways to fight back. Segments labeled “Do This!” suggest ways readers can participate in anti–fast-food advocacy and tell stories of real-life kids and parents who exposed junk-food marketing practices. Facts about the unhealthy results of eating fast food based on statistics from countries around the world are included as well as information on what real food is. Collins’ snappy designs depict youth of many ethnicities and share space with clear, well-chosen stock photographs.

Copious kid-friendly information on a vitally important topic, stylishly presented, makes this book essential. Knowledge is power. (sources, glossary, author interview) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-88995-532-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Red Deer Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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