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Interesting invention stories

Allman, Toney  Women Scientists and Inventors Middle school, high school     80 pp.     ReferencePoint Collective Biographies series. Following a brief introduction describing historical obstacles to women’s careers in sciences, this volume profiles six successful women and their rise to influence. Each fairly short bio narrates the ups and downs of its subject’s career, and most paint […]

Review of Victoria: Portrait of a Queen

Victoria: Portrait of a Queen by Catherine Reef Middle School    Clarion    246 pp. 11/17    978-0-544-71614-8    $18.99 Fans’ obsession with Victorian England seems never-ending, yet how much do young Victorianaphiles know about the real woman who gave the period its name? Coming to the rescue is veteran biographer Reef (Ernest Hemingway, rev. 9/09; Florence Nightingale, rev. […]

Review of Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad

Martí’s Song for Freedom / Martí y sus versos por la libertad by Emma Otheguy; illus. by Beatriz Vidal; with excerpts from Versos sencillos by José Martí; trans. into Spanish by Adriana Domínguez Primary    Children’s/Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 7/17    978-0-89239-375-6    $17.95 “I come from every place, / And I’m on the road to everywhere: / I […]

Review of Meet Cindy Sherman: Artist, Photographer, Chameleon

Meet Cindy Sherman: Artist, Photographer, Chameleon by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan Intermediate, Middle School    Porter/Roaring Brook    64 pp. 10/17    978-1-62672-520-1    $19.99 “She is a chameleon, changing her appearance from photograph to photograph, so that she is many people but never Cindy.” Prolific biographers-of-artists Greenberg and Jordan (Ballet for Martha, rev. 7/10; The Mad Potter, […]

Review of Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton

Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton by Sherri Duskey Rinker; illus. by John Rocco Primary    Houghton    48 pp. 9/17    978-0-544-71557-8    $17.99 Beloved author-illustrator Virginia Lee Burton receives a picture-book biography treatment, but not the standard childhood-to-adulthood story. We meet Virginia, known as Jinnee, when she is already the mother of two boys who […]

Review of Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Eric Velasquez Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    48 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-7636-8046-6    $16.99 Growing up in Puerto Rico, Arturo Schomburg (1874–1938) asked his teachers why his textbooks omitted black people. He knew their contributions mattered, and ravenously read to learn more. At seventeen, Schomburg […]

Review of The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead

The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead by Deborah Noyes Middle School    Viking    152 pp. 8/17    978-0-8037-4018-1    $18.99 In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Spiritualist movement swept the nation. Noyes (Ten Days a Madwoman, rev. 1/16) uses Harry Houdini’s attempts to discredit the […]

Photographers

Aronson, Marc and Budhos, Marina  Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism High school     294 pp.     Holt This biography begins with the D-Day landing, then flashes back and follows Capa and Taro through the development of photojournalism, including their documentation of the Spanish Civil War. Carefully selected and […]

Review of Strong as Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became 
the Strongest Man on Earth

Strong as Sandow: How Eugen Sandow Became 
the Strongest Man on Earth by Don Tate; illus. by the author Primary    Charlesbridge    40 pp. 8/17    978-1-58089-628-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-886-3    $9.99 The life of Eugen Sandow (1867–1925), a Victorian-era bodybuilding superstar dubbed “the Modern Hercules,” is rife with mystery. Not only did his family destroy his […]

Review of Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México

Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México by Duncan Tonatiuh; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Abrams    32 pp. 8/17    978-1-4197-2532-6    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-68335-110-8    $15.54 Tonatiuh (Separate Is Never Equal, rev. 7/14; Funny Bones, rev. 11/15) tells the story of Amalia Hernández (1917–2000), founder of Mexico’s most famous dance company, El Ballet […]