Staid, dispensable illustrations aside, an informative and unusually lively look at the Egyptian way of death.

ANUBIS SPEAKS!

A GUIDE TO THE AFTERLIFE BY THE EGYPTIAN GOD OF THE DEAD

From the Secrets of the Ancient Gods series

The jackal-headed god dares readers to come along on the sun god Ra’s nightly journey through Duat, the Egyptian afterworld, to rebirth.

Schecter (Cleopatra Rules!, 2010) properly notes at the outset that Egyptian beliefs were not monolithic, so her canine co-conspirator has chosen elements that convey the “gist.” The god himself steps up to promise with indecent relish that there will be “blood. And snakes. And decapitations. And monsters who like to gobble up hearts and squeeze heads until they pop.” Anubis begins by describing how Ra created the world and the major gods by (as he puts it) “hocking a giant lougie” but ultimately left Earth in disgust to take up residence in the heavens. He delivers an hour-by-hour travelogue of Ra’s passage through the “dark lands” and accounts of gory battles that repeatedly leave the evil giant snake Apophis chopped into sushi. Anubis goes on to deliver introductions to ancient Egyptian culture and myths, major pharaohs, mummification (with particular emphasis on the gross bits) and burial practices—since, as he perceptively points out, Ra’s voyage also served as symbol and metaphor for the human passage through life and the afterlife.

Staid, dispensable illustrations aside, an informative and unusually lively look at the Egyptian way of death. (cast list, glossary, bibliography, index) (Mythology. 10-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59078-995-7

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2013

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THE CIVIL WAR AT SEA

In this companion to Portraits of War: Civil War Photographers and Their Work (1998), Sullivan presents an album of the prominent ships and men who fought on both sides, matched to an engrossing account of the war's progress: at sea, on the Mississippi, and along the South's well-defended coastline. In his view, the issue never was in doubt, for though the Confederacy fought back with innovative ironclads, sleek blockade runners, well-armed commerce raiders, and sturdy fortifications, from the earliest stages the North was able to seal off, and then take, one major southern port after another. The photos, many of which were made from fragile glass plates whose survival seems near-miraculous, are drawn from private as well as public collections, and some have never been published before. There aren't any action shots, since mid-19th-century photography required very long exposure times, but the author compensates with contemporary prints, plus crisp battle accounts, lucid strategic overviews, and descriptions of the technological developments that, by war's end, gave this country a world-class navy. He also profiles the careers of Matthew Brady and several less well-known photographers, adding another level of interest to a multi-stranded survey. (source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7613-1553-5

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Millbrook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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Trots in all the tropes except the cherry tree, but the rosy glow may not be misplaced considering his predecessor.

JOE BIDEN

A BIOGRAPHY FOR YOUNG READERS

A hagiographic portrait of the United States’ newest president-elect.

Gormley begins with Biden’s working-class origins, then retraces his development as a “natural leader” from roguish, family-centered senior class president to responsible and still family-centered national one. Focusing as she goes on values or character-revealing anecdotes and sound bites (including multiple early predictions that he would grow up to be president), she turns his father’s motto “if you get knocked down, get up” into a thematic mantra. Gormley portrays his career as a heroic march to the White House past both political challenges and wrenching personal tragedies. The author mixes frank accounts of the latter with heartwarming family stories like the time his sons, then 6 and 7, sat him down in 1976 and told him to marry Jill Jacobs. The author presents Biden’s early positions on, for instance, same-sex marriage or crime as either evolving or errors acknowledged in retrospect, dismisses allegations of sexual harassment, and frames his verbal gaffes as just foibles: “Obama was ‘the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.’ Oops. Joe Biden had spoken without thinking.” Side looks at relevant topics from trickle-down economics to the Electoral College inelegantly interrupt the text but serve to fill in some of the historical background, and the tactics and failures of the Trump administration, particularly to address the Covid-19 pandemic, get a good airing. The narrative ends the weekend after Election Day with an analysis of the challenges ahead. No illustrations or index were seen.

Trots in all the tropes except the cherry tree, but the rosy glow may not be misplaced considering his predecessor. (source notes) (Biography. 11-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-7932-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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