Readers come away wishing for more of the children’s voices and less of Brown’s.

READ REVIEW

CHILDREN OF THE FIRST PEOPLE

FRESH VOICES OF ALASKA'S NATIVE KIDS

Twenty-one years after Children of the Midnight Sun, Brown and Corral reteam for a follow-up.

Before one gets to read the stories of the Alaska Native children highlighted in this book, the introduction makes the case that Alaska Native kids are “just like any other kid,” as if to normalize Indigenous children for the evidently non-Native audience that the book seems to imagine. Author Brown and photographer Corral trek across Alaska to a sample selection of children from 10 Indigenous cultures of Alaska. Each chapter looks at the life of one child as representative of their culture. The stories tell of the day-to-day activities of each child, how they engage with their families, their traditional culture, and their aspirations. The overview is in Brown’s voice, and interspersed within that narrative are snippets of quotes from the children. Photographs highlight the children with their family members, engaged in sports, having fun outdoors, or dressed in traditional clothing. Though the book attempts to celebrate these children and their respective cultures, the depictions at times feel objectified, seen through an ethnographic lens. Mention of the harsh colonial impact on their cultures is minimized; for example, readers learn that the missionary William Duncan established a rigidly evangelical Christian community on a Tlingit-populated island with a group of Tsimshian but not that he profited from their labor.

Readers come away wishing for more of the children’s voices and less of Brown’s. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5132-6197-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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This introduction to puberty may be particularly helpful for girls looking ahead to that stage.

THE GIRL'S BODY BOOK

A growing-up guide for preteen girls.

This puberty-navigation guide covers girls’ bodily changes, body care, health, relationships with family and friends, staying safe, and handling stress. In many cases the author, a registered nurse, has covered the same material as she did in various editions of this title as well as The Boy’s Body Book. This girls’ book skips the topics of sleep and performance-enhancement drugs in favor of a section on eating disorders. As in the boys’ book, controversial subjects are addressed generally and conservatively if at all. She includes a rough diagram of female reproductive organs and tells her young readers about menstruation and visiting a gynecologist but not how babies are made. She talks about having boys as friends, saying “Don’t put pressure on yourself to call any of your close friendships ‘dating.’ ” The strength of this title is its emphasis on good grooming, healthy living habits, and positive relationships. Added for this fourth edition is new material on interacting with adults, personal empowerment, body language, reputations, and “learning disabilities,” helpful information for the growing segment of the preteen population identified with cognitive and social learning differences. Tallardy’s cartoon illustrations show girls and adults of varying ethnicities and provide a cheerful accompaniment.

This introduction to puberty may be particularly helpful for girls looking ahead to that stage. (resources, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-60433-714-3

Page Count: 148

Publisher: Cider Mill Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for...

TWO MEN AND A CAR

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, AL CAPONE, AND A CADILLAC V-8

A custom-built, bulletproof limo links two historical figures who were pre-eminent in more or less different spheres.

Garland admits that a claim that FDR was driven to Congress to deliver his “Day of Infamy” speech in a car that once belonged to Capone rests on shaky evidence. He nonetheless uses the anecdote as a launchpad for twin portraits of contemporaries who occupy unique niches in this country’s history but had little in common. Both were smart, ambitious New Yorkers and were young when their fathers died, but they definitely “headed in opposite directions.” As he fills his biographical sketches with standard-issue facts and has disappointingly little to say about the car itself (which was commissioned by Capone in 1928 and still survives), this outing seems largely intended to be a vehicle for the dark, heavy illustrations. These are done in muted hues with densely scratched surfaces and angled so that the two men, the period backgrounds against which they are posed, and the car have monumental looks. It’s a reach to bill this, as the author does, a “story about America,” but it does at least offer a study in contrasts featuring two of America’s most renowned citizens. Most of the human figures are white in the art, but some group scenes include a few with darker skin.

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for thought. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-88448-620-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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