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Of scientists and samurai

These nonfiction audiobooks, recommended for middle-school listeners and up, highlight a variety of memorable moments and important figures throughout human history. Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune is the bloody, heroic saga of an iconic twelfth-century samurai. Author Pamela S. Turner combines meticulous historical detail with conversational modernity and wry asides. Her narrative […]

Five questions for Anne Quirk

Anne Quirk’s The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (And How They Shaped the Nation) (Knopf, 10–14 years) highlights four sets of venerable opponents whose disputes helped set America’s path during its formative years. And just like its author — who was former publisher of The Horn Book — the book is smart, […]

Review of The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (and How They Shaped the Nation)

The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (and How They Shaped the Nation) by Anne Quirk; illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley Intermediate    Knopf    118 pp.    g 8/17    978-1-5247-0035-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-0036-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-0119-2    $10.99 “It hurts to be on the wrong side of history. Winners, like George Washington, have great cities […]

Review of Long May She Wave: The True Story of Caroline Pickersgill and Her Star-Spangled Creation

Long May She Wave: The True Story of Caroline Pickersgill and Her Star-Spangled Creation by Kristen Fulton; illus. by Holly Berry Primary    McElderry    40 pp. 5/17    978-1-4814-6096-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6097-2    $10.99 Caroline Pickersgill grew up around industrious women: her widowed mother ran a successful flag-making business from their Baltimore […]

American Revolution, NOT rich white men

Ms. Katie’s third-grade class sent home a note letting families know about their Revolutionary War project, a collection of essays titled History’s Unknown Heroes: Uncovering Massachusetts’s Revolutionary Heroes: In third grade, we were studying the American Revolution, and we noticed there were a lot of important people whose stories are not told that much. The […]

U.S. politics

Carson, Mary Kay  Why Couldn’t Susan B. Anthony Vote?: And Other Questions About Women’s Suffrage Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Sterling Richmond, Benjamin  What Are the Three Branches of Government?: And Other Questions About the U.S. Constitution Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Sterling Good Question! series. A question-and-answer format provides information relevant to each book’s American government […]

Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery app review

As Ripped Apart: A Civil War Mystery (Smithsonian, 2015; iOS only) opens, it’s your first day as an intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. After curator Isabella Wagner introduces you to the museum and the task at hand, you head down to the creepy basement — alone — to get to work. […]

Frontier Heroes app review

The opening screen of Frontier Heroes (Planet H and Red Games, 2014; iOS and Android) depicts five cartoonish figures from early American historical eras (they look like maybe George Washington, Pocahontas, a pilgrim, possibly Daniel Boone, or maybe Lewis and Clark). Three icons on the left provide an orientation of sorts: the video icon gives […]

Ansel + Clair: American Bowl app review

Ansel + Clair: American Bowl (Cognitive Kid, 2013) brings together American history…and virtual bowling. In other Ansel + Clair apps, Ansel (an alien) and Clair (a flying robot) travel through time and space learning about Earth’s different places and eras. In American Bowl, the space duo needs your help to free fifty bald eagles from […]