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Memorial Day 2017

Collier, Peter  Choosing Courage: Inspiring Stories of What It Means to Be a Hero Middle school, high school     226 pp.     Artisan Ranging from World War II through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, this book offers compelling stories of selected Medal of Honor recipients who performed heroic acts in battle; vignettes of civilians awarded the […]

Review of Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism

Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos High School    Holt    294 pp. 3/17    978-0-8050-9835-8    $22.99 e-book ed.  978-1-2501-0967-5    $10.99 This passionate, sprawling, multilayered biography begins like a Robert Capa photograph: right in the middle of the action. […]

Review of Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin Middle School, High School    Roaring Brook    280 pp. 1/17    978-1-59643-954-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-59643-955-9    $9.99 Football icon Jim Thorpe is the indisputable star of Undefeated, although other compelling narratives come into play, including those of the infamous […]

History of war

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The following books for middle schoolers describe the horrors of twentieth-century wars and urge readers to learn from history’s mistakes. Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin opens briefly with a prologue set on the day of the attack […]

Review of Brown v. Board of Education: A Fight for Simple Justice

Brown v. Board of Education: A Fight for Simple Justice by Susan Goldman Rubin Intermediate, Middle School    Holiday    132 pp. 10/16    978-0-8234-3646-0    $18.95    g e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3708-5    $18.95 In 1950, Thurgood Marshall was a young African American lawyer determined to “wipe out…all phases of segregation in education from professional school to kindergarten.” He and other […]

Review of Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune

Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner; 
illus. by Gareth Hinds Intermediate, Middle School    Charlesbridge    236 pp. 2/16    978-1-58089-584-2    $16.95 Turner (The Frog Scientist, rev. 9/09) is best known for her science books for children; here she delivers an excellent biography of Japan’s legendary samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune. Because he lived […]

National Parks Service at 100

Brown, Craig  Mule Train Mail Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Charlesbridge The book opens with postman Anthony at the top of the Grand Canyon loading mules with letters and packages. The landscape’s yellows, browns, and rust colors radiate heat; the palette changes to whites and blues to convey the danger of driving rain and sleet. An […]

Review of Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West

Presenting Buffalo Bill: The Man Who Invented the Wild West by Candace Fleming Middle School, High School    Porter/Roaring Brook    259 pp. 9/16    978-1-59643-763-0    $19.99    g Fleming (Amelia Lost, rev. 3/11; The Family Romanov, rev. 7/14) sets her sights on two connected myths of American history: William Frederick “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s life story and the American […]

Listening in on the past

These engaging audio productions of four excellent historical nonfiction titles give teens another entry point into the profound (and profoundly personal) tales of courage and determination they relate. Steve Sheinkin‘s Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War uses Ellsberg as a focal point to tell the story of the Vietnam […]

Review of In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives

In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives by Kenneth C. Davis Middle School    Holt    279 pp. 9/16    978-1-62779-311-7    $17.99 Best known for his Don’t Know Much About History titles, Davis here presents another view of the American past, bringing to light the stories of five enslaved […]