QUIET HERO

THE IRA HAYES STORY

Object of a hit song, a 1961 film and studies for adults, but not a separate profile for younger readers, Ira Hayes was less a “true American hero,” as Nelson argues, than a tragic figure incapable of handling the fame that was thrust upon him. A shy, lonely lad raised on Arizona’s Gila River Indian Reservation, Hayes found his place serving as “an honorable warrior” in the Pacific battlefield and was one of the WWII marines captured in the famous Iwo Jima photograph. He returned to the States a celebrity, took to drink to help deal with his feelings of isolation and died an alcoholic less than ten years later. Nelson tells the tale twice—once in simple language, accompanying dappled acrylic views of a bronze-skinned lad with downcast eyes, posing in and out of uniform, and again at the end in smaller type, with photos and more background detail. Hayes’s life adds yet another sad chapter to the history of this country’s treatment of Native Americans, but other than his courage as a soldier, this gives children no particular reason to admire, or even care particularly, about him. (source list) (Picture book/biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2006

ISBN: 1-58430-263-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2006

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HAMMERIN’ HANK

THE LIFE OF HANK GREENBERG

Hank Greenberg was not the first Jewish baseball player in the major leagues, but he was perhaps the first star ball player who was Jewish, and certainly the first elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. All through his career he faced anti-Semitism in many forms, including epithets and threats, from bigoted fans, other players and team owners. He remained observant and refused to play on Yom Kippur even though his team, the Detroit Tigers, was fighting for the pennant. He stated many times that he identified with Jackie Robinson, and he was one of the few opposing players who supported him openly from the beginning. McDonough’s dispassionate retelling of Greenberg’s biography carefully includes all the salient facts, and a few pertinent quotes. Zeldis’s naïf, detailed gouache illustrations are bright and childlike and provide a complementary focus for the text. A good introduction to a somewhat neglected baseball player. (statistics, chronology, glossary, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 8-10)

Pub Date: May 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-8027-8997-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2006

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A sensitive, discussable access point for children learning about Holocaust history.

JARS OF HOPE

HOW ONE WOMAN HELPED SAVE 2,500 CHILDREN DURING THE HOLOCAUST

The brave work of Irena Sendler, one of the righteous gentiles of World War II, is succinctly depicted in this new picture book.

“There are two kinds of people in this world, good and bad.” As a child, wise words from her father gave Irena a guiding principle to live by and prompted the adult Sendler to find ways to save 2,500 innocent Jewish children and babies from the horror of their Holocaust fate. She worked with a network of smugglers and shelters to hide them in carpentry boxes, vegetable sacks, and laundry piles, transporting them to orphanages and the homes of willing Christian foster families, recording the children’s names so they could be found later and burying her lists in the titular jars. And when she herself was imprisoned by the Nazis, Zegota, the Polish resistance group, bribed guards to free her so she could continue her important work. Digital and traditional art in opaque dark browns and grays illustrates the sinister period and shadowy existence of these saved children. Roy’s chronological narrative concentrates on the period from 1940 to 1944 and stresses Sendler’s heroism; it also includes invented scenes and dialogue, marking it as fiction.

A sensitive, discussable access point for children learning about Holocaust history. (afterword, author’s note, glossary, index, source notes) (Picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62370-425-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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