A carefully diverse roster of “dominant dames” demonstrably capable of breaking gender molds…along with records and/or heads.

THE BOOK OF QUEENS

LEGENDARY LEADERS, FIERCE FEMALES, AND WONDER WOMEN WHO RULED THE WORLD

A united nations of leading ladies of the past and present, commingled with luminaries in the arts, sciences, and annals of piracy.

Leading off with full-page portraits of Aretha Franklin and Joan of Arc to herald her glittering gallery’s expansive purview, Drimmer dishes up short introductions to over 100 strong women who either headed states or shone in academic or public spheres. Gathered thematically, each comes with a picture—some true to period but many done in newer styles, including lots of stock images looking like models in costume—and a biographical note. Along with well-documented royals from Hatshepsut to the Elizabeths I and II, Catherine the Great to Anne Boleyn (“her reign was cut short”), readers will get ganders at such non-Western achievers as Himiko, Japan’s earliest known ruler, and Ashanti rebel Yaa Asantewaa. Venturing into realms beyond the geopolitical, Trimmer profiles Simone Biles and other “Sovereigns of Sports,” “Monarchs of Music,” “Legendary Leaders” like Wonder Woman (the film version), and assorted aeronauts, astronauts, and “Nobel Nobles.” A number of male monarchs, mostly from the co-published Book of Kings, sneak into side boxes, and occasional featurettes focus on queenly armor, bling, and emblems. Considering the pervasive evidence of bloody-mindedness, readers in search of “lean in” role models may justly scoff at the closing tally of positive queenly character traits.

A carefully diverse roster of “dominant dames” demonstrably capable of breaking gender molds…along with records and/or heads. (index) (Collective biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4263-3535-8

Page Count: 176

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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MAMMOTH BONES AND BROKEN STONES

THE MYSTERY OF NORTH AMERICA'S FIRST PEOPLE

How and when the Western Hemisphere, particularly North and South America, came to be populated continues to be both mysterious and controversial for scientists. Archaeologists plug away with the tools at their disposal but have “more questions than answers.” Harrison does a good job setting the issue in context. He describes the earliest efforts to identify the original inhabitants of the continents, exploring the Clovis culture, believed by many to be the first humans to reach North America. After clearly explaining how scholars decided that they were first, he then lists the arguments against this hypothesis. In the course of looking at both sides, he introduces young readers to “the strict rules of archaeology.” The author demonstrates the precise work of those attempting to understand the hidden aspects of human history and how many of these old questions are seen in the light of new technologies and discoveries. The narrative is aided by both photographs and original illustrations that imagine scenes from both the distant past and the field experiences. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59078-561-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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Satisfying fare for the culturally myopic.

A HISTORY OF JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING

180 EVENTS, PEOPLE AND INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

Unusual for its ambition if nothing else, this selective encyclopedia of “world” historical, cultural and scientific highlights offers at least a few unexpected choices but rarely looks beyond Europe and North America.

Arranged in chronological order, the 180 entries begin with the appearance of the first humans (“descended from apes,” as the authors inaccurately put it) about 6 million years ago and end with the 2011 earthquake near Japan. In between, they cover inventions from the plow to MP3 files, people from Confucius to Barack Obama, and events of diverse scale, from the “Rise of Greece” to the publication of the first Harry Potter book. Entries fill up a third of a page to a full spread; each features a date (with “BCE” appended for all before the year 1, justified by the optimistic claim that “it is acceptable to all peoples”), and most include both an informally drawn watercolor illustration and a quick, boxed comment on historical “ripples” that spread from the event or invention. This Canadian publication’s focus on its own national history is so close (not to mention Eurocentric: “1608: Champlain establishes permanent settlement in Canada”) that the American Civil War gets just two quick mentions—which is more notice than most African, Asian and Indian histories or cultures receive.

Satisfying fare for the culturally myopic. (index, no bibliography) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-55453-775-4

Page Count: 124

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 26, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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