Never melodramatic, this is a timely, eye-opening history.

ROSES AND RADICALS

THE EPIC STORY OF HOW AMERICAN WOMEN WON THE RIGHT TO VOTE

With Hasak-Lowy, Zimet, a founding member of Votes for Women 2020, an organization dedicated to, in part, celebrating the 100th anniversary of American women’s right to vote, explores the decadeslong battle for suffrage and its many leaders.

Although the account begins rather typically with a profile of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her burgeoning activism, it expands quickly, indicating how long women had been pushing for political freedom and how complicated their fight has been. Each chapter is its own contained lesson covering pivotal moments and key figures, extended by perfectly placed insets headed “Putting it in Perspective” or “Know Your Radicals.” The connection between suffrage and abolition is probed, as well as how racist attitudes—including among movement leaders—damaged the cause. The focus here is almost exclusively on white suffragists. The movement suffered schisms and lost momentum even as more states granted suffrage. The fight was reinvigorated with a new generation of activists such as Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, who picketed the White House, were jailed and beaten, went on hunger strikes, and employed other protest techniques that are used today. When the final fight for ratification of the 19th Amendment is recounted (supporters wore yellow roses; opponents, red), readers will be as anxious and invested as their forebears were.

Never melodramatic, this is a timely, eye-opening history. (foreword, introduction, epilogue, source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47754-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

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A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats.

50 IMPRESSIVE KIDS AND THEIR AMAZING (AND TRUE!) STORIES

From the They Did What? series

Why should grown-ups get all the historical, scientific, athletic, cinematic, and artistic glory?

Choosing exemplars from both past and present, Mitchell includes but goes well beyond Alexander the Great, Anne Frank, and like usual suspects to introduce a host of lesser-known luminaries. These include Shapur II, who was formally crowned king of Persia before he was born, Indian dancer/professional architect Sheila Sri Prakash, transgender spokesperson Jazz Jennings, inventor Param Jaggi, and an international host of other teen or preteen activists and prodigies. The individual portraits range from one paragraph to several pages in length, and they are interspersed with group tributes to, for instance, the Nazi-resisting “Swingkinder,” the striking New York City newsboys, and the marchers of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Mitchell even offers would-be villains a role model in Elagabalus, “boy emperor of Rome,” though she notes that he, at least, came to an awful end: “Then, then! They dumped his remains in the Tiber River, to be nommed by fish for all eternity.” The entries are arranged in no evident order, and though the backmatter includes multiple booklists, a personality quiz, a glossary, and even a quick Braille primer (with Braille jokes to decode), there is no index. Still, for readers whose fires need lighting, there’s motivational kindling on nearly every page.

A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats. (finished illustrations not seen) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-14-751813-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Puffin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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A standout among writing guides, valuable for its sage and friendly encouragement and for the sheer fun of hanging out with...

WRITING RADAR

USING YOUR JOURNAL TO SNOOP OUT AND CRAFT GREAT STORIES

Advice on writing from one of the best writers around.

“I’m a writer and I’m on your side,” Gantos says, as if he’s putting an arm around a young writer’s shoulder and guiding them through a door to a new life. With a snappy voice, his own funny ink drawings, and expertise drawn from a career full of great books, he covers just about everything: where to find ideas and characters, how to structure a story, why to keep a journal, and even what to write with. Every step of the way he includes examples from his own writing. As humorous as he is, Gantos is authoritative and serious about his craft, careful to include every building block for constructing a good story—characters, setting, problem, action, crisis, resolution, and the need for a double ending (physical and emotional). Chapter 2 (“Getting Started”) ought to be read by all teachers and parents: it’s a manifesto on how to raise a reader (and writer) by reading aloud excellent picture books to young children and placing good books in the hands of children as they get older, and he offers a handy list of just what some of those books should be. While his list of picture books is not a particularly diverse one, the middle-grade titles suggested are nicely inclusive.

A standout among writing guides, valuable for its sage and friendly encouragement and for the sheer fun of hanging out with Jack. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-374-30456-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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