Tillie’s words bring the sights, sounds and smells of a civilian and teenager experiencing war straight to today’s readers...

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TILLIE PIERCE

TEEN EYEWITNESS TO THE BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG

An insightful perspective on one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl.

Tillie Pierce was a normal teenager for her time, but she became an unlikely heroine when the Civil War literally came to her backyard in Gettysburg. Tillie and other women and girls like her found themselves trapped during this critical three-day battle in southern Pennsylvania in July 1863. Compensating for a lack of training with extraordinary courage and compassion, Tillie and other Gettysburg citizens helped save the lives of countless wounded Union and Confederate soldiers. Anderson wisely relies heavily on Tillie’s own words in the narrative. Her eyewitness observations are vivid and compelling: “The approaches were crowded with the wounded, dying and dead. The air was filled with moanings, and groanings. As we passed on toward the house, we were compelled to pick our steps in order that we might not tread on the prostrate bodies.” Archival images, including photographs and prints, add critical visuals, while occasional sidebars flesh out some details. Particularly helpful are the maps that occasionally orient readers.

Tillie’s words bring the sights, sounds and smells of a civilian and teenager experiencing war straight to today’s readers in a way a retrospective account cannot. (source notes, suggestions for further reading) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4677-0692-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

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A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing.

THE AMAZING BOOK IS NOT ON FIRE

THE WORLD OF DAN AND PHIL

A couple more YouTube stars write a book.

Howell, who goes by "danisnotonfire," and "AmazingPhil" Lester are the latest YouTube stars hoping to cross over to the world of books. Instead of crafting a memoir or adapting their videos into a fictional series, the duo have filled these 225 pages with bold graphics, scatological humor, and quirky how tos that may entice their fan base but will leave everyone else out in the cold. It contains a wide variety of nonsense, ranging from Phil's chat logs to information on breeding hamsters. There's an emoji-only interview and some Dan/Phil fanfiction (by Howell rather than a fan) and even a full double-page spread of the pair's unsuccessful selfies. All this miscellany is shoveled in without much rhyme or reason following introductory pages that clearly introduce the pair as children, leaving readers who aren't in on the joke completely out of the loop. The authors make no attempt to bring in those on the outside, but in all honesty, why should they? The only people buying this book are kids who already love everything Dan and Phil do or clueless relatives in desperate search of a gift for the awkward teens in their lives. The book's biggest fault is its apparent laziness. It feels like something slapped together over a weekend, with no heart or soul.   

A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-93984-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2015

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FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF SLAVERY

Sandwiched between telling lines from the epic of Gilgamesh (“…the warrior’s daughter, the young man’s bride, / he uses her, no one dares to oppose him”) and the exposure of a migrant worker–trafficking ring in Florida in the mid-1990s, this survey methodically presents both a history of the slave trade and what involuntary servitude was and is like in a broad range of times and climes. Though occasionally guilty of overgeneralizing, the authors weave their narrative around contemporary accounts and documented incidents, supplemented by period images or photos and frequent sidebar essays. Also, though their accounts of slavery in North America and the abolition movement in Britain are more detailed than the other chapters, the practice’s past and present in Africa, Asia and the Pacific—including the modern “recruitment” of child soldiers and conditions in the Chinese laogai (forced labor camps)—do come in for broad overviews. For timeliness, international focus and, particularly, accuracy, this leaves Richard Watkins’ Slavery: Bondage Throughout History (2001) in the dust as a first look at a terrible topic. (timeline, index; notes and sources on an associated website) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-88776-914-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2010

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