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An insightful and focused profile of a political trailblazer.

A comprehensive biography of Shirley Chisholm’s political career.

Born in the U.S. to Bajan immigrants in 1924, “Fighting Shirley Chisholm” was raised and educated in both Barbados and the United States. As a teacher and administrator, she labored to improve the welfare of children in New York and championed legislation that supported low-income families and disadvantaged groups all over the country. Dedicated and unrelenting in her passion to serve “the workaday folk who make up most of the nation,” Chisholm worked her way up to becoming a congresswoman. The book describes how she was forced to battle racism and sexism en route to becoming the first Black person to seek a major party’s nomination for president of the United States. Readers will learn how Chisholm navigated an educational and political system bent on keeping women like her disempowered. The strength of Bolden’s skill as a researcher is evident; chapter by chapter, she provides succinct but critical context around the motivations and movements of Chisholm’s political career. A foreword by Stacey Abrams helps establish that Chisholm’s legacy is one of political innovation as someone who forged a path for others to follow. This informative book has an engaging narrative structure. The use of repetition and inclusion of memorable pearls of wisdom attributed to Chisholm add a poetic tone.

An insightful and focused profile of a political trailblazer. (maps, author's note, bibliography, photos) (Biography. 12-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4263-7236-0

Page Count: 144

Publisher: National Geographic Kids

Review Posted Online: Jan. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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The author of the award-winning Mummies & Their Mysteries (1993) returns to the intriguing subject of mummies. Here she explains how they are formed, how scientists use a variety of sophisticated techniques to learn about peoples and cultures of long ago, and some of the controversies surrounding the study of human remains. As with the previous title, the photographs presented here are striking, from the Inca child who appears on the front cover, to the mummy of Egyptian King Seti I, which appears on the back. Other photographs show some of the first tattoos, details of the Iceman, an Italian child who died of smallpox 400 years ago, the remains of light-haired Caucasian mummies from Xinjiang, China, and the well-preserved bodies of Philip Calvert, governor of Maryland from 1660 to 1661. The science is impressive, as carbon-14 dating, CT scans, DNA profiling, and X-rays are used to solve ancient mysteries. What were the people like? What did they eat? When did they die? What caused their death? What were the diseases they suffered? The author also discusses the controversies as different cultures clash over studying human remains. She mentions the Native American Graves Protection and Reparation Act which gives Native Americans control over native remains buried on government land or held in collections owned or funded by the government, and discusses former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s, efforts to house Egyptian mummies in a more dignified way. Though Wilcox discusses respect for the dead, she nonetheless pictures the controversial “Human Body Art” of German artist Gunther von Hagens, and “Sylvester,” a mummy used to greet customers in a shop in Seattle. Also pictured are the remains of an outlaw put on display for 65 years as a moneymaking exhibit for a funeral parlor. The author concludes with a glossary, extensive bibliography including Web sites, and a detailed index. Intriguing science, dramatically presented. (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2000

ISBN: 1-57505-428-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Carolrhoda

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2000

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This title in the “Chronicles of America” series (Colonial Times, 1600–1700, see below), provides an introduction to everyday life in the 18th century, and then describes the events leading up to, during, and after the Revolutionary War. It’s a lot to tackle in 48 pages, half taken up with photographs from “America's Living History Museums.” The title has browser appeal, but too little substance and overgeneralization may mislead young readers. For example: “Most people in America gathered together to pray at least once a week.” Or: “Even if folks had come from Germany or Holland, they quickly became English citizens of the Americas.” The tone sometimes trivializes the topic, for example: Pirates are described as “the naughtiest men.” And under the heading “Ouch!” the author states: “Some unlucky prisoners even had their ears nailed to the planks.” Most topics are treated in a two-page layout, with four to six full-color photographs and a very brief text. A typical spread entitled “There’s No Place Like Home” describes homes in the Northern and Southern colonies and provides a photograph of Mount Vernon, an interior of a bedroom from Colonial Williamsburg, a brick row house, a Hudson Valley stone farm house, and a man mixing clay for bricks with his feet. The text states: “In the early 1700s, most houses were simply one big room.” None of the dwellings shown are one room. The dwellings in the photographs span the century, but since the reader is not given dates, the text is at odds with the visual images. Other text labeled “surprising facts,” explains: “The plaster at Mount Vernon includes both hog and cattle hair.” That's neither surprising nor important. A blue box called “Brickmaking Made Easy” explains how bricks are made. With so little space the author should focus on more important topics. Many of the issues leading up to the Revolutionary War are introduced, for example the Sugar Act, Stamp Act, and Townsend Acts. Loyalists get very brief treatment, and battles are narrated with the fervor and flavor of a hockey sportscast. There are no maps or time lines to aid the reader. The author concludes with information on historic restorations to visit, books for further reading, Web sites of interest, photo credits, and an index. Too slight and problematic for purchase. (Nonfiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-439-05109-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2000

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