A good starting point for further research.

READ REVIEW

WOMEN HEROES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

20 STORIES OF ESPIONAGE, SABOTAGE, DEFIANCE, AND RESCUE

A compact but dense book supplies facts and legends surrounding approximately 20 women in the American Colonies who furthered the cause of the Revolutionary War.

The book’s layout is not unlike a history textbook from the 1960s, with its small, black-and-white photographic reproductions and the sidebars of black print on gray background. Whether readers are skimming for information about several women or concentrating on one individual, the best approach is to first read the excellent author’s note, which briefly explores women’s widely varying involvement in the American Revolution and the difficulties inherent in the research, and the introduction, which quickly summarizes the lead-up to the war. There are many fascinating stories, carefully described as possibly true, including the outrageous but persistent tale of “Mammy Kate” rescuing a condemned soldier—her slavemaster—by carrying him out of prison in a covered basket balanced on her head. The stories are often weighed down by facts that would be better as footnotes and sidebars: some source explanations; names of all the children in large broods; unnecessary lineage details; the code numbers for every individual in a spy ring. Helpful, sometimes-humorous touches include explanations of archaic activities, lifestyles and social mores; well-documented primary and secondary sources; and clear instructions on how to read a political cartoon.

A good starting point for further research. (glossary, notes, bibliography) (Collective biography. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-61374-583-0

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2015

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.

MAYA LIN

THINKING WITH HER HANDS

One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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A touching portrait of a remarkable celebrity influencer who used her exposure to inspire herself and others.

ALWAYS SMILE

CARLEY ALLISON'S SECRETS FOR LAUGHING, LOVING AND LIVING

When the late Canadian figure skater and singer/songwriter Carley Allison, was diagnosed with a rare and deadly cancer at 17, she shared her difficult journey through treatment.

This authorized biography draws from Carley’s blog, text messages, photos on social media, and interviews with family and friends. All testify to Carley’s popularity, upbeat personality, athleticism, competitive drive, and generosity throughout her brief life. She set and met tough goals for herself through surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. Medical intervention exhausted, she tried residential treatment at an alternative Florida institute claiming cancer cures via a raw, vegan diet. Against her parents’ wishes, doctors told then-19-year-old Carley that she was dying. The timing of events isn’t always clear, and interviews are undated, but the clear intention is to inspire others to remain optimistic and positive: When an effort fails, there’s always something else to try. Contradicting that message is the equally strong portrait of someone exceptional afflicted with an exceedingly rare cancer. Carley, who was of European and Iranian descent, was supported by a loving, financially comfortable family and a loyal network of friends. It’s when the mask of cheery optimism falters that readers truly connect with Carley; then her journey becomes ours. Readers comfortable with social media will be drawn in by the large number of photographs, varied formats, and brief segments.

A touching portrait of a remarkable celebrity influencer who used her exposure to inspire herself and others. (Biography. 12-16)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0040-0

Page Count: 392

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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