ALWAYS INVENTING

A PHOTOBIOGRAPHY OF ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL

A memorable tribute to a notably versatile inventor: From his first invention at age 11 to his last, 64 years later, Bell “recorded everything, sketched every idea, documented every experiment.” Clearly, Matthews does not lack for source material, but rather than weigh readers down with a long recitation of accomplishments, he covers some high spots (the telephone, Bell’s work with the deaf, experiments in flight, and his role in the National Geographic Society) on the way to creating a character study, a portrait of a man who both earned and knew how to enjoy success, and who never lost his sense of wonder. The fluent text is matched to an expertly chosen array of photographs, encompassing not only family scenes and closeups of small, complex devices, but such seldom-seen treasures as Mark Twain’s telephone bill, and a choked mass of wires suspended over New York City’s Broadway. So upbeat is the tone that the tragedies and challenges in Bell’s life seem downplayed, but readers will come away with a good sense of who the man was and what he did. (chronology, bibliography, index) (Biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-7922-7391-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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Wheeler offers a scrapbook-style travelogue of her seven-month stint on the world’s coldest continent. Letters to her...

GREETINGS FROM ANTARCTICA

            In an eye-opening companion to such works as Jennifer Armstrong’s Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World (1999) and Elizabeth Cody Kimmel’s Ice Story (p.  66) on Shackleton, readers get a contemporary look at Antarctica.

            Wheeler offers a scrapbook-style travelogue of her seven-month stint on the world’s coldest continent.  Letters to her godson, Daniel, describe a harsh environment so cold that dental fillings fall out.  Double-page spreads dotted with full-color snapshots form short chapters on the icy region, suiting up, the difficulties of everyday existence, food and drink, shelter, transportation, entertainment, and wildlife.  The last third of the volume is devoted to current scientific pursuits as well as an overview of famous expeditions to the nearly uninhabitable “bottom of the planet.”  The cheery photographs – most by the author – show her dwarfed by the Barne glacier, posing with Emperor penguins, even building an igloo.  While the chatty letters highlight personal details of the trip, boxed inserts provide background information.  Key dates in Antarctic history complete this accessible profile, ideal as entry into units on the region.  (maps, charts, diagrams, further reading, index)  (Nonfiction.  8-12)

Pub Date: July 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-87226-295-2

Page Count: 44

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1999

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One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

AFTER ALL I'VE DONE

A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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TAKE A SEAT—MAKE A STAND

A HERO IN THE FAMILY

Perfectly pitched to its target elementary audience, this tells the story of Sarah Keys Evans, a young woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus three years before Rosa Parks did the same.

While serving in the Women’s Army Corps in 1952, Evans took a bus to visit her family in North Carolina. At the time, discrimination on busses that crossed state lines was forbidden by law, but the bus company had its own rules. When she reached her home state, the driver demanded that she move to the back of the bus, and had her arrested when she refused. Evans filed a lawsuit against the bus company, eventually winning the case. Nathan reproduces many family photographs of Evans, clearly and concisely explaining her fight. She portrays Evans as an extremely shy young woman; because of her restrained personality, she comes across to readers with heightened courage. By weaving in photographs and Evans’s life story with her legal battle, the book will hold reader interest. Nathan strikes just the right balance of emotion and facts necessary to reach children within the context of a history lesson. As a result, this thin volume would be a good choice for elementary classrooms as part of a Civil Rights unit.

A winner. (Nonfiction. 6-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2006

ISBN: 978-0-595-41761-2

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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