TEMPLE GRANDIN

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

A well written, admiring and thought-provoking portrait.

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. 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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

From the They Did What? series

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

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. 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

SHIPWRECKED!

THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF A JAPANESE BOY

The life of Manjiro Nakahama, also known as John Mung, makes an amazing story: shipwrecked as a young fisherman for months on a remote island, rescued by an American whaler, he became the first Japanese resident of the US. Then, after further adventures at sea and in the California gold fields, he returned to Japan where his first-hand knowledge of America and its people earned him a central role in the modernization of his country after its centuries of peaceful isolation had ended. Expanding a passage from her Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun (1985, Newbery Honor), Blumberg not only delivers an absorbing tale of severe hardships and startling accomplishments, but also takes side excursions to give readers vivid pictures of life in mid-19th-century Japan, aboard a whaler, and amidst the California Gold Rush. The illustrations, a generous mix of contemporary photos and prints with Manjiro’s own simple, expressive drawings interspersed, are at least as revealing. Seeing a photo of Commodore Perry side by side with a Japanese artist’s painted portrait, or strange renditions of a New England town and a steam train, based solely on Manjiro’s verbal descriptions, not only captures the unique flavor of Japanese art, but points up just how high were the self-imposed barriers that separated Japan from the rest of the world. Once again, Blumberg shows her ability to combine high adventure with vivid historical detail to open a window onto the past. (source note) (Biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2001

ISBN: 0-688-17484-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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