A well written, admiring and thought-provoking portrait.

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TEMPLE GRANDIN

HOW THE GIRL WHO LOVED COWS EMBRACED AUTISM AND CHANGED THE WORLD

The biography of an exceptional woman who, remarkably, made use of her condition to discover her calling and changed her own and many animals’ lives.

From earliest childhood, Dr. Temple Grandin, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, stood out with her “odd” ways. Her own father wanted to institutionalize his “retarded” child. Luckily Temple had friends who appreciated her creative mind and a mother who steadfastly believed in her and sought out schools, teachers and therapists who began to help develop her many talents, including a fierce intellect. A kindly high-school teacher led her to realize that her career lay in science. Today Grandin is a world authority and consultant on the respectful, humane treatment of animals raised for food and has designed groundbreaking facilities and equipment that protect livestock from fear and suffering—because her autism permits her to think the way animals do. (Animal lovers particularly may find some descriptions of ranching and slaughterhouse practices hard to take.)Montgomery makes a compelling argument that though one never outgrows autism, it doesn’t condemn those who have it to unproductive lives, and an appendix, "Temple’s Advice for Kids on the Spectrum," provides first-hand wisdom. Photos and diagrams depict Grandin's work as well as documenting her early life and career.

A well written, admiring and thought-provoking portrait. (foreword by Grandin, index, facts about autism and factory farming) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: April 3, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-547-44315-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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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

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An only-serviceable collective biography for those interested in the history of the movement. (Collective biography. 10-13)

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH

A HISTORY OF AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTALISM

Brief biographies of early conservationists and environmentalists provide a look at the development of the movement.

Readers meet John James Audubon, Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Roger Tory Peterson and Rachel Carson, as well as less familiar names: Cordelia Stanwood, Gifford Pinchot, Aldo Leopold, Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Margaret “Mardy” Murie. Each featurette is about six to eight pages long, offering enough detail to provide a flavor of the people’s lives and explain their significance to the movement. Each chapter includes one or more activities (mostly simple science experiments) themed to match the biography—not always successfully. The activity for the Muir chapter is to bake oatmeal scones, which seems strange when compared to others: bird identification, making a plaster cast of an animal footprint or a bird feeder, etc. The last section describes future challenges. The text is mostly written in short sentences that don’t jibe with the more complex content and may sometimes perplex readers: “For years, we’ve heard the cry, ‘Save the rainforest!’ This is another side of deforestation.” This effort offers an odd mix of complexity and oversimplification: “The rate of global warming can be slowed if people will take a few simple steps”—carpooling, using public transit, eschewing motorized transportation and limiting trips. More useful for the biographies than the environmental information.

An only-serviceable collective biography for those interested in the history of the movement. (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56976-718-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2013

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