Hits the mark.

READ REVIEW

DEADLY AIM

THE CIVIL WAR STORY OF MICHIGAN'S ANISHINAABE SHARPSHOOTERS

Anishinaabe soldiers with the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters aim to turn the tide of the Civil War in favor of the Union.

Of the approximately 20,000 “American Indians” who served during the Civil War, Sibert winner Walker (Secrets of a Civil War Submarine, 2005) shares stories of several Company K veterans who fought for the Union. From the foundations of soldiers’ prewar lives—rooted in tradition yet influenced by America’s expansion—to their initial muster/shooting qualifications test and on to their first assignment guarding Confederate prisoners at Camp Douglas in Chicago, the first six chapters build anticipation for the battles that follow. When the warriors of Company K finally engage the enemy in a battle known as the Wilderness, it’s a wonder how any of them escape capture let alone survive to wage other campaigns critical to ending the war. Whether enlisting to “abolish slavery or to safeguard their homeland,” the Anishinaabe of Company K did so as noncitizens of the United States, volunteering to fight despite broken treaties and active attempts to eliminate Native peoples. Meticulous research and inclusion of historical photographs, maps, letters, and other Civil War–era documents, as well as the smooth integration of primary source quotes, provide a solid nonfiction target worthy of shelf space. However, it’s the final chapter and epilogue recounting life after the war that give a human depth to the soldiers’ lives and place this work squarely in the bull’s-eye.

Hits the mark. (foreword, note to the reader, muster roll, prologue, author’s note, appendices, glossary, select bibliography, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-12525-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for...

TWO MEN AND A CAR

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, AL CAPONE, AND A CADILLAC V-8

A custom-built, bulletproof limo links two historical figures who were pre-eminent in more or less different spheres.

Garland admits that a claim that FDR was driven to Congress to deliver his “Day of Infamy” speech in a car that once belonged to Capone rests on shaky evidence. He nonetheless uses the anecdote as a launchpad for twin portraits of contemporaries who occupy unique niches in this country’s history but had little in common. Both were smart, ambitious New Yorkers and were young when their fathers died, but they definitely “headed in opposite directions.” As he fills his biographical sketches with standard-issue facts and has disappointingly little to say about the car itself (which was commissioned by Capone in 1928 and still survives), this outing seems largely intended to be a vehicle for the dark, heavy illustrations. These are done in muted hues with densely scratched surfaces and angled so that the two men, the period backgrounds against which they are posed, and the car have monumental looks. It’s a reach to bill this, as the author does, a “story about America,” but it does at least offer a study in contrasts featuring two of America’s most renowned citizens. Most of the human figures are white in the art, but some group scenes include a few with darker skin.

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for thought. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-88448-620-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more