However, those who meet Hamilton's challenge will be rewarded with an unforgettable image of an intelligent, courageous man.

ANTHONY BURNS

THE DEFEAT AND TRIUMPH OF A FUGITIVE SLAVE

Part history, part fictionalized narrative: the story of a runaway slave who was returned from Boston to his master in Virginia under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

Beginning with the day Bums was captured by a federal marshal and imprisoned in a makeshift jail in Boston's courthouse, Hamilton alternates the progress of his trial—with noted abolitionist Wendell Phillips making speeches and patrician attorney and novelist Richard Henry Dana as volunteer defense attorney—with Anthony's flashback retreats into his past. As counterpoint to the documented legal and political maneuverings, these glimpses of slavery are profoundly moving (we see Anthony as a favorite nuzzled against his master's chest on an early morning ride or, when he's older, submitting to a game of dominance before his master's friends). Returning from these memories, Anthony is depicted as almost unaware of the riots, the armed troops guarding the courthouse, or the judge doggedly carrying out President Pierce's order that the law be upheld. The six fictionalized chapters on Anthony's earlier life, interspersed through the narrative of events in Boston, give the reader a strong sense of his pain, frustration, and confusion; but the transitions (present fades to past in a manner made familiar on film, but seeming artificially abrupt here) interrupt the story, and the authentic courtroom scenes with their subtle (albeit vital) points of law will discourage many readers.

However, those who meet Hamilton's challenge will be rewarded with an unforgettable image of an intelligent, courageous man. (bibliography of sources, index, selections from the Fugitive Slave Act) (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 5, 1988

ISBN: 978-0-679-83997-2

Page Count: 193

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1988

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Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is...

THE ENDLESS STEPPE

GROWING UP IN SIBERIA

To Esther Rudomin at eleven Siberia meant the metaphor: isolation, criminals and cruel punishment, snow and wolves; but even in Siberia there is satisfaction from making a friend of a prickly classmate, from seeing a Deanna Durbin movie four times, from earning and studying and eventually belonging.

Especially in Siberia, where not wolves but hunger and dirt and cold are endemic, where shabbiness and overcrowding are taken for granted, where unselfishness is exceptional. At the heart of Mrs. Hautzig's memoir of four years as a Polish deportee in Russia during World War II is not only hardihood and adaptability but uniquely a girl like any other. Abruptly seized in their comfortable home in Vilna, Esther and her family, are shipped in cattle cars to Rubtsovsk in the Altai Territory, work as slave laborers in a gypsum mine until amnesty, then are "permitted" lobs and lodging in the village--if someone will take them in. After sleeping on the floor, a wooden platform is very welcome; after sharing a room with two other families, a separate dung hut seems a homestead. Then Esther goes to school, the greatest boon, and, to her mother's horror, wants to be like the Siberians....Deprivation does not make Esther grim: the saddest day of her life is her father's departure for a labor brigade at the front, her sharpest bitterness is for the bland viciousness of individuals.

Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is a beautiful book with no bar to wide acceptance (and a rich non-juvenile jacket by Nonny Hogrogian). (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 15, 1968

ISBN: 978-0-06-447027-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: T.Y. Crowell

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1968

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Several unexpected connections, though Eurocentric overall and lacking in racial diversity.

HEAD TO HEAD

18 LINKED PORTRAITS OF PEOPLE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

Renowned achievers go nose-to-nose on fold-out pages.

Mixing contemporary celebrities with historical figures, Corbineau pairs off his gallery of full-page portraits by theme, the images all reworked from photos or prints into cut-paper collages with highly saturated hues. Gandhi and Rosa Parks exemplify nonviolent protest; Mother Teresa and Angelina Jolie are (mostly) commended for their work with impoverished people; and a “common point” between Gutenberg and Mark Zuckerberg is that both revolutionized the ways we communicate. The portraits, on opposite ends of gatefolds, open to reveal short biographies flanking explanatory essays. Women and people of color are distinctly underrepresented. There are a few surprises, such as guillotined French playwright Olympe de Gouges, linked for her feminism with actress Emma Watson; extreme free-fall jumper Felix Baumgartner, paired with fellow aerialist record-seeker Amelia Earhart; and Nelson Mandela’s co–freedom fighter Jean Moulin, a leader of the French Resistance. In another departure from the usual run of inspirational panegyrics, Cornabas slips in the occasional provocative claim, noting that many countries considered Mandela’s African National Congress a terrorist organization and that Mother Teresa, believing that suffering was “a gift from God,” rarely gave her patients painkillers. Although perhaps only some of these subjects “changed the world” in any significant sense, all come off as admirable—for their ambition, strength of character, and drive.

Several unexpected connections, though Eurocentric overall and lacking in racial diversity. (map, timeline) (Collective biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7643-6226-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Schiffer

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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