A visually exciting introduction to a famous spy case and a name synonymous with “traitor.” (aftermath, timelines, places to...

READ REVIEW

REVOLUTIONARY ROGUES

JOHN ANDRÉ AND BENEDICT ARNOLD

During the Revolutionary War, Maj. John André and Maj. Gen. Benedict Arnold each sought glory, but instead both found ruin.

André was in charge of British secret intelligence. Arnold was the American hero of the Battle of Saratoga. But Arnold felt slighted. Maimed in the battle, capable of no further battlefield heroics, and denied official reward and recognition from Congress, he sought fame and fortune in an unusual way: plotting with André, he would hand over the American stronghold of West Point and its 3,000 soldiers to the British. This would hasten the end of the war, and Americans would be grateful. However, this was treason. André was caught and hanged, and Arnold lived in exile for the rest of his life. It’s a complicated story, and Castrovilla’s choice of telling it in alternating third-person points of view diffuses dramatic tension and pacing. Even the concluding gallows scene is kept at a distance, in both words and image. The illustrations, however, are stellar, employing O’Brien’s signature squiggly ink lines and watercolor for an effect akin to 18th-century hand-colored woodcuts. The effective alternation of framed illustrations and full-bleed spreads adds necessary drama to the tale. Overall, a volume that young history buffs will find absorbing.

A visually exciting introduction to a famous spy case and a name synonymous with “traitor.” (aftermath, timelines, places to visit, resources) (Informational picture book. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62979-341-2

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is...

THE ENDLESS STEPPE

GROWING UP IN SIBERIA

To Esther Rudomin at eleven Siberia meant the metaphor: isolation, criminals and cruel punishment, snow and wolves; but even in Siberia there is satisfaction from making a friend of a prickly classmate, from seeing a Deanna Durbin movie four times, from earning and studying and eventually belonging.

Especially in Siberia, where not wolves but hunger and dirt and cold are endemic, where shabbiness and overcrowding are taken for granted, where unselfishness is exceptional. At the heart of Mrs. Hautzig's memoir of four years as a Polish deportee in Russia during World War II is not only hardihood and adaptability but uniquely a girl like any other. Abruptly seized in their comfortable home in Vilna, Esther and her family, are shipped in cattle cars to Rubtsovsk in the Altai Territory, work as slave laborers in a gypsum mine until amnesty, then are "permitted" lobs and lodging in the village--if someone will take them in. After sleeping on the floor, a wooden platform is very welcome; after sharing a room with two other families, a separate dung hut seems a homestead. Then Esther goes to school, the greatest boon, and, to her mother's horror, wants to be like the Siberians....Deprivation does not make Esther grim: the saddest day of her life is her father's departure for a labor brigade at the front, her sharpest bitterness is for the bland viciousness of individuals.

Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is a beautiful book with no bar to wide acceptance (and a rich non-juvenile jacket by Nonny Hogrogian). (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 15, 1968

ISBN: 978-0-06-447027-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: T.Y. Crowell

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1968

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?

No Comments Yet
more