Both richly constructed and altogether winning, a fine history of our nation’s most calamitous conflict.

CIVIL WAR INTERACTIVE

A natty and comprehensive scrutiny of the American Civil War.

This is an extremely and satisfyingly meaty excursus through the American Civil War. It provides a more-than-adequate degree of depth, if the reader chooses; far from suffocating, but hitting on a swarm of salient points. The text roams and ranges, from the Nullification Ordinance to the cotton gin, The Liberator newspaper to the Amistad to the Missouri Compromise. Wrenching episodes are not soft-pedaled—John Brown’s abolitionist activities, the New York City draft riots—and the battles are given strategic coverage while providing a real sense of the mayhem and carnage. The fortunes of war wax and wane, always appallingly, and are driven home by the seriously impressive array of archival photographs and images. Minor drawbacks include the text being set against faint background images, which can make it difficult to read, and some of the audio portions, of which there are only a few, move at too great a clip. The embedded videos, however, are terrific and make one yearn for more.

Both richly constructed and altogether winning, a fine history of our nation’s most calamitous conflict. (iPad nonfiction app. 10 & up)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Touchzing Media

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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It’s slanted toward action-oriented readers, who will find that Briticisms meld with all the other wonders of magic school.

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE

From the Harry Potter series , Vol. 1

In a rousing first novel, already an award-winner in England, Harry is just a baby when his magical parents are done in by Voldemort, a wizard so dastardly other wizards are scared to mention his name.

So Harry is brought up by his mean Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia Dursley, and picked on by his horrid cousin Dudley. He knows nothing about his magical birthright until ten years later, when he learns he’s to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hogwarts is a lot like English boarding school, except that instead of classes in math and grammar, the curriculum features courses in Transfiguration, Herbology, and Defense Against the Dark Arts. Harry becomes the star player of Quidditch, a sort of mid-air ball game. With the help of his new friends Ron and Hermione, Harry solves a mystery involving a sorcerer’s stone that ultimately takes him to the evil Voldemort. This hugely enjoyable fantasy is filled with imaginative details, from oddly flavored jelly beans to dragons’ eggs hatched on the hearth.

It’s slanted toward action-oriented readers, who will find that Briticisms meld with all the other wonders of magic school. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 978-0-590-35340-3

Page Count: 309

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1998

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Essential.

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THIS BOOK IS ANTI-RACIST

20 LESSONS ON HOW TO WAKE UP, TAKE ACTION, AND DO THE WORK

A guidebook for taking action against racism.

The clear title and bold, colorful illustrations will immediately draw attention to this book, designed to guide each reader on a personal journey to work to dismantle racism. In the author’s note, Jewell begins with explanations about word choice, including the use of the terms “folx,” because it is gender neutral, and “global majority,” noting that marginalized communities of color are actually the majority in the world. She also chooses to capitalize Black, Brown, and Indigenous as a way of centering these communities’ voices; "white" is not capitalized. Organized in four sections—identity, history, taking action, and working in solidarity—each chapter builds on the lessons of the previous section. Underlined words are defined in the glossary, but Jewell unpacks concepts around race in an accessible way, bringing attention to common misunderstandings. Activities are included at the end of each chapter; they are effective, prompting both self-reflection and action steps from readers. The activities are designed to not be written inside the actual book; instead Jewell invites readers to find a special notebook and favorite pen and use that throughout. Combining the disruption of common fallacies, spotlights on change makers, the author’s personal reflections, and a call to action, this powerful book has something for all young people no matter what stage they are at in terms of awareness or activism.

Essential. (author’s note, further reading, glossary, select bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-4521-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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