Perforce superficial but tailor-made to lay out, and with, on a clear stretch of floor.



Thirteen accordion-folded feet of North American history.

Printed on both sides and parading chronologically over the past 13,000 years, this panoramic timeline includes some notes on the continent’s natural history but leans largely toward human events and cultures—from an observation about the sophisticated medical practices of the ancient Aleuts (dated 10,000 B.C.E.) to the election in 2019 of two women of Indigenous heritage to the U.S. Congress. Along with using careful, respectful language when referring to Native groups and “enslaved people,” Albee highlights women, both in general comments about their influence in various cultures and by adding several, such as Mexico’s Sor Juana and Canada’s Laura Secord, to her select roster of significant historical figures. This evenhanded approach also comes out in, for instance, a comment that the U.S. earned its independence with “a ragtag army and a lot of help from France,” references to “white emigrants” moving westward in the 19th century, and the dates when all three North American countries entered World War II. Exley uses both general placement and a four-color system to differentiate small scenes and figures in northern, central, southern, or Caribbean regions. Sandwiched between maps of the continent, his impressionistic background landscapes occasionally give way to watery stretches that provide both additional information about select topics and visual relief.

Perforce superficial but tailor-made to lay out, and with, on a clear stretch of floor. (index, resource lists) (Informational novelty. 7-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-9999679-2-5

Page Count: 22

Publisher: What on Earth Books

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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A measured corrective to pervasive myths about what is often referred to as the “first Thanksgiving.”

Contextualizing them within a Native perspective, Newell (Passamaquoddy) touches on the all-too-familiar elements of the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving and its origins and the history of English colonization in the territory now known as New England. In addition to the voyage and landfall of the Mayflower, readers learn about the Doctrine of Discovery that arrogated the lands of non-Christian peoples to European settlers; earlier encounters between the Indigenous peoples of the region and Europeans; and the Great Dying of 1616-1619, which emptied the village of Patuxet by 1620. Short, two- to six-page chapters alternate between the story of the English settlers and exploring the complex political makeup of the region and the culture, agriculture, and technology of the Wampanoag—all before covering the evolution of the holiday. Refreshingly, the lens Newell offers is a Native one, describing how the Wampanoag and other Native peoples received the English rather than the other way around. Key words ranging from estuary to discover are printed in boldface in the narrative and defined in a closing glossary. Nelson (a member of the Leech Lake Band of Minnesota Chippewa) contributes soft line-and-color illustrations of the proceedings. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Essential. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-72637-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction

Review Posted Online: Oct. 12, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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An empowering choice.


Shamir and Faulkner take readers on a trip through various moments in U.S. history as they explore the democratic process.

The text begins in 1884, when a young man rides for hours to deliver his local ballot box in the state of Nebraska. The book then jumps in nonlinear fashion from key moment to key moment, explaining its importance: Native Americans were granted citizenship in 1924 (their status as members of sovereign nations goes unmentioned); the emergency number 911 was created in 1968; George Washington was the only presidential candidate ever to run unopposed. The information is divided into general paragraphs that begin with a question and text boxes that supply trivia and provide additional context to the paragraphs. Children’s and teens’ roles are often cited, such as their participation in the civil rights movement and the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18. The information ranges from national elections to local, expanding on what can be done on a national level and what can occur locally. Along the way, Faulkner includes a diverse mixture of citizens. A range of ethnic groups, minorities, and people of various body sizes and abilities are included, making the book visually welcoming to all readers. An early image depicting a blind woman with both guide dog and cane appears to be the only visual misstep. The backmatter includes a timeline and sources for additional reading.

An empowering choice. (Informational picture book. 7-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3807-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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