MARK TWAIN AND HUCKLEBERRY FINN

This is a well-written and illuminating picture-book length biography of a man whose humorous view of life and somewhat wild side appeal to readers of all ages. Children learn how after the untimely death of his father, Samuel Clemens went to work as an apprentice printer and was paid in room and board and “his boss’s cast-off clothing.” This led to working as a typesetter and finally to a career in journalism. Ross (Charlotte Brontâ and Jane Eyre, 1997, etc.) deftly demonstrates that this writer’s outstanding achievement was giving voice to the American spirit; his finest creation, Huckleberry Finn, praised the independent spirit above all. Himler’s evocative paintings and black-and-white line drawings portray the talent and genius of this American writer, against the landscapes and vistas that he made his own. (chronology, further reading) (Picture book/biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-670-88181-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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Wheeler offers a scrapbook-style travelogue of her seven-month stint on the world’s coldest continent. Letters to her...

GREETINGS FROM ANTARCTICA

            In an eye-opening companion to such works as Jennifer Armstrong’s Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World (1999) and Elizabeth Cody Kimmel’s Ice Story (p.  66) on Shackleton, readers get a contemporary look at Antarctica.

            Wheeler offers a scrapbook-style travelogue of her seven-month stint on the world’s coldest continent.  Letters to her godson, Daniel, describe a harsh environment so cold that dental fillings fall out.  Double-page spreads dotted with full-color snapshots form short chapters on the icy region, suiting up, the difficulties of everyday existence, food and drink, shelter, transportation, entertainment, and wildlife.  The last third of the volume is devoted to current scientific pursuits as well as an overview of famous expeditions to the nearly uninhabitable “bottom of the planet.”  The cheery photographs – most by the author – show her dwarfed by the Barne glacier, posing with Emperor penguins, even building an igloo.  While the chatty letters highlight personal details of the trip, boxed inserts provide background information.  Key dates in Antarctic history complete this accessible profile, ideal as entry into units on the region.  (maps, charts, diagrams, further reading, index)  (Nonfiction.  8-12)

Pub Date: July 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-87226-295-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1999

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TAKE A SEAT—MAKE A STAND

A HERO IN THE FAMILY

Perfectly pitched to its target elementary audience, this tells the story of Sarah Keys Evans, a young woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus three years before Rosa Parks did the same.

While serving in the Women’s Army Corps in 1952, Evans took a bus to visit her family in North Carolina. At the time, discrimination on busses that crossed state lines was forbidden by law, but the bus company had its own rules. When she reached her home state, the driver demanded that she move to the back of the bus, and had her arrested when she refused. Evans filed a lawsuit against the bus company, eventually winning the case. Nathan reproduces many family photographs of Evans, clearly and concisely explaining her fight. She portrays Evans as an extremely shy young woman; because of her restrained personality, she comes across to readers with heightened courage. By weaving in photographs and Evans’s life story with her legal battle, the book will hold reader interest. Nathan strikes just the right balance of emotion and facts necessary to reach children within the context of a history lesson. As a result, this thin volume would be a good choice for elementary classrooms as part of a Civil Rights unit.

A winner. (Nonfiction. 6-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 978-0-595-41761-2

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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