Dewey Guide: Biography

Subjects Listed in This Directory

A -- K

ADAMS, JOHN & ABIGAIL
St. George, Judith.  JOHN & ABIGAIL ADAMS: AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY .
    New York: Holiday, 2001.  147p.  0-8234-1571-6; hb., $22.95    Gr. 4-9      921 or  973.4 

    After reading two thousand letters written by the John and Abigail Adams, a gifted writer tells the story of America’s beginnings through their lives.  John began as a lawyer who rode circuit from one district courthouse to another.  Their first letters, according to the custom of the day were signed using their mythological names.  The couple began their correspondence before they were married in1764 when she was almost 20 and he was 29.  Much of their life the couple was apart, once for five straight years.  The couple were apart when John was a delegate to the First (1774) and Second (1775) Continental Congresses.  John and son Johnny (John Quincey) left for Europe in1778 where John was negotiating with the French and later John was first American ambassador to the Netherlands, and when John was negotiating the Peace treaty in Paris.  Abigail joined him when he was appointed the first American ambassador to Great Britain.
    Their first years of marriage were spent raising children and becoming active in patriotic causes.  The British passed the Stamp Act that John denounced.  While on the Massachusetts General Court, John was lawyer for the British soldiers who killed civilians at the Boston Massacre.  John wrote “The die is cast” when the Boston Tea Party and the retaliatory Coercive Acts happened.  “John nominated George Washington as commander in chief…was a key player in establishing the American navy and the corps of marines.”
    The couple had their share of sorrow in their personal lives.  A child was stillborn.  Son Charles was an alcoholic who abandoned his family and died at age 30.  Daughter Nabby died of breast cancer at age of 48.   There were also political disappointments.  John was not as charismatic as Ambassador Benjamin Franklin while they were in Paris wooing the French.  As first ambassador to Great Britain, he was unable to gain trade concessions from them and because of his ten years abroad, people called him “His Rotundity,”  puppet of the French, and called Abigail “Her Majesty.”   There were estrangements from friends because of politics, Mercy Warren and Thomas Jefferson, which were fortunately made up before it was too late.  There was the political treachery of Alexander Hamilton.  John lost the presidency to Jefferson and although their politics were very different, he had to serve as Vice President.  Adams was not reelected and when he left office, people did not visit him like they did Washington.  Abigail died 7 years before her son became President of the U.S. and her husband outlived her.
    An interesting sidelight was that Johnny was a child in arms when his mother took him to watch the Battle of Breed’s Hill.  He went with his father to Paris and at age 13 he accompanied his father’s friend, Francis Dana, who was appointed to represent the U.S. in Russia and became Dana’s secretary because he spoke French, the common language with the Russians.  At age 17 he lived with his parent s in London where his father was ambassador, graduated from Harvard, became a U.S. Senator, American ambassador to Russia and later Great Britain, Secretary of State for Monroe, and then president.
    St. George says, “Abigail and John were equal partners.  They were partners in raising their children.  They were partners in sharing their joy in good times and upholding each other in times of sorrow.  Now they would be partners in sharing their talents to serve the country they loved.”  “John’s and Abigail’s letters to each other were more than exchanges of affection, family news and political reports.  They were life-and love-sustaining.”  This is a good addition to collections where history of early America is needed, especially contributions of women.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

ALI, MUHAMMAD
Haskins, Jim.  CHAMPION: THE STORY OF MUHAMMAD ALI.  Illus by Eric Velasquez.
    New York:  Walker, 2002.  0-8027-8784-3; hb., $17.95    Gr. 1-6      921  or   796.83
 
    Oil paintings in this picture book biography help to share the life of Ali beginning when he was heavyweight boxing champ of the world.  Haskins then reverts to Ali’s birth in 1942 and readers learn that Cassius Clay, Jr. was named after his father who was named after a white plantation owner who freed his slaves.  A policeman who saw that Cassius wanted to beat up the thief who stole his new bike when he was twelve, taught him to box.  By the time he was 18, he had won over 100 amateur fights; four of them were national championships.  Clay won the light heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 summer Olympics.  In 1961, Cassius beat Sonny Liston for heavyweight champion of the world.   Shortly thereafter he changed his name and announced that he was a member of the Nation of Islam or Black Muslims and took the name Muhammad Ali.  Because it was against his religion to join the army during Vietnam War days, he was jailed.  When he was let out of jail, he returned to boxing.  The book ends with his retirement and being the final torch-bearer at the summer Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.   Most of the book is lauditory but Ali’s nicknames, “The Louisville Lip” and “Blabber Mouth,” are mentioned.  There is a chronology and bibliography for adults, middle grade and teen readers.  This is an attractive picture book that begins and ends with bright end papers and it will appeal to boxing fans of all ages.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

ANGELOU, MAYA
Cuffie, Terrasita A.  THE IMPORTANCE OF MAYA ANGELOU.  San Diego, CA: 
    Lucent Books Inc., 1999.  80p.  1-56006-532-X  lib. bdg.; $27.45   Gr. 4-8   J 921

    Cuffie writes a comprehensive timeline of Maya Angelou’s life by using information from Angelou’s own autobiographical books:  Conversations with Maya, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in My Name, Singin’ and Swingin’ and Getting’ Merry like Christmas, The Heart of a Woman, and All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes.  By using these personal sources, along with her other sources, Cuffie was able to bring feeling to the story.  It is easy to read and includes black and white photographs.  This book would be very useful for classroom reports. 
    Lynette Suckow, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES
Davis, Jacqueline.  THE BOY WHO DREW BIRDS.  Illus. by Melissa Sweet.  New York: 
    Houghton Mifflin Co., 2004.  31p.  ISBN: 0-618-24347 hb. $15.00   Gr. 3-7   JNF  921 Au

    As a young man, John James Audubon enjoyed walks in the woods with his father in their native France. But when he reached the age of 18, rather than have John James serve in Napoleon's army, his father sent him to America to live with a housekeeper on a farm in Pennsylvania. There John James indulged his naturalist interests as he explored the countryside, noting seasonal changes and the affect on bird migrations using an innovative technique-bird banding. He recorded his observations in notes and sketches. The book's watercolor illustrations provide a sense of place as well as portraying the life of an intellectually inquisitive young man. This brief story of Audubon's simple beginnings may inspire young naturalists to follow their own interests.
    Judy Bennett, Clerk, Ironwood Carnegie Library

BANNEKER, BENJAMIN
Pinkney, Andrea Davis.  DEAR BENJAMIN BANNEKER.  Illus. by Briain Pinkney. San Diego:  Harcourt, 
1994.  unp. 0-15-200417-3; hb., $16.00    0-15-201892-1; Voyager pb, 1988, $6.00   Gr3+    92  or  520

     Pinkney's illustrations are fine examples of his scratchboard technique which is well suited to this subject.  The author's note at the beginning of the book informs readers about Banneker who was  a self-taught mathematician and astronomer who may have been America's first black man of science. Other accomplishments, not included in the book, are given.  The text emphasizes that Banneker, who grew up in Maryland as a free person, was always  curious.  Much of the book is devoted to his preparing an almanac and the importance of this and other almanacs of his  time.  Bannaker published an almanac from 1791-97.  Banneker sent a copy of his almanac, to Thomas Jefferson when he was Secretary of State with a letter explaining that "all black people could study and learn as he had–if only they were free to do so."  Part of Jefferson's reply is also included.  There are multiple uses for this book in the curriculum: astronomy, biography, Thomas Jefferson,  Black History Month, and when learning about uses of almanacs.  The hardback should already be in school and public library collections but now the paperback makes it affordable for classroom collections.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

BELL, ALEXANDER GRAHAM.
Fisher, Leonard Everett.  ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL.  New York: Atheneum, 1999.  unp.   0-689-81607; hb.,   $16.00     Gr. 1-7      921   

    This handsome picture book, done in black and white, shows various people and places as well as contains diagrams of the telephone patent, illustrations of visible speech, and a sketch of the "vacuum jacket" which helped people breathe 50 years before the iron lung was invented.  Although the book is short, there is lots of interesting information packed into it.  The Bell's came from Scotland to Canada and Grahame, later called Aleck, became a citizen only after inventing the telephone.  His father-in-law, also an investor, sent for the patent on Bell's behalf when he realized that Bell did not do so. This was fortuitous because even so, there were many lawsuits regarding ownership.   Bell invented a metal detector which was used to locate the bullet in President Garfield's abdomen and he succeeded his father-in-law as president of the National Geographic Society.
    Bell was very interested in deaf people and contributed most of the income from his Volta Laboratory inventions to help them.   His own mother was partially deaf and his father was consumed with improving human speech. Grahame's expertise in understanding the human voice box and ear made his a teacher at the University of Edinburgh the age of 21. Aleck introduced Helen Keller, the daughter of a friend, to her teacher, Anne Sullivan.
     Prices and statistics are interesting and are woven into the text.  A chronology is also useful. Fisher's book can be used not only by primary and intermediate students but will be appreciated by anyone who is interested in Bell and his inventions.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Weaver, Robyn M.  ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL.  Illus. with photos. The Importance Of series. 
    San Diego: Lucent, 2000.  120p.  1-56006-603-2; lib.bdg., $23.70     Gr. 6-9      921 or  621.385

     This forthright biography begins with a time line of important dates in Bell’s life from birth to his presidency of the National Geographic Society.  Weaver reminds readers of the importance of the telephone in our lives today for e-mail, fax, and local and long distance calls.   Bell was influenced by his father, an elocutionist, who taught proper enunciation of words and public speaking as well as his mother, a portrait painter, who encouraged his questioning mind.  Bell’s first experiment was a machine to remove wheat husks that he created with a boyhood friend.   Bell always listed “teacher of the deaf” as his occupation and a chapter is devoted to this endeavor, including teaching Helen Keller.  His careers as a writer and speaker are also included.  Most of the book is devoted to the telephone because that is what he is widely known for but a chapter is also devoted to other inventions.   There are frequent sidebars and black and white photos and drawings to capture the interest of readers.  Chapter notes, for further reading, works consulted, and an index complete the book.  Fisher’s ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL (Atheneum, 1999) is for a younger audience.  This is a solid source for reports.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

BENTLEY, WILSON ALWYN.
Martin, Jacqueline Brigs.  SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY.  Illus by Mary Azarian. Boston:  Houghton Mifflin,
    1998.  unp.  0-395-86162-4; hb., $16.00   97-12458   PreS-Gr 3+      551.57 or  921 or   E

    Every member of ALSC, the Association for Library Service to Children, can nominate  books for the Caldecott Medal.  This book was my nomination.  The woodcuts are an appropriate medium for a biography of a farmer who was born in 1865.   One cannot imagine the farm buildings and setting executed in another medium.   The snowflake woodcuts on the blue background provide a recurring pattern that unifies the book even though one would expect all of the snowflakes to be different.   Although Bentley was from Vermont, he was a rugged individualist who could have just as easily lived in Michigan's Upper Peninsula or any other snowy, rural region.  A photo of Bentley and his camera as well as pictures of three of his snowflakes, appear in the afterword along with a bibliography.  This information entices readers to look for the National Geographic magazine containing Bentley's photos.  Comparisons between Bently's photos and those of Marquette's George Shiras are inevitable because both were photographic pioneers who appreciated nature and both were published in National Geographic.  Every public and school library, regardless of where it is located,  needs a copy of this book.  Martin and Azarian have created a winner.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
   * Editor's note:  Winner of the 1999 Caldecott Medal.

BLOOMER, AMELIA
Corey, Shana.  YOU FORGOT YOUR SKIRT, AMELIA BLOOMER! Illus.by Chesley McLaren.   
    New York:  Scholastic, 2000.  0-439-075819-9 hb. $16.95.   Gr.  1-4    92 1   PAULIN’S PICKS

    This is a humorous biography of a woman who was not considered “proper”  by her contemporaries and was active in the women’s rights movement.  When she saw Elizabeth  Stanton’s cousin, Libby, wearing an unusual costume that had none of the health drawbacks of women’s clothing of the times,  Bloomer made some for herself and described them in her feminist newspaper.  Women wanted patterns and the new costume, “Bloomers,”  became a hit.  The repeated use of the question “What was proper about that?” involves readers in the book and creates a dichotomy with Bloomer’s critics.  A final question is the perfect conclusion.  An author’s note at the end of the book provides additional information about Bloomer, women’s clothing during her times as well as Stanton and her cousin.   The typeface and placement of the text as well as the gouache illustrations, bordered in dark black line, add to the whimsy of this biography and create a totally integrated picture book that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Lickteig,  Mary J.  AMELIA BLOOMER.  Read and Discover Photo-Illustrated Biographies Series.  
    Mankato, MN:  Capstone, 1998.  24p. 1-56065-747-2; lib.bdg., $13.75    Gr. 2-4.   92  or  05.42

    Full-page photos or diagrams appear on every left page while text appears on the right.  One fact on each text page is highlighted.  The print is large and the content is interesting.  Lickteig provides information about what life was like for women in Bloomer’s lifetime, the Temperance Movement, the Seneca Falls conference, and Bloomer’s life.  Personal information about Bloomer’s childhood, marriage, newspaper and post office jobs, as well as her writing and speech making are given.  Added features include four quotes from Bloomer, a chronology, glossary, bibliography of four books, two addresses, 3 URLs, and a short index.   Many people think that Amelia invented the bloomers but Elizabeth Stanton’s cousin Libby Miller wore the famous short dress with baggy pants underneath and Amelia wrote an article about it.  Other newspapers printed the story and writers named the pants bloomers.  This isn’t nearly as interesting as finding out men threw eggs or stones at women who wore bloomers. When Bloomer died, women could not vote but examples of how their lives were better off were provided.   The other titles in this series include four groupings:  presidents; African-Americans and; feminists; and minorities.  Purchase this title where easy biographies are needed or for brief information about women’s suffrage.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

BOOTH, JOHN WILKES.
Steve Otfinoski, Steve.  JOHN WILKES BOOTH AND THE CIVIL WAR.  Illus. with photos.  Notorious Americans and Their Times Series.  Woodbridge, CT:  Blackbirch, 1999. 78p.    Gr.3-9+     92 or 973.7

     Rather than limit this book to the short life of Booth (he died at age 27), the author sets the life story of the man who assassinated Abraham Lincoln against the backdrop of the Civil War.  The ninth of ten children Booth did not have the smarts to become and engineer or scientist, but he was impulsive--a trait which eventually led him to commit murder.  Historical photographs, maps and printed memorabilia contribute to the authenticity of the publication.  The time lines, glossary, source notes, further readings and web sites make the book practical as well as helpful and informative for a student report.
    Patricia Fittante, Children's Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

BOURGEOIS, LOUISE

Greenberg, Jan and Sandra Jordan.  RUNAWAY GIRL:  THE ARTIST LOUISE BOURGEOIS.   New York:  Harry N. Abrams, 2003.  80p. 0-8109-4237-2  hb. $19.95    Gr. 5-10    j921

 

    This biography for young adults traces the life of French artist and sculptor Louise Bourgeois from her childhood in a home whose family business was restoring 16th and 17th century tapestries.  As a young adult, Louise moved to Paris and studied art and art history.  She met the American art historian Robert Goldwater and, against her parents' wishes, married and moved to New York City with Robert.  In the 1940's and 1950's she was a part of the "New York art scene" and many of her huge sculptures are still a part of that city's street scenes. 

    This book is beautiful.  The paper is heavy and glossy and the numerous pictures and photos are well produced.  Even without reading the book cover to cover, you can get an outline of Bourgeois' life from the pictures.  At the end of the text, there is an outline of important dates in the artist's life, information about viewing and understanding sculpture art, a list of galleries and museums where Bourgeois' works can be viewed, a glossary, endnotes, and other information that would make this an excellent introduction to the world of sculpture and Louise Bourgeois. 

    Linda Cooley, Director, L'Anse School/Public Library

BRAILLE, LOUIS.
Freedman, Russell.  OUT OF DARKNESS: THE STORY OF LOUIS BRAILLE.  Illus. by Kate Kiesler.   
    New York: Putnam Penguin, 1997.  New York: Clarion, 1999.  88p. 0-614286700; hb., $15.95   
    0-395-96888-7; pb., $7.95.   95-52353     Gr. 3-7+    686.2  or  921    PAULIN'S PICKS.

     This biography may be short but the impact is great.  Readers will be drawn into the story in the first pages when they learn how Braille blinds himself while playing with his father’s saddle and harness tools at the age of three.  The empathy with Braille continues when he goes to Paris to a school for blind students, when he works on his inventions, when his alphabet becomes successful but not recognized, and finally when he becomes ill.  How Braille built upon the ideas of the embossed alphabet, nightwriting, and sonography to invent the Braille alphabet that bears his name and is still used today, is fascinating.  It is especially noteworthy that this happened between his 15th and 20th  years.  This biography flows from beginning to end and shows Freedman at his best.  Kiesler’s black and white pencil sketches are eminently suitable for the book.  School and public libraries who do not already own the hardback edition, should purchase the paperback.  Highly Recommended.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

BROWN, MARGARET.
Landau, Elaine.  HEROINE OF THE TITANIC: THE REAL UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN.
    New York: Clarion, 2001p. 132p.  0-395-93912-7 hb. $18.00    Gr. 6-9     921  or  978.8

    This very readable biography begins in Egypt when Mrs. Brown visits a pal reader in Cairo who sees water and drowning people in her future.  When she learns that her grandson was ill, she cuts her tour short in Paris and books passage on the Titanic.  The first two chapters discuss the event that made her famous.  Then  Landau returns to Margaret’s birth in Hannibal, MO and progresses to her life in the  mining town of Leadville, CO, her marriage, life in Denver, her many charity projects, her estrangement from her husband, and her relationship with her children.  Using careful research, the author dispels some of the myths about Margaret, including the fact that those who knew her did not call her Molly.  Margaret devoted much time, energy, and money into her charities and was a leader in Denver society even though the unsinkable play and movie indicated otherwise.  Her passion to be cultured and learn other languages helped her to speak with the immigrant women who survived the shipwreck.  There is information about the renovation of her home as a museum.  Landau does not say that guides tell visitors that the reason they were able to recreate the original setting was because photographs had been taken of every room when she entertained.  These photos helped to identify the furnishings needed to return the rooms to their original state and some photos are on display in the rooms.  The writing and format of the book make it suitable for readers beyond the recommended age.  The clear photos add to the overall impact of the book.  The information about silver mining enhances the use of this title for schools.  This biography is highly recommended middle and high school media centers and public libraries of all sizes.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

BUSH, GEORGE W.
Cohen, Daniel.  GEORGE W. BUSH: THE FAMILY BUSINESS.  Illus. with photos. Gateway Biographies.   
Brookfield, CT: Milbrook, 2000.  48p.  0-7613-1851-8; lib.bdg., $21.90    Gr. 3-6+     921 or 976.4

     Like a newspaper article that has an “angle,” the author mentions several other American political families with multiple presidential aspirations: Adams, Roosevelt, Taft, and Kennedy.    Cohen tells abut George’s father, brother, and grandfather, a Senator.  George W. is called “Junior” by some and “Shrub” by others.  Cohen shares Junior’s good and bad points.   Bush’s pluses are that he was a good boss, a good fund raiser, has a gift for making friends, and was loyal to his employees when he sold his failing oil business, is a good family man with twins, is bilingual, and is governor to Texas.   Minuses include Bush’s college experience as a “fair student,” “barely passing a “pilot aptitude’ test” to get into the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, not being accepted into the University of Texas Law school but being admitted to the Harvard Business school where he received an MBA, his lost congressional race, and receiving jobs because his father was president.  When the oil business as a whole wasn’t good, he sold it to a larger company and made sure his employees were hired by the new company.   The new company hired Junior because of his family connections.  At age 40 he gave up alcohol about the time his father was running for vice president and he worked on his father’s campaign.   He went to Texas and found backers to help purchase the Houston Astros and became a managing general partner which provided him TV coverage, helped to get backing for new stadium in Arlington, became well known, and successfully ran for governor.  Although the governor of TX does not have independent power, he worked successfully with the legislature to accomplish his goals.  No bibliography of other young people’s biographies is included because there aren’t any but there are three web sites, an index, and a chronology.   This book ends with Bush as a front runner for 2000 Republican nomination.   This title is timely and is currently the only  biography for George W. Bush at this age level.  Purchase it for school library media centers serving grades 4-12 and public libraries where it will also be used by adults.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director; Superiorland Preview Center

Wukovits, John F.  GEORGE W. BUSH.  People in the News series.  San Diego:  Lucent, 2000.    
    112p.  1-56006-693-8;  hb.,    $18.96     Gr. 5-10       921 or  976.4

    This biography of George W. begins when he is Governor of Texas then moves to his family’s legacy in politics.  Then it goes back to young George’s school days from boarding school through Yale and the Fraternity scene, graduation and enlisting in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.  In 1970 George W. ran his father’s losing senatorial campaign against Lloyd Bentsen.  When he was accepted into Harvard Business School, George W. received an early release from the National Guard.  After graduation he joined the Texas oil boom and met and married Laura.   After an unsuccessful congressional campaign, Bush sold his ailing oil business and worked for the purchasing company.  During this time he gave up alcohol and embraced religion.  George W. worked for his father’s campaign for president in 1988 then purchased the Texas Rangers with a group of investors.  The controversy of profitably selling his oil shares right before the Persian Gulf War made stocks plunge, caused critics to wonder if he had inside information.  The biography returns to Bush’s terms as governor, his governing style, education initiative, the juvenile justice system, and capital punishment.  The book ends with Bush’s campaign for the presidency and his losses in the New Hampshire and Michigan primaries.   This book is very similar to Cohen’s GEORGE W. BUSH: THE FAMILY BUSINESS (Millbrook, 2000).   The best features of this book are the extensive chapter notes, chronology, “For Further Reading,”  “Works Consulted,” and index.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

CARSON, RACHEL
Ehrlich, Amy.  RACHEL:  THE STORY OF RACHEL CARSON.  Illus by Wendell  Minor.  San Diego: 
    Silver Whistle/Harcourt, 2003. 32p.  0-15-216227-5; hb. $16.00    Gr. 1-5     570.92  or  921    

    Beginning with the white fossils on a soft blue background on the end papers, this is a handsome picture book biography.  This motif is continued on the first page right before the text as a spiral fossil found by Rachel when she was a child.  The book follows the same pattern with illustrations and the small round accent piece that appears right before the text.  There is a watercolor and gouache illustration on the left and text on the right on most pages.  A circle is a badge, microscope picture, sea creature, or nest above the page title and date on each page of text.   For relief from this pattern, there are two double-page spreads with illustrations but no text that further illuminate Rachel’s life.  Even the title page is beautiful; a double page spread showing geese flying in a sunset.  Besides the usual information, readers can find a bibliography, and addresses for the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and the Rachel Carson Council, Inc.  Further information is imparted in a one-page epilogue.  Readers learn about Rachel’s childhood, her early interest in science and her death from cancer when she “…told her friend not to be sad.  She said that just as the butterflies had their own cycle of life, so did each human being.”   This is an exceptional picture book biography that sheds light on the life of a famous female scientist.  School and public libraries should purchase this biography.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

CARTER, JAMES EARL
Santella, Andrew.  JAMES EARL CARTER JR.   Profiles of the Presidents. Minneapolis:  
    Compass Point, 2003.  64p.  0-7565-0283-7; lib.bdg., $23.90     Gr. 3-6       973.926  or   921

    This biography of a 20th century president begins will his unknown status and attributes Carter’s election to his many speeches and hand shakings, confidence, hard work, and Nixon’s resignation and voter loss of faith in politicians.   The biography returns to his childhood, grade school, high school, and appointment to the U. S. Naval Academy.  Because of World War II, Carter’s class graduated in three years and he chose to work on submarines.  Carter left his new wife behind when he left for war.  Carter was in the navy for eight years until his father died and he came back to take over the family farm and business.  As a community leader, Carter took an unpopular stand on segregation.  Some offices he held were school board, Georgia state senate, and governor.  To prepare for the presidency, Carter became chairman of the Democratic National Campaign Committee.  His campaign theme was “A leader, for a change.”  Carter defeated Ford in a close election and appointed many African-Americans to important positions.  He pardoned draft evaders during the Vietnam War which allowed people who left the country to return to the U.S., worked on human rights around the world, prepared a treaty to return the Panama Canal to Panama, improved relations with China, brokered a peace treaty in the Middle East between Sadat and Begin, worked on an energy plan, and worked on an arms treaty with the Soviet Union that never became a treaty because the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.  The role of the hostages taken in Iran and Carter’s refusal to return the ill Shah to Iran, Ted Kennedy’s candidacy, and Reagan’s popularity lost him the 1980 election.  However, Carter continued to work to free the hostages and they were freed on Reagan’s first day in office.
    Space is devoted to Carter’s service to the country and the world after leaving office: The Carter Presidential Center of Emory University in Atlanta to promote democracy, human rights, and health care throughout the world; supervising world elections; building houses for Habitat for Humanity; and publishing books.  The book ends with a photo of Jimmy and Rosalyn receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  The glossary includes words highlighted in the text.  At the end of the book there are statistics about his personal and public life as well as selected books written by him, a list of cabinet members, a time line of his life in one column and world events in another, and election results. A list of five book, five web sites, and three addresses of historic sites are given.  A list of U.S. presidents with years in office and an index conclude the book.
    There is a color or black and white photo on almost every page and the text is large enough and the vocabulary is easy enough for fast reading.  This biography is recommended for school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

CHAVEZ, CESAR
Krull, Kathleen.  HARVESTING HOPE: THE STORY OF CESAR CHAVEZ.
    Illus by  Yuyi Morales.  San Diego: Harcourt, 2003.  32p.  0-15-201437-3; hb., $17.00
    2002-005096     Gr. 1-4     331.88    or    92

     The acrylic illustrations in warm tones are a perfect complement for the biography of the man who led the peaceful protest for rights of migrant workers.  The biography includes Chavez’s life from age ten to age thirty-eight culminating with his first successful march for grape pickers.  The “Author’s Note” sheds further light on Chavez’s life including his years in jail, fight for lettuce workers, controversy, and death.  This book is essential for schools in the Southwest, where Spanish is a second language, where Spanish language classes are taught, and public libraries everywhere.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

Krull, Kathleen.  COSECHANDO ESPERANZA.  Illus. By Yuyi Morales.  San Diego: 
    Harcourt, 2003.  32p.  0-15-205169-4 pb.  $7.00   Gr. 1-5   331.88  or  921

    This is the Spanish version of "HARVESTING HOPE" (2003).  All text is in Spanish.  Illustrations are exactly the same as the English version above.  This is a great book for bilingual classes in the elementary grades or beginning Spanish classes at the high school level.
    Lynette Suckow, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

CHIEF JOSEPH
Engler, Mary.  CHIEF JOSEPH, 1840-1904.  American Indian Biographies series.  Mankato, MN:  
    Blue Earth Books, 2004.  32 p. 0736824448 lib, bdg. $23.93    Gr. 3-5    979.5 or 921

    American Indian Biographies  tell about Indian leaders whose names, if not their stories, are well known.  Engler presents a brief, factual biography of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe of Native Americans.  The Nez Perce were located in a beautiful section of Oregon called the Wallowa Valley.  A peaceful tribe, they were forced from their homes and fled to Canada pursued by U.S. troops.  The book reveals another sad chapter in the history of America's teatment of the Indians.  
    Linda Peterson, Retired Librarian, Carnegie Library, Ishpeming, MI

CLEMENS, SAMUEL LANGHORN

Anderson, William.  RIVER BOY: THE STORY OF MARK TWAIN.  Illus by Dan  Andreasen.
    New York:  HarperCollins, 2003.  32p.  0-06-028400-5; hb., $15.99.  0-06-028401-3; lib.bdg.,
    $15.89    Gr. 1-4      818.409    or    92

    There is a lot of information about Mark Twain packed into this handsome picture book biography.   The paintings begin on the end papers with a steamboat on the front and a time line of Clemens’ life at the back.  This, however, keeps libraries from retainingthe dust jacket because the later years of the time line would be lost.  There are lots of connections between his life and his books.  Readers also learn what his pseudonym means, although neither that word nor “pen name” are used.  Clemens was born and died when Halley’s Comet appeared.  This is a good choice for picture book biography collections and would also be especially worthwhile for middle school students who are reading a Twain book.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

COBB, VICKI
McElroy, Lisa Tucker with help from Abigail Jane Cobb.  MEET MY GRANDMOTHER:  SHE'S A CHILDREN'S BOOK AUTHOR.  Photos by Joel Benjamin.  Meet My Grandmother series.  Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2001.  32p.  0-7613-1972-7;    lib.bdg., $22.90   00-067872   Gr. K-5  509.2   or   921

    Vicki Cobb, author of almost 100 science books for children is the feature of this popular biography series designed to show that grandmothers can make important contributions to society.  As in the other books, information is presented in the first person by a grandchild.  In  this title, information is imparted by nine-year-old Abby Cobb from Racine, WI.  The information is presented with humor "Most people can't go to work in their pajamas but Gran could..." Readers learn what other jobs Cobb has had (teacher, scientist, TV writer), her office in her condo near New York City, how she conducts experiments, and how a book is written.  Abby tells what they do when she visits, her favorite book, the dolls Gran brings back from her travels, and how Gran met her new husband and how she got to shop for special dresses for the wedding, and how they blew toilet paper around outside with a leaf blower for an experiment.  Cobb's web site address, www.vickicobb.com is given but only the acknowledgements for titles that are shown in this book is given.
    On the last page, there are nine suggestions "If You Want to Be a Children's Book Author..."  The photos are clear and the practice of having bold color backgrounds for text and photos work well when there is a single color used.  The practice of using two colors behind text so that the right side and left side of the text seems cut in half is annoying.  Hopefully, future books will avoid splitting pages in this manner.  Because most libraries own books by Cobb, this title will be welcome in school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

COLEMAN, ELIZABETH
Grimes, Nikki.  TALKIN’ ABOUT BESSIE: THE STORY OF AVIATOR ELIZABETH  
    COLEMAN.
  Illus by E. B. Lewis.  New York: Orchard/Scholastic, 2002.  32p.  0-439-35243-6; hb., 
    $16.95     97-21978     Gr. 1-4     629.13

    Despite all odds, Bessie Coleman overcame poverty, racism, and gender discrimination to become the first African-American female pilot.  Each double-page spread contains a picture and the name of someone who talks about Bessie beginning with her father, a man of African and Choctaw blood.  Each of the 21 poetic descriptions of Bessie is opposite a full-page painting.  This oral biography is a pictured book that will appeal to older readers.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

COSGROVE, MIRANDA
Schwartz,Heather E.  MIRANDA COSGROVE.  Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2010.
          32p. 978-1-4296-3401-4; hb., $18.99     Gr. 3-4     j921Co
 
          Who is Miranda Cosgrove?  For the TV watchers of iCarly, the answer is obvious.  This is a book sure to entice 8 to 10 year old viewers of the show to learn more about Miranda.  It is filled with all the photo op pictures and quotes of Miranda and her life as a television/movie star.  The author also uses the vocabulary of the media to broaden the reader's knowledge of the television world.  These vocabulary words are in bold print with the definition at the bottom of the page.  There is also a glossary page at the back of the book.  Along with the glossary is a listing of other books and Internet sites to look up for further readingand an index of where information is located in the book.  The purchase of this book will update your biography section of your juvenile non-fiction section, but how relevant will Miranda be five years from now?
         
Christine Collins, Directo,r L'Anse Area Schools/Public Library, L’Anse, MI

COUSTEAU, JACQUES
Berne, Jennifer.  MANFISH: A STORY OF JACQUES COUSTEAU.  Illus. by Eric Puybaret.
          San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2008. 40p. 978-0811860635 hb. $16.99   Gr. K-3     j921 Be

          Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau is a beautifully illustrated biography of the world famous oceanographer. The pictures have a luminous, under the water quality and will be sure to enchant everyone who sees them. The book focuses primarily on Cousteau's childhood in France, detailing his fascination with how machines worked and his growing love of the sea. We also learn of his creation of the aqualung, which allowed him to become a manfish. This creation allowed Cousteau to make his famous films which educated millions of people about the sea. Towards the end, the book takes on a slightly more somber note with a very dark illustration of a polluted seascape, and an explanation that this motivated Costeau to become an activist. The book ends with an optimistic reminder to the reader that what Costeau advocated for is now available for us to explore. The author's note provides suggestions for further information about Cousteau.  Appropriate for older elementary children as well, this is an excellent purchase for school and public libraries.
          Heather Crozier, Librarian, Munising School Public Library, Munising, MI

CRUISE, TOM
Mattern, Joanne.  TOM CRUISE.  People in the News series.  San Diego:  Lucent, 2001.
    96p.  1-56006-827-2; lib.bdg., $27.45   00-010559      Gr. 5-10+   791.43  or  92

    Tom Cruise survived childhood hardships such as an absent father, frequent moves, poverty, dyslexia, and a reputation as a dreamer.  Born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, Cruise changed his name to include only his mother’s maiden name because of the divorce and loss of his father from his life.  The book follows Cruise's movie career and discusses all of his movies from Endless Love (1981) to Mission Impossible II (2000).  The view of the films is balanced and includes information about critics, the audience, and monetary results of all films, good or bad.  A filmography is included as a sidebar.  Attention is given to Cruise’s work with superstars like Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, and Jack Nicholson.  A whole chapter is devoted to Cruise's family life with his children and wife, Nicole Kidman.  Mattern stresses that Cruise is a good father to his adopted children as opposed to the non-parenting of his father. Although the copyright is 2001, the book was written before the very public Cruise/Kidman filing for divorce in February of 2001.  Scheer also discusses Cruise's first marriage, his religion and the rumor that Cruise is gay.  The sidebars, many of which are generic to movies, are a bonus: New York City as a mecca for the performing arts, the role of stunt people, the Golden Globes, the role of producers, and defining tabloids. Personal sidebars are on Dyslexia and the controversial Church of Scientology including other famous actor members.  Biography sidebars include: Francis Ford Coppola, Paul Newman, Nicole Kidman, Stanley Kubrick, and the “real” top guns.  The notes are extensive.  The lists of important dates, further reading, works consulted, and index are valuable.  The black and white photos appear on every other page and although all are not sharp, they add interest to the text.  This book will be popular for recreational reading because Cruise is one of the leading men in movies today and the information about movies in general makes this book doubly useful as a popular cultural title.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

CUNXIN, LI
Cunxin, Li.  MAO’S LAST DANCER. Illus. with photos.  Penguin Books, 2003. 290p.
       ISBN 978-0-8027-9779-7 hb. $16.99    Gr.8-12    YA  921 Cu

      This autobiograph of Li Cunxin, a Chinese peasant boy, describes Li’s rise from poverty to a position as a world renowned ballet dancer.  The story gives a closer picture of the suffering of the peasants under the Communist regime of the late 1900’s.  Li developed great determination to succeed, working many extra hours to develop his ballet skills.  After his first taste of freedome in the U.S., he could not bear to return to Communist China and he defected.  A stong picture of contrast between Communism and Capitalism is presented.
     
Elaine Sprague, Retired Librarian, Rudyard, MI

DARWIN, CHARLES
Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw.  CHARLES DARWIN: THE LIFE OF A REVOLUTIONARY THINKER.  
    New York:  Holiday, 2001.  142 p. 0-8234 -1494-9; hb., $22.95      Gr. 6-12     576.8   or   921

    Patent opens a door on 19th century England with her very personal style of writing.  We learn much about the family and friends of Charles Darwin through excerpts from his writings as well as the writings of friends, family members and other writers of the day.  Short biographies of friends and colleagues are included and help to place Darwin in historical and cultural context.  Darwin was a mediocre student who was little interested in general education but who had a passion for natural science.  Against his family's wishes, as a young man he set forth on a voyage aboard the "Beagle" which eventually led to the development of his theory of evolution and resulted in the publication of THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES.   Patent's narrative brings both the physical and intellectual journeys to life for the reader.  Darwin is presented as a complex and revolutionary figure who dared to question the established doctrine of his day.  He changed our view of the natural world and unleashed one of the great debates of science that still rages more than 150 years later.  As Patent states in the last chapter, "He helped teach biologists to ask, 'Why is that so?’  This is perhaps his greatest legacy."
    Added elements include a chronology, glossary, bibliography, Internet references, and an index.  The illustrations are drawings and black and white photos.
    Carolyn Anderson; Retired elementary teacher, Member, L’Anse Public Library Advisory Board

DAVIS, TERRELL.
Stewart, Mark.  TERRELL DAVIS: TOUGHING IT OUT.  Illus. with photos.
     Football’s New Wave Series.  Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 1999.  48p. 0-7613-1514-4 lib.bdg., $22.90     
     0-7613-1038-X; pb., $6.95     Gr. 4+      921  or  796.332

     This  book is written simply and straightforwardly and doesn’t paint Davis as perfect but instead explains the problems he’s had in his life and how he’s overcome them.  Terrell’s father’s ex-convict status, drug use, abusive behavior, and Terrell’s mother’s unfaithfulness are chronicled.  One weakness is that the book does not give an objective assessment of Terrell’s differences with his  college coach or provide readers with the coach’s side of the situation.  One favorable aspect of the book is that it offers readers a portrait of someone who has succeeded despite tremendous odds against them.    One does not have to be a Broncos fan to enjoy this book.    
    Renee Prusi, Journalist; Marquette Mining Journal;  column; Armchair Quarterback.

DE PAOLA, TOMIE.
de Paola, Tomie.   HERE WE ALL ARE.   Illus. by the author.  A 26 Fairmont Avenue Book series.   
     New York: Putnam, 2000.  26p.  0-399-23496-9; hb., $13.99.  99-46747      Gr. 3-6   921 or  813.54

     Beginning with a floor plan of the de Paola’s new house, this second book in the series includes description of describes the attic, a 30s refrigerator, furniture decals and how they work, and the “just in case” room for a baby whom Tomie hopes is a girl because he already has a brother.  There is lots about Tomie’s activities: being banned from the new shower because he splashed too much, using mother’s lipstick from her “vanity” while pretending to be Miss Mae West, licking the new maple bedpost to see if it tasted like maple syrup,  art experiences at school, disappointment at not getting the lead in a school play but stealing the show anyway, nap time, dancing lessons, and being asked to make the school valentine box when he thought he was being called to the office to be punished.  The charming and childlike episodes include joys and disappointments while sharing experiences in de Paola’s life.  Of special interest is how Tomie got the unusual spelling for his name and the trouble it caused him.  Good chapter books are always in demand and kids will enjoy reading about a favorite author and illustrator.  Purchase for school and public libraries especially where the first book was popular.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

de Paola, Tomie.  26 FAIRMONT AVENUE.  Illus. by the author.  New York: Putnam, 1999.
     58p.   0-399-23246-X;  hb., $13.99     98-12918     Gr. 3-6     921  or    813.54

     In the author’s note at the end of the book, de Paola explains to readers how he got the idea for this chapter book and says that future chapter books will also be about his childhood and family.  This title is devoted to the period in his life when his family was building a new home at 26 Fairmount Avenue. The perils from a hurricane, fire, and mud make for interesting chapter book fare.  The author tells of his disinterest in kindergarten once he learned that they wouldn’t teach him to read until next year.  Some teachers and librarians will be interested in the segment where de Paola shares his frustration at seeing the new Disney movie, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and realizing that they had changed the story.  Children will feel like they are “insiders” when de Paola talks about Oz, Mary Poppins, and Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs.
     There will be local interest in learning that de Paola was allowed to draw all over the plasterboard walls of their new house before the plaster and wallpaper were added.  The artist chose to draw his family.  Teachers of classes who placed group pictures on the walls of the new Peter White Public Library in Marquette, MI will be interested in reading this book aloud to their classes or providing it for students to read to themselves.  The idea for adding photos within the walls at PWPL was inspired by a name written on a wall that was uncovered during the renovation of the original library building.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
    *Editor’s Note: This book was selected as a Newbery Honor Book for 2000 

DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES
Oleksy, Walter.  PRINCESS DIANA. People in the News series.  San Diego:  Lucent, 2000.  112p.      1-56006-579-6; hb.,  $18.96     99-53455   Gr. 6-12        921  or  941

    Like most of the books in this series, there are extensive chapter notes.  Although many sources are used, Morton’s DIANA, HER TRUE STORY (S&S, 1994) is quoted extensively.  The Works consulted section includes books, periodicals, TV and video sources.  The adult books that are suitable for young adults are noted. The “For Further Reading” section includes five books for middle and high school readers and five websites. The chronology is helpful.
    As would be expected because of the extensive use of adult biographies, this book does not sugar coat Diana’s life.  The author addresses the affects of her parents’ divorce, private schooling, crush on Prince Charles, engagement, finding out about Camilla Parker-Bowles right before her wedding, bulimia,  motherhood, infidelities of both, relationship with Queen Elizabeth, dealings with the press,  humanitarian efforts, final days, death, funeral, and legacy.  This title provides an accurate perception of a global figure without being sensational.  This is a useful addition to school or public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

DISNEY, WALT
Nardo, Don.  WALT DISNEY.  Illus. with photos. The Importance Of series.  San Diego: Lucent, 2000.   
     96 p.  1-56006-605-9; lib.bdg., $23.70       99-16772    Gr. 6-9       921 or  791.43

     Although he is known for his animated cartoons, Nardo also gives attention to Disney’s  life-action adventures, live action comedies, science and nature programs, family films, Mickey Mouse Club, numerous television series, theme parks, movie complexes, feature films, and marketing expertise.  Information is given about Mickey Mouse, Dumbo, Davy Crockett, Zorro, The Shaggy Dog, and Winnie the Pooh.  Decades after his death, the Disney image is clean and wholesome entertainment.
 All facets of Disney’s life and career are included and not all of it is flattering.  Disney, a perfectionist and not given to praise, was very demanding of his employees and was moody, grouchy, and insulting to those who displeased him.  He told employees that he would receive credit for their work.  In order to spend time with him, Disney’s wife had to go to the office in the middle of the night and sleep on the couch while he worked.  His brother, Roy, was eight years older than Walt and although they worked together in a business called Disney Brothers Studio, the name was changed to Walt Disney Studio.  Disney was also obsessed with death.
     Valuable additions to the book are a time line, chapter notes, for further reading, works consulted, and an index.  There are black and white photos on every other page as well as numerous sidebars to add interest.  He was a fascinating man and so is this book.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

DOUGLAS, MARJORY STONEMAN
Doherty, Kieran.  MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS: GUARDIAN OF THE ‘GLADES.  
    Brookfield, CT:  Twenty-first/Millbrook, 2002.  143p. 0-7613-2371-6; lib.bdg. $23.90    Gr. 2-6     333.91

    When people think of a female environmentalist and writer, they think of Rachel Carson.  When they think of a Florida writer, they think of Marjorie Rawlings.  This biography combines the best of both in Marjorie Douglas, a suffragette, writer, fighter for civil rights, and environmental activist.
    Marjorie Stoneman grew up with an unstable, sometimes violent, mother and a father who left when she was small.   Marjorie was raised by her grandparents.  An aunt paid for her college education at Wellesley.  After a variety of jobs, she married Kenneth Douglas, a charming Irish born reporter who was an alcoholic.  An uncle helped her get out of the disastrous marriage and get in touch with her father who lived in Florida.  Marjorie lived with her father and his new wife in Miami where he was a newspaper editor.  Marjorie worked with him and wrote columns and articles about what was happening in Miami and she met some important people of the day, Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan and became a friend of his wife and daughter.   During World War I, Douglas joined the U.S. Navy and later worked for the Red Cross in Paris.  When she returned to Miami in 1920, she worked at the Miami Herald for her father but resigned to write short stories for magazines.  Between 1924 and the mid 1940s, she wrote fiction, nonfiction articles including one about piracy and one about the Everglades.  In 1927 she won the O. Henry Memorial Award contest for the best short fiction.  A friend, Hervey Allen, author of Anthony Adverse, a 1933 best seller, asked her to write a book on the Miami River to be part of a series on rivers.  Since the river was short but was part of the Everglades watershed, she asked to write about the Everglades.  The result was her classic Everglades:  River of Grass, published in 1947.  A fiction book was published in 1952 but did not sell well.  Over the next two and a half decades she wrote numerous nonfiction books, including some for young readers.  She also wrote magazine articles.   In 1969 she formed a group called Friends of the Everglades with dues of $1.00 and she was their vocal representative for years.  Her job was to protect the Everglades.  When her eyes grew bad in the mid 1980s, she relied on Talking Books from the Library of Congress.  At the age of 95 Douglas taped two hundred hours for Rothchild who edited her words and created her autobiography.  In 1993 Douglas received the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton.  Douglas died in 1998 at the age of 108.  Since then she has been inducted into the Conservation Hall of Fame and the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
    This is a noteworthy biography with curriculum ties to women’s studies, Florida, conservation, ecology, and literature.  The book is aesthetically appealing in the placement of photos and use of grass on the photo pages.  The cover and end papers are green to enhance the subject of the book.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

EARLE, SYLVIA.
McEdroy, Lisa Tucker with help from Russell T. Mead.  MEET MY GRANDMOTHER:
    SHE’S A DEEP-SEA EXPLORER.  Photos by Joel Benjamin and Mark Gardner.
    Grandmothers at Work series.  Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 2000.  32p.  0-7613-1720-1; lib.bdg.,     
    $22.90.    00-23091     Gr. 2-4      921   or   578.77

    This book is as appealing as the other books in the series about Sandra Day O’Connor and Diane Feinstein.  Without being didactic, the message comes across loudly and clearly:  mature women can make outstanding contributions to society.
Unlike the previous two books in the series, the grandchild in this title is a boy.  Russ’s G-mom is a famous marine biologist who is also a writer of books for children and adults on this subject.  Earle is shown with her computer in her office, on board a research ship, in the ocean, and sharing her love of ocean life with her grandchildren.  Eight suggestions “If You Want to be a Deep-Sea Explorer” are given at the end of the book.  This is an excellent book to show that gender and age don’t keep women from making a contribution in their career fields.  The only distracting item about this series is dividing pages into two colors in an East/West direction and overlaying them with full-page text and providing some headings in colors that fade into the background color.  An annoying photo in this book is a picture of the children and their G-mom looking at a jellyfish in an aquarium and nearby text which says “Jellyfish glow in the dark!”  The picture on the opposite page shows a back void except for the reflection of G-mom in the glass.  The last picture in the book shows them looking into the tank at glowing jellyfish.  It is not clear why these pictures were not reversed.  This problem aside, this is an excellent series and librarians and young readers will eagerly look forward to the next one.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

EDERLE, GERTRUDE.
Adler, David A.  AMERICA’S CHAMPION SWIMMER: GERTRUDE EDERLE.
    Illus. by Terry Widener.     San Diego: Gulliver/Harcourt, 2000.  32p.   0-15-201969-3; hb.,
    $16.00   98-54954    Gr. 1-4      797.2   or   921

     Acrylics complement the text in this picture book about the first woman who swam the English Channel.  Gertie, called Trudy, was taught to swim by her father after nearly drowning in a pond.  At age 15 Trudy won her first big race, at 16 she was first woman to swim 17 miles from Manhattan to NJ and beat the men’s record.  In 1924 she won 3 medals at the Olympics and by 1925 set 29 U.S. and world records.  In a storm,  she became the first woman to swim the channel and beat the male record.  More information about Trudy is given in the “Notes from the author”   Which includes information like why she was disqualified on her first channel swim.  Purchase this book where intermediate biographies are needed.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

EINSTEIN, ALBERT
Brown, Don.  ODD BOY OUT:  YOUNG ALBERT EINSTEIN.  Boston, MA: 
Houghton Mifflin Co. 2004.  
      ISBN 0-618-49298-4 hb. $16.00      Gr. K-4     j921  

     
This book is a biography of Albert Einstein, which begins by stating that he was a strange looking baby with a 
too-large head.  He didn’t coo or babble and speak until he was three years old.  His childhood was not pleasant.  
He was often angry and aggressive, as his classmates taunted him for being Jewish.  Albert did well in math and 
music classes, and ignored his other subjects.  One teacher’s prediction that he would “never get anywhere in life,” 
was a common thought of others at school.  As an adult, Albert’s discoveries included the Theory of Relativity, 
the photo-electric effect and the famous equation, E=mc2.  His discoveries have allowed us to have television, s
pace travel, door openers and atomic enerby.  He is considered one of the greatest thinkers of our time.
       Marsha Gleason, Assistant Librarian, Ishpeming Carnegie Library

MacDonald, Fiona.  ALBERT EINSTEIN: GENIUS BEHIND THE THEORY
    OF RELATIVITY. Giants of Science series.  Woodbridge, CT: Blackbirch/Gale,
    2000.  64 p.  1-56711-330-3; hb., $27.44      Gr. 6-12      530   or   92

    One of 8 titles in the "Giants of Science Series," this title contains a chronology, glossary, bibliography, Internet references, and index.  The illustrations are drawings and black and white photos.
     Albert Einstein's theories of relativity profoundly changed our ideas about how the universe is structured and the impact of his ideas is felt in nearly every scientific field.  These complex theories are presented in an understandable form that is grade and age appropriate and as part of the larger focus on his life.  The culture of the late 19th century to pre-WWII Europe from the Jewish perspective is especially well depicted.  Einstein's humor, philosophy and character traits are brought to life in margin quotes from his writings, lectures and letters.  He was a non-assuming, modest person who was not very interested in school.  He was also a member of a minority and rather socially inept.  Many students who have problems in school or social situations should identify with him.  The book is also attractive to slower readers because of it is broken into short segments, has wide margins and makes liberal use of illustrations.  This would make an excellent start to class discussion on the morals of nuclear weaponry, how an individual's ideas can affect society as a whole, how we balance desired and undesired effects of new technology, etc.
    Carolyn Anderson; Retired elementary teacher, Member, L’Anse Public Library Advisory Board

Severance, Hohn B.  EINSTEIN: VISIONARY SCIENTIST.  Illus. with photos.  New York:
     Clarion, 1999.  144p.  0-395-93100-2; hb., $15.00   98-51396    Gr. 5-12    530.092  or  92

     Beginning with Einstein’s place in history, Severance tells of the scientist’s birth and early years, building a career and becoming famous, celebrity, and finally as elder statesmanship of physics.  A chronology, bibliography, and index are useful.  Interesting facts abound.  Galileo and Newton’s theories were important to Einstein’s work.   As a baby, Einstein’s head was too large and square and they thought he might be retarded.  Einstein was a quiet child and did not talk much because he wanted to speak in complete sentences.   He was solitary, enjoyed literature and music, played the violin, loved mathematics,  didn’t study anything that did not interest him, received Christian and Jewish instruction in school, was interested in mathematics early, and failed his entrance for a technical institute.  Einstein had a child with a woman he did not marry until much later and it is not known what happened to the girl; they later had two sons.  He worked in a patent office to make ends meet, taught in academic positions, and the Einstein’s took in borders to pay for faculty entertaining that was expected.  In order to get a divorce from Mileva, Einstein promised her all the prize money he would get for his Nobel Prize;  he didn’t get the prize at that time because the committee couldn’t understand his calculations for relativity.  He remarried and eventually won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.  He was not actively  involved in creating the atomic bomb.  Severance portrays Einstein as a dreamer, cheerful, humorous, relaxed,  preoccupied, a scientific genius, eccentric, a pacificist, not practical, and one who sacrificed health for scholarship.   One feature of this book is the mention of contemporaries such as Picasso, Gandhi, Rutherford, M. Curie, Lorentz, Bohr, Freud, Hitler, J. E. Hoover, and J. McCarthy.   Severance tells of places Einstein lived:  Ulm, Milan, Zurich, Prague, Berlin, Princeton, Oxford, and Pasadena.   Einstein’s contribution to “bring the principles of quantum mechanics together with relativity in a unified field theory” is noted.  This is an understandable biography of a man whose ideas were not easy to understand.   Recommended for school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

EISENHOWER, DWIGHT DAVID
Adler, David.  A PICTURE BOOK OF DWIGHT DAVID EISENHOWER.  New York: Holiday, 2002.  
32p.  0-8234-1702-6; hb., $16.95      2002-017149    Gr. K-3+    973.921’092  or  921

    The first two pages show the general at a parade in New York City after his return from World War II with an explanation of why he was honored.  Then Adler returns to Eisenhower’s childhood and takes him through West Point, a  distinguished Army career including leader at D-Day and first commander of NATO, president, and his final days.  There is a black and white photo on every page except one to capture interest and add to understanding the text.  The drawing on the front cover by Adler is at odds with the photos within the book.  Adler’s book ends with a list of “Important Dates,” an “Author’s Note” that explains more about “Ike,” a “Selected Bibliography,” and five “Recommended Web Sites.”  This is another successful book to a successful series.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

ELLINGTON, EDWARD KENNEDY (DUKE)
Pinkney, Andrea Davis.  DUKE ELLINGTON: THE PIANO PRINCE AND HIS ORCHESTRA.
    Illus. by Brian Pinkney.  New York: Hyperion, 1998.  32p.  0-7868-0178-6; hb., $15.95
    0-7868-2150-7; lib.bdg., $16.49     96-46031 Gr.2-8+    92   or   781.65

    The younger Pinkneys have created a view of Jazz and the Duke that is memorable: Andrea's choice of language reflects the times and Brian's scratchboard illustrations detail the era.   "Duke's name fit him rightly.  He was a smooth-talkin' slick-steppin', piano-playing' kid." but quit his lessons and "kissed the piano a fast good-bye."  Later when he heard ragtime, the "music set Duke's fingers to wiggling."  He practiced then wrote his own music.  "Now, playing the piano was Duke's all-time love."  Duke formed his own band and traveled from Washington, D.C. to New York city where he eventually had a five-year gig at Harlem's famous Cotton Club where his music was also broadcast over the radio.  Ellington is famous for allowing his band to improvise and raise their own voices: "One by One, each cat took the floor and wiped it clean with his own special way of playing."  Duke hired Billly Stayhorn who composed memorable music with him.  In 1943, Ellington was one of the first African Americans who played at Carnegie Hall where he introduced his suite, Black, Brown, and Beige, which celebrated his African heritage.  An afterword, "Truly a Duke," gives vital statistics and talks about Ellington's fifty-year career.  Sources include books, videography, and museum exhibition.  This picture-book  biography of an American icon may be short but it is packed with information.  Purchase it for intermediate and middle school students for biography, music, and a picture of the Jazz Age,  but know that it will be read by people of all ages.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    * Winner of Honor Book citations for Caldecott and Coretta Scott King awards.

FEINSTEIN, DIANNE.
McElroy, Lisa Tucker.  MEET MY GRANDMOTHER, SHE’S A UNITED STATES SENATOR.    
      Photos by Joel Benjamin.  Grandmothers at Work series.   Bookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2000.  32p.     
      0-7613-1721-X; lib.bdg., $22.90     99-046202    Gr. 4-8     921   or   328.7

      Told in the first person by Eileen Feinstein Mariano, the six-year-old tells about her grandmother, a former mayor of San Francisco and a current U. S. Senator.  Eileen calls her grandmother Gagi and explains the daily activities of Sen. Dianne Feinstein as she works in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.   Eileen tells of meetings with staffers and constituents and also discusses Gagi’s role as a former mayor.  Because of the specific information about San Francisco, the book should be included when classes are studying California.  This title can also be used for career education because the last page includes nine blocks of information entitled  “If you Want to be a United States Senator.”  This second book in this series, celebrating the contribution of  older women in the workforce, is a great addition to a public library or elementary through middle school library media centers.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

FOSSEY, DIAN
Naden, Corinne J and Rose Blue.  DIAN FOSSEY: AT HOME WITH THE GIANT GORILLAS.  
    Brookfield, CT: Gateway Green/Millbrook, 2002.  48p. 0-7613-2569-7 lib.bdg., $23.90   Gr. 3-6   599 or 921

    The biography begins with her early life, her first trip to Africa in 1963 where she met Louis and Mary Leakey who told her about Jane Goodall who was studying chimpanzees in Tanzania.  Readers learn of Dian’s sponsorship by the National Geographic Society in 1966 and she learned to collect data with advice from Goodall.  Several double-page spreads with information and pictures called “Who Are These Gentle Giants?”  and “What Have We Learned?”  There are numerous references to Fossey as a loner in this book.  Fossey was murdered in 1985.  Included are a chronology, list of resources including associations, books, web sites, and works consulted, and index.  Librarians can give this book to students who enjoyed reading about Goodall, who are studying mountain gorillas, who are reading about scientists, or who are looking for a biography about a woman.  This is a good choice for biography or science collections.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN
Adler, David A.  B. FRANKLIN, PRINTER.  New York:  Holiday, 2001.  126p.
    0-8234-1675-5; hb., $19.95  2001-024535  Gr. 4+   973.3  or   92

    The black and white illustrations on almost every page add greatly to this complete biography.  There are engravings, paintings, drawings, facsimiles of publication pages, and prints.  There are numerous full page or double page excerpts from Franklin's publications including cartoons, letters, newsletters, almanacs, newspapers, and pamphlets. .  It is the primary sources that make this book special.  Extra features include diagrams of inventions on the end papers, a map showing Franklin's travels, chronologies, extensive source notes, four recommended web sites, selected bibliography, and index.  The title comes from what Franklin wanted on his tombstone.  Although this title contains the information included in Giblin's THE AMAZING LIFE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (Scholastic, 2000) Adler’s title is longer, more extensive, and for an older audience.  Adler has another title in print, A PICTURE BOOK OF BEN FRANKLIN (Holiday, 1990) that is also for a younger audience and BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, PRINTER, INVENTOR, STATESMAN (Holiday, 1992) that is out of print.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

Giblin, James Cross.  THE AMAZING LIFE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN.  Illus by Michael Dooling.  
    New York:Scholastic, 2000.  48p.  0-590-48534-2; hb. $17.95   98-44737    Gr. 3-7  973.3  or   92

    Oil paintings help readers understand what life was like for this "founding father."  Readers learn that Franklin was the youngest of ten sons in a family of seventeen children.  The not publicized fact that Franklin's only son, Governor of New Jersey, was on the British side during the Revolution is interesting.  The book begins with Franklin's birth in Boston; working at age ten in his father's candle-and-soap making shop; a job he hated.  His father apprenticed him to his brother for nine years in his print shop without pay until he was twenty-one years old.  He left Boston and his brother and at age eighteen opened his own print shop in New York City.  All the known information about Franklin like POOR RICHARD'S ALMANACK, his contribution as diplomat, inventor, peace negotiator, convention delegate, founder of libraries, schools, and hospitals.  The book concludes with a chronology, some information about inventions, and numerous sayings from his almanac; information about historic sites associated with him, a bibliography/source notes, artist's note, and index.  Franklin is an amazing man and this is an amazing biography.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

FULTON, ROBERT
Kroll, Steven.  ROBERT FULTON: FROM SUBMARINE TO STEAMBOAT.  Illus. by Bill Farnsworth.   
New York:  Holiday, 1999.  unp.  0-8234-1433-7; hb., $16.95   98-29944   Gr. 4-8+       921  or  623.8

     This picture book gives an overview of the inventor's life.  Fulton is known for building steamboats but included in the book are some of his other inventions: guns including an air gun; boat water pump; machines for cutting marble and spinning flax; submarine, ferries, and steam warship,   It is not generally known that Fulton designed canals, created hair jewelry and painted miniatures on ivory chips.  Another little known fact is that Fulton was concerned about ending war and wrote on that topic.  A page at the end of the book  entitled "Important Dates" begins with Fulton's birth in Pennsylvania in 1765 until  his death in 1815.  Because the book is short, there is little room for depth and some of the information is imparted in the text is shared in a manner similar to the list in the "Important Dates" section or the "Author's Note" at the end of the book.  Nevertheless, this book serves as an introduction to Fulton's contribution to the modern age and will be a useful addition for intermediate and middle school collections where inventors are studied.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

GATES, BILL
Sherman, Josepha.  BILL GATES: COMPUTER KING.   Illus with photos. Gateway Biographies series.  
    Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 2000.  84p.  0-7613-1771-6; lib.bdg., $22.90.    Gr. 2-5   921 or  338.7

    The flowing text, large type, and photos make this an interesting biography.  Sherman shares information about Bill’s school years, first computer program written at age 13, first computer company, career and rivalry with Apple Computers.  This book is more than a biography; it is also provides information about computer software and Microsoft Corporation.  Sherman ends with the ongoing investigation of Microsoft by the Dept. of Justice.  There is a chronology, index, and list of further reading that includes three web sites.  The best part of the book is that Sherman weaves computer definitions seamlessly into the text.   A drawback is that there are no chapter notes or bibliography.  However, this is a good biography for this age group.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

GORE, ALBERT
Stefoff, Rebecca.  AL GORE.  A Life in Politics series.  Brookfield, CT: Gateway/Millbrook, 1999.  48p.  
    1-56294-433-9; lib.bdg, $22.90  0-7613-13329-X; pb.     93-13850  Gr.   921  or 973.929

    Libraries who do not own this book and order it now, should check to see that the last line of the chronology been updated to include the election.  The book that includes the update has the same ISBN numbers as the first book but information from pages 38-48 are different beginning with a different picture on page 38.  Note that the title of the first book is AL GORE: VICE PRESIDENT.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

 Stefoff, Rebecca.  AL GORE: VICE PRESIDENT.  Brookfield, CT:  Milbrook, 1999. 48p.   
    Gateway Biography series.      0-7613-1329-X; pb., $8.95.    93-13850     Gr. 2-5    92

     The book begins when the Gore's son was hospitalized in 1989 and they were uncertain about his future.  Al Gore was a U.S. Senator at the time and this incident made him think of the future of living things, his son's future, and his own childhood.  The book moves back to Gore's early years spent in a hotel in Washington, D.C. and the family farm in Tennessee, meeting Tipper, law school at Harvard, views of and service in the Vietnam War, enrollment in divinity school, work as a reporter, membership in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, running for president in 1988, writing EARTH IN THE BALANCE, and being vice president.   There is emphasis on his environmental activities, with information on the impeachment of Clinton and Gore's hope to be the Democratic party's candidate for president in 2000.  Not all of the information is complementary but a balance is provided.  There are 15 full-page black and white or color photos which have informative captions but shorten the amount of text space, making the books shorter than it appears.  A chronology, list of further reading, and index are helpful.  This is an up-to-date and timely addition for elementary and middle school collections and for children and youth collections in public libraries but Stefoff's biography is also a fast read for high school students and adults who want quick and basic background information on a presidential candidate.  Replace Steffoff's earlier 1994 edition with this paperback.  This also updates Burford's AL GORE: VICE PRESIDENT (Enslow, ‘94) which is for an older audience.
        Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI;

GRANDMA MOSES.
Wallner, Alexander.  GRANDMA MOSES.  New York:  Holiday House, 2004.  32p.
    0-8234-1538-4 hb. $16.95   Gr. 3-6   759.13  or  920

     Wallner does a fine job of writing an interesting, easy-to-read biography of Grandma Moses.  She began life as Anna Mary Robertson and lived to be 101 years old.  Because she was a farm girl, she didn't have the time to paint seriously until she was almost 70.  Her distinctive landscape paintings became famous, and so did she!  The author also illustrates the book by painting in a style that mimics the colors and lines of a Grandma Moses landscape.  Teachers and librarians will want to include this book in their biagraphical collection.
    Lynette Suckow, Peter White Public Library

GRETZKY, Wayne.
Morrison, Scott, ed.  WAYNE GRETZKY:  THE GREAT GOODBYE.   Illus with
     photos.   Toronto: Key Porter, 1999.  96p.  1-55263-099-4, pb. $14.00.  796.962    Gr. 3+

     If your readers  need Gretzky's final career statistics  (regular play, playoff, and all star), trophies, career highlights, and NHL records, then your library  needs this book.  There are color photos, on almost every page to celebrate the career of "the great one."  The readable text begins with Gretzky's early years, glory days in Edmonton, trades to  Los Angeles and St. Louis, and ends with his last game for New York.   Hockey fans of all ages will enjoy this sports biography, it's a winner.
     Mary Ann Paulin;  Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

GRIFFEY, KEN, JR.
Schaefer, A. R.  KEN GRIFFEY JR.  Sports Heroes series.  Mankato, MN: Capstone High-Interest, 2003. 
    48p.  0-7368-1294-6; lib.bdg., $21.26     2001-008185  Gr. 3-4  796.357   or   921

    This is one of almost twenty biographies about current practitioners from a variety of sports.  The book begins with Griffey’s contribution to the game between the Seattle Mariners and the New York Yankees during the playoffs in 1995.  Information about his 11 seasons with the Mariners and his move to the Cincinnati Reds after 2000 are given in his career statistics which include the 2001 season.  Girffey’s father was a baseball player whose son played football and baseball in high school and was part of the state football championship team.  Griffey was the first baseball player drafted by the pros in 1987 when he was only 17 years old.  He first played in the minor leagues but was not happy and his suicide attempt in 1988 is included.  Griffey ‘s first major league game was in 1989 and his career to date is included as well as information about his family life.  There is a page of “Career Highlights,” a list of six “Words to Know,” a list of three books in a section called “To Learn More,” three mail addresses in “Useful Addresses,” three URLs under “Internet Sites,” and an index.  The color photos are clear and the text is readable and interesting.  Consider this title and others about Brett Favre, Michelle Kwan, and Serena and Venus Williams.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

HALE, SARAH JOSEPHA BUELL
Anderson, Laurie Halse.  THANK YOU SARAH: THE WOMAN WHO SAVED
    THANKSGIVING.  Illus by Matt Faulkner, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002.  32p.
    0689847874; hb.,   $16.95     Gr. 1-4       921    or    394.26

    Told in the first person by a narrator, readers learn that Thanksgiving might have been lost if it weren’t for Sarah Hale.  Rather than being a “Superhero” Hale is listed as a “dainty little lady” who was not to be underestimated.  Hale’s many accomplishments, writing poetry including “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” being the first female American magazine editor, and mother of five.  Hale wrote thousands of letters for 38 years to get Thanksgiving established as a National Holiday.  The book ends with “A Feast of Facts” a timeline, information of Civil War, a biography of Hale, and selected sources.  The text and illustrations tell the story with humor.  This picture book provides biographical and holiday information.  Purchase for school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

HAMM, MIA.
Rutledge, Rachel.  MIA HAMM: STRIKING SUPERSTAR.  Soccer’s New Wave series.
    Brookfield, CT:  Milllbrook, 2000.  48p.  0-7613-1802-X; lib.bdg., $22.90
    99-049652     Gr.  3-7     796.334    or    921

    Learn about the early life and career of one of the members of the 1999 Women’s World Cup championship soccer team.  As a child, Hamm was shy in public but lively at home.  After one class of ballet, Mia’s father introduced the family to soccer.  The book is laid out in an interesting manner with lots of black and white and color photos and sidebars called “Did You Know?”   Another sidebar includes six of Mia’s favorites and others include statistics.  Readers learn unusual facts like Mia played high school football, played high school soccer in Texas and college soccer at the University of North Carolina, and played for the USA in the Olympics and the several World Cup years.  Female soccer fans will enjoy reading this biography of a player who appeared on lots of magazine covers.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

HANSBERRY, LORRAINE.
McKissack, Patricia C. and Frederick l. McKissack.  YOUNG, BLACK, AND DETERMINED:
    A BIOGRAPHY OF  LORRAINE HANSBERRY.  New York: Holiday, 1998.  152p.
    0-8234-1300-4; lib.bdg., $18.95     97-02084  Gr. 9-12+     92    or    812

     This book isn't just a biography of a talented African American playwright, but is a study of the civil rights movement as it is interwoven with American history during the twentieth century.  Hansberry was born during the depression to a successful businessman and prominent community leader who was involved in the civil rights movement.  Readers learn personal information about Hansberry:  she attended segregated schools; had a passion for theater, especially Shakespeare; liked to write; graduated from the University of Wisconsin and studied at Roosevelt Univ. in Chicago.  Students who want information about the McCarthy Era or the Women's movement, will find information here.  The McKissack's have also provided information about Hansberry's interaction with the following African Americans:  Paul Robeson; W.E.B . DuBois;  Langston Hughes;  James Baldwin; and  Malcolm X.  Hansberry did not like Hollywood's stereotype of African Americans and did something about it.  Information is given about Hansberry's 1959 Broadway hit, A Raisin In the Sun.  A Timeline reflects the book by giving personal and civil rights  history.  The bibliography includes books, periodicals,  recordings, and interviews.  High schools should purchase this well written, well researched book for the following curriculum connections: American Literature–Drama; biography;  African American studies; women's studies; American History–20th century; and the Civil Rights Movement.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

HAWK, TONY
Stewart, Mark.  ONE WILD RIDE: THE LIFE OF SKATEBOARDING SUPERSTAR
    TONY HAWK.  Brookfield, CT:  Twenty-first Century.Millbrook, 2002.  64p.
    0-79613-2666-9; lib.bdg., $24.90  2001-008031   Gr. 4-9      796.22

    There is a picture or sidebar on each page to add interest to an interesting subject.  Readers learn about Hawk’s family, how he got started with skateboarding, how his fame affected his life at school, bruises and bumps, pushing himself, his father helping his career, inventing moves, his backyard practice area, making videos, his skateboarding career, his two marriages, his successful and unsuccessful business ventures,
There is a timeline, glossary, list of magazines, books, and web sites, and index.
This will be a favorite of skateboarders everywhere.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

HILL, JULIA
Fitzgerald, Dawn.  JULIA BUTTERFLY HILL: SAVING THE REDWOODS. Gateway
    Green Biography series.  Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2002.  48p.  0-7613-2654-5;
    lib.bdg., $23.90       2001-044921     Gr. 2-6      333.74    or     92

    A tree-sitter is a person who sites in a tree to keep it from being clear-cut by a logging company.  Tree-sitting is dangerous because logging owners hire people to drop down unto the platforms and wrestle the sitters, helicopters hover close to the trees to disrupt the them, lights and noises keep sitters awake, and platforms can be dislodged by storms.
    Tree-sitters are given code names to protect them and Julia chose Butterfly because she admired the creatures.  In 1997 Julia was supposed to relief-sit for a week for a tree-sitter in a tree called Luna in a redwood forest in California being clear-cut by the Pacific Lumber Company which had been cited by the Environmental Protection Agency for 300 violations of the California State Forest Practice Act.  Julia broke the 90-day world record for the longest tree-sit and eventually was up there 738 days.  Concessions gained from the company were that Luna and all trees within a 200-foot area were saved, environmental groups paid the company for the land and that money went for environmental research.
    Numerous color photos explain the events.  The book concludes with a list of important dates, notes, a bibliography of further reading including Hill’s autobiography and three web sites, and an index.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

HOUDINI, HARRY
Lalicki, Tom.  SPELLBINDER:  THE LIFE OF HARRY HOUDINI.  Illus with photos.  New York:  Holiday, 2000.   88p.  0-8234-1499-X; lib.bdg., $18.95   Gr. 3-7       92     or   793.8

    Everything about this book is user friendly:  interesting chapter headings, large type, black and white photos and handbills, author’s note, chronology, bibliography, and especially the topic itself.  Houdini has always had a fascination for the public and this book does him justice.  The book begins with his father, Rabbi Mayer Samuel Weiss, who came to the United States during a massive immigration of Eastern European Jews but neither learned the language nor adapted to his new country and died before his two children were sixteen.  There is a picture of Ehrich Weiss when he was a 16-year-old champion athlete, before he became the performer, Houdini.  The only disappointment in the book is that it reports the truth, that no one knows the secrets behind Houdini’s escapes.  This book is spellbinding because it is well written and is written about a subject of fascination.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

HOUSTON, SAM.
Alter, Judy.  SAM HOUSTON: A LEADER FOR TEXAS.  Community Builders series.
    New York:   Children’s Press, 1998.  48p.  0-516-26331-5; pb., $6.95     97-25199
    Gr. Gr. 3-6      976.4     or     92

    Black and white and color photos, drawings, large print and sidebars combine to make this biography appealing.  It can be used as a biography, to provide information about Cherokees, or for information about Texas history.   This easy to read book mentions Houston’s three marriages, his drinking, Six Flags over Texas, the fight for Independence, the Alamo, and the defeat of Santa Anna's troops in the Battle of San Jacinto.  Houston was the first president of the Republic of Texas, and was one of the first senators.  Features include a time line, book list, 5 online sites, and an index.  Others in series are lady Bird Johnson and Milton Hershey.  Purchase where reports about sates are needed at the intermediate level and for American history studies up through middle school.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

HUGHES, LANGSTON
Walker, Alice.  LANGSTON HUGHES: AMERICAN POET. Illus by Catherine Deeter.  New York:  Harper, 
    2001.  32p.  0-06-021518-6; hb. $16.95  0-06-021519-4; lib.bdg. $16.89  Gr. 3-6+     818.5029 or  921

    According to the Author's Note and copyright information, this book was copyrighted in 1972 and was written during the author's senior year at Sarah Lawrence College when she met Langston Hughes.  He published one of her short stories in an anthology and when Hughes learned that she did not know his work, he loaned her books he had written.  Because she wished she had known about him when he was growing up, Walker decided to write this biography.  Readers of all ages will appreciate her effort.  The Author's Note and the illustrations were copyrighted in 2002.  Hughes made an important contribution to American poetry and deserves to be known.   When introducing this book to children, read poems from collections of is works, THE DREAM KEEPER or POEMS, both published by Knopf.
In short succinct sentences, Walker, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award in 1983 for THE COLOR PURPLE (Pocket Books); shares the life of an American poet who shared the black experience with us.  Readers learn that Hughes' parents were separated and his father moved to Mexico because he thought blacks could not get ahead in the U.S.  Readers empathize with Hughes who wanted to know his father, and when he did, learned that although he was wealthy he was a stingy and hateful person.  Hughes was luckier in his other relatives.  Readers learn of the menial jobs that Hughes had to work at because blacks were not given equal opportunity in the U. S. at that time.  Hughes' career as a poet received a big boost when Vachel Lindsay praised him.  Hughes spent much of his life writing even though he didn't make much money, something his mother never understood.  Although misunderstood by his mother and father, Hughs' poetry has been appreciated by people of all colors throughout the world.  This picture book biography does him justice.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

HUNTER, CLEMENTINE.

Lyons, Mary E., ed.  TALKING WITH TEBE': CLEMENTINE HUNTER, MEMORY ARTIST.  
    Illus. with paintings of Clementine Hunter.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998.  48p.  0-395-72031-1 hb.
   $16.00    97-42253     Gr. 4-8     921

    Clementine Hunter was an extraordinary woman and the personal narrative is excitingly vivid in this book.  With the use of a meticulous collage of interviews, Mary E. Lyons presents the story using the artist's own words.  Hunter, who was born in 1886 in Louisiana, lived on the Melrose Plantation where life was not easy.  Her days were filled with picking cotton, gathering and harvesting figs and pecans, cooking for the plantation owners, trying to raise five children, and painting in between.  Interspersed throughout the book are Hunter's timely works done in vibrant hues, each one telling its own story. Even though Hunter's art gained much popularity through the years, she never reaped the profit or recognition plantation owners would have you believe.  Her great granddaughter said it best, "Clementine, we know times were hard, for you have told us so. You showed it in your paintings so the world would know."  This book is an enrapturing portrayal of African American life and times during the reconstruction period and is an honest insight into the motives behind felt art.  This dramatic learning tool for fourth through eighth graders can be used to understand slavery and appreciate art.
    Charlotte Oshe, Children's Assistant, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

HUSSEIN, SADDAM
Stewart, Gail B.  SADDAM HUSSEIN.  Farmington Hills, MI:  Blackbirch Press, 2004. 
    112 p.  1-56711-762-7 hb.  $27.45   Gr. 6-10    920

    This well-balanced biography of the former leader of Iraq presents his rise from humble beginnings in a mud-bricked, windowless hut to Baathist assassin to feared leader.  Stewart reveals the cruelty of an uncle that Saddam lived with as a child as the reason for growing up to be an individual who used torture and murder to maintain power.
    Stewart also explains in easy-to-understand terms the source of Iraq’s political divisions in the Sunnis and Shiites with the death of Muhammad, and their present day continuation of this division.  She describes the rise of the Baathist with Saddam’s eventual takeover of the government.  Unfortunately, the book was printed before the capture of Saddam and so the ending leaves us with the idea that he may return to power.
    Many of the statements about Saddam are quotes; source notes for these quotes are provided in the back of the book.  Also included are a bibliography for further study, a chronology of his life, a glossary, and an index.  Large black and white photos enhance the reading, although a photo of the public hanging of two Jewish men accused of being spies might be a bit too graphic for some younger students.  A map clearly defines the areas of Iraq populated by the different political groups in the country.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

JEETER, DEREK.
Stewart, Mark. DEREK JETER:  SUBSTANCE AND STYLE.  Illus. with photos.
    Baseball’s New Wave Series.  Brookfield, Ct: Millbrook Press, 1999.  48p.
    0-7613-1516-0; hb.,    $15.00.     99-17935    Gr. 4+      796.357   or   92

    A boy from Kalamazoo, Michigan, was teased for predicting that he would some day be a shortstop for the New York Yankees. However, Jeter grew up to have the last laugh because his life turned out just exactly as he dreamed.  Jeter made a name for himself as a student athlete while maintaining an A-minus average. And things only got better. Stewart traces Jeter's life from when he was a pint-sized pinstriper up to the time of publication. Along with many fun and informative photographs there is a table with Jeter's impressive stats.  Any young boy who dreams, like Jeter did of some day playing in the big leagues, will totally enjoy this biography.
    Patricia Fittante; Children's Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

THOMAS JEFFERSON
Emerson, Judy.  THOMAS JEFFERSON.  First Biographies Series.  Mankato, MN: Capstone Press,
      2004.  24 p.  ISBN: 0736820884  hb. $15.93     Gr. K-2     j921

     This book is a biography of Thomas Jefferson for the lower primary grades.  The simple text, photographs and illustrations tell the story of the "Father of the Declaration of Independence."  This book includes a Table of Contents, Words to Know, Read More, Internet Sites and Index/Word list.  Younger students may need some assistance with parts of this book.  This is an excellent resource on Jefferson for the lower elementary student.
     Denise Engel, Director, Wakefield Public Library, Wakefield, MI

JOAN OF ARC.
Stanley, Diane. JOAN OF ARC.   Illus by the author.  New York: Morrow, 1998.
     O-688-14329-6, hb. $16.00   0-688-14330-X  lib. bdg.     Gr. 4+   92

     Stanley has set a standard for children's picture book biographies that is hard to beat and this book follows that tradition.  The acrylic illustrations enhance the text which makes reading this biography of one of the most famous women in history as exciting as any story because of the interesting details Stanley adds.  Information was taken from the transcript of the original Inquisition trial which provides an autobiography of  Joan because her own words are included and from the Trial of Rehabilitation which is like a biography because it includes accounts of people who knew Joan.  A two-page introduction provides thorough information about England and France's involvement in the Hundred Years of War and the deals made which caused  two claimants to the French throne.  A pronunciation guide and map are also valuable additions.  Junior and senior high schools where French is taught should purchase this book even if they already own other books about the saint.  Public libraries will put this book in the children's collection but will want to remember it for adult patrons.  Display the book because the recent TV special has already drawn attention to Joan of Arc.
     Mary Ann Paulin;  Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

KA'IULANI, PRINCESS OF HAWAII
Stanley, Day.  THE LAST PRIINCESS: THE STORY OF PRINCESS KA'IULANI OF HAWAI'I.  
    Illus by Diane Stanley.  New York: Harper, 1991, 2001.  40p.  0-688-18020-5; hb., $15.95.

    This is a reissue of a 1991 well-received picture book.  The author is Diane Stanley's mother and this is her only children's book.  Diane's gouache illustrations work with the text to share information about the heir to the throne, the daughter of Princess Miriam Likelike and Archibald Cleghorn.  Ka'iluani was the niece of the childless King Kalakaua who was succeeded by Lili'uokalani who was her aunt.  Born in 1875, the princess was sent to England to school and visited Pres. Cleveland  ask his help in keeping her aunt on the throne but a failed revolution helped lose the throne.  She returned to Hawaii in 1897, the same year the U. S. Congress voted to annex Hawaii.  She died in 1899—some say it was of heartbreak.  Intermediate and middle school teachers who study U. S. geography and history will appreciate using this book with their students.   A map of the islands begins the book and a note on the Hawaiian language, including a pronunciation guide for vowels and consonants, and a bibliography conclude the book.   Libraries who do not own this book should consider it for curriculum purposes.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

KELLER, HELEN

Shichtman, Sandra H.  HELEN KELLER; OUT OF A DARK AND SILENT WORLD .
    Brookfield, CT: Millbrook Press, 2002.  48 p. 0761325506; hb.$23.00      Gr. 3-6    j921

    Born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Helen Keller had sight for the first two years of her young life.  It was when she was two that she developed "acute congestion of the stomach and brain", developing a very high fever that damaged her eyesight and hearing. She instantly plunged into darkness and silence. Although there was no hope for Helen to ever see again, a prominent eye doctor in Baltimore was convinced that Helen could be educated.  It was at six years of age that Anne Sullivan entered Helen's life; a devoted teacher and friend who would change Helen from "a child who could not see, hear, or speak into a woman who spoke to the whole world." Shichtman does an outstanding job of presenting the facts of Keller's life in an interesting and informative manner, but at a level where a young child can readily absorb its content.  There are enough black-and-white photos to keep things moving in a visual manner, yet not so many as to take away the value of the text.  A time-line of Keller's life makes for a satisfying conclusion and all told, this is a title that should not be overlooked.
    Patricia Fittante, Children’s Librarian, Escanaba Public Library

KING, MARTIN LUTHER, JR.
Wukovits, John F.  MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.  Illus. with photos. The Importance of series.   
    San Diego: Lucent,  1999.  112p.  1-56006-483-8; lib.bdg., $22.45      98-36197    Gr. 4-10      921

      "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I'm free at last!"  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave us many gifts of love and wisdom to live by.   This book reminds readers of these words of wisdom.  Wukovits begins by tracing the origin of King's beliefs–growing up in a segregated south, seeing irrational acts of violence put upon blacks, experiencing inequities in his own education, and finally his death and subsequent legacy.   Many black and white photos are spread throughout the text with side notes that are self-explanatory.  This is a must for all teachers addressing the topics of racism and the fight for equality.
     Charlotte Oshe; Children's Assistant,  Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

KORCZAK, JANUSZ  (HIRSH GOLDSZMIT)
Adler, David A.  A HERO AND THE HOLOCAUST: THE STORY OF JANUSZ KORCZAK 
    AND HIS CHLDREN
.  Illus by Bill Farnsworth.  New York: Holiday, 2002.
    32p.  0-8234-1548-1; hb., $16.95.  2001-059409    Gr. 4-6+    943.8    or    92

    The picture book begins with Korczak’s birth in 1878 in Warsaw, Poland the same year Europe’s first crematorium was built in German for funerals.  His birth name was Hirsh Goldszmit but he was called Henryk.  His life changed in 1889 when his father suffered a mental breakdown and died in 1896.  The family struggled in poverty and Henryk began writing sad stories, poems, and plays under a pen name, Janusz Korczak.    Readers learn about his childhood, medical studies, and successful practice with children.  In the 1930s Korczak wrote books and had a prize-winning radio program at the same time the Nazi Party gained control of Germany.  In 1940 Korczak and the children in his hospital were moved into the Warsaw Ghetto with 400,000 other Jews.  In 1942 the Ghetto started to empty and the doctor learned that they would be sent to death camps where they would be killed.  With 192 children, Korczak went to the train station with them but when he was recognized and the Nazis offered to let him go free, he refused to leave the children and was killed with them in Treblinka.  The full-page illustrations are dark in keeping with this grim chapter in history.  The book shares the life of a hero under terrible circumstances.  Based on Korczak’s diaries there is no happy ending but there is hope because in the final quote he does blame his killers.  “I never wish anyone ill.  I cannot.  I don’t know how it is done.”   This is a picture book for older students who are studying the Holocaust.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

KWAN, MICHELLE.
Kwan, Michelle and Laura James.  THE WINNING ATTITUDE!  WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A 
    CHAMPION
.  New York: Hyperion, 1999. 127p. 078680546-3 lib.bdg. $9.99   Gr. 4-10    796.92 or 921

     In the introduction, Michelle tells about taking skating lessons at the age of five with her sister but it wasn't until she was seven that she saw the 1988 Olympics and her "eyes were opened to truly great figure skating."  The thoughts and ideas in the book are Michelle's but it was written by Laura James so it is not a pure autobiography.    The book is multidimensional: it's a biography, a "self?help" book, and a sports book.  All the color photos appear on eight glossy pages in the middle of the book.  Michelle poses  a variety of questions to readers about vision quests: self?discipline, perseverance, dedication, courage, flexibility, patience, imagination, common sense,  desire, sacrifice, obsession, setbacks, motivation, challenges, plateaus, perspective, sparkle, and winning and losing with style.  These questions provide a framework for providing information about Kwan's life.  Interest in Michelle will continue through the next Olympics and as long as Kwan skates on television.  Interest in the questions she poses about self are timeless.   Recommended.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
 
 

[ To the top of this page ] | [ To SPC Homepage ]


L -- S

LAPINSKI, TARA.
Christopher, Matt.  ON THE ICE WITH...TARA LIPINSKI.  Boston: Little, 1999.
    110 p.  0-316-14257-3 98-36098, pb  $4.50   796.91 or 92

     Lapinski started roller skating when she was 3 years old and won her first competition at age 5; she began ice skating at age six.  The book tells about her ballet and skating lessons, how her family rallied behind her lessons and competitions,  and her road to an amazing 1998 Olympic Gold Medal.  Information on the history of ice skating is a bonus.  Although the book is packed with information, it flows in an interesting manner.  The black and white photos are in a center section away from the text but  that is compensated for by several which show Lapinski's effervescent smile. This book will entice reluctant readers.
     Mary Ann Paulin;  Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Gutman, Bill.  TARA LIPINSKI: QUEEN OF THE ICE.  Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 1999.
     48p.   Millbrook Sports World series.  0-7613-1456-3; lib.bdg., $19.90   0-7613-1287-0;
     pb., $6.95.    Gr. 2-5       796.91  or   92

     There are 18 color photos, most of them full page to enhance the text which is easy enough for intermediate students and thin enough for middle school students who want a quick read.  The information is current and Gutman discusses turning professional, being a national spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America,  promoting anti-tobacco legislation before Congress as a lobbyist, and working at Champions on Ice then Stars on Ice.  No mention was made of her recent venture into the daytime soap operas in The Young and the Restless.  A chronology,  bibliography, address at the Detroit Skating Club, and web site are helpful additions.  There are several reasons for Upper Peninsula libraries to purchase this book. This biography is about the youngest athlete to win a gold medal at the U.S. Olympic Festival just after she turned 12 years old and did so recently enough that it is easy  for elementary students to identify with her.   That Lapinski is a winter sports figure in a snowy state is a plus.  Gutman's biography  has a picture book feel to it and is appropriate for elementary students whereas Christopher's ON THE ICE WITH...TARA LAPINSKI (Little, 1999) is for middle school students, and Jones' TARA LAPINSKI (Chelsea, 1997) is for junior and senior high school students.  The books are for different age levels and all are worthy biographies.  Right now Gutman's book contains the most recent information.
      Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI;

LEOPOLD, ALDO
Yannuzzi, Della.  ALDO LEOPOLD: PROTECTOR OF THE WILD.  Gateway Green series.  
    Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2002.  48p.  0-7613-2465-8; lib.bdg., $23.90    Gr. 2-6   333.7 or  921

    Instead of joining his family’s furniture business, Leopold went to Yale where he graduated from the Yale Forest School in 1909.  Yale’s program was the first forestry program in the U.S. and some of Leopold’s jobs for the U.S. Forest Service were to keep land from being overgrazed, companies from cutting down too many trees, overseeing a national forest, and working in a Forest Products Laboratory to conduct tests on wood to improve wood products.
    Aldo taught at the University of Wisconsin in the first advanced program in game management and was pointed by President Franklin Roosevelt to a Committee on Wildlife Restoration.  A book published right after his death was A Sand Country Almanac is important in the conservation movement.  Because of his speaking and writing, Aldo was called the Father of the National Wilderness System.
    The numerous color and black and white photos that explain the events are exceptionally clear.  The book concludes with a chronology, list of two books and four web sites for further information, list of articles and books consulted, and an index. This is an excellent choice for environmental studies, career background, or for parts of the country containing wilderness areas.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

LINCOLN, ABRAHAM
Sullivan, George.  PICTURING LINCOLN: FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPHS THAT
    POPULARIZED THE PRESIDENT.  New York:  Clarion, 2000.  88p.
    0-395-91682-8; hb., $16.00    00-027576    Gr. 4-9+    973.7   or     92

    Sullivan takes a different approach to this popular president; he shares Lincoln through his photos and portraits.  Photography had just been invented when Lincoln had his first portrait in 1846 with a daguerreotype.  In order to reproduce likenesses, engravers made wood blocks or stone lithographs based on the photos and used them for newspapers, magazines, fliers, postcards, posters, medals, and campaign buttons.  Many engravings were based on Hesler’s photo of Lincoln with the uncombed hair, which became known as the “Wigwam print.”  Many of the other photos had names like the “Cooper Union likeness” that was distributed for the campaign of 1860.  Family portraits were included as well as mementos after Lincoln’s death.
    People interested in postage stamps and coins will also be interested in this book that contains information about Lincoln’s likenesses for those mediums.  The first Lincoln penny was produced in 1909 and pictures of both sides are shown.  A large 2000 Lincoln penny appears on the back cover of the book.  Information about the five-dollar bill portrait is included--both the old one and the new one introduced in 2000.   There are chapter notes, a list of a dozen books, and an index that uses italic numbers to refer to illustrations or captions.   The writing is smooth, the illustrations are clear, and the book can be read all the way through or just selected areas of interest.  This book has many uses; it is a good book for Presidents’ Day, history, elections, biography, stamps, and coins.  Purchase for school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

LUCID, SHANNON.
Bredeson, Carmen.  SHANNON LUCID: SPACE AMBASSADOR.  Gateway Biography series.      Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 1998.  48p.  0-7613-0406-1; lib.bdg., $20.90   0-7613-1375-3; pb., $8.95.     97-47147   Gr. 2-4    629.45   or     92

     The book begins with Lucid’s return from the Russian space station Mir after being there 6 months, longer than any other American Astronaut.  Born during World War II, the Oklahoman majored in chemistry as an undergraduate and received her  M.A. and Ph.D. in biochemistry.
    Her second daughter was born before receiving her M.A. and she received her PhD. before her son was born.  Lucid was the only mother in group of first six female astronauts.  Her three children were teens when she went up in shuttles Discovery, Atlantis, and Columbia; her children were in their 20s when she flew on Mir.  Further reading, a chronology, and an index are included. This book is an excellent choice because it is not just a biography of an exemplary female role model but because it provides information about the U.S. space program with information about life in space, especially on the space shuttles and cooperation with the Russians on the space station, Mir.   Other women in this series include: Maya Angelou, Susan B. Anthony, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Elizabeth Dole, Amelia Earhart, Christa McAuiffe, and  Mother Teresa.  This is a solid choice for school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

LUDINGTON, SYBIL.
Winnick, Karen B.  SYBIL’S NIGHT RIDE.  Illus. by the author.  Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills, 2000.     32p.    1-56397-697-8; hb., $15.95.    99-62243     Gr. 1-5+     92   or     973.33

     In the Author’s Note at the beginning of the book, Wannick tells readers that there are historic markers along the route this young Revolutionary War heroine took.  Late one night Sybil Ludington’s father, who was head of a militia colonel, returned home just before a young man rode in telling him that the British were burning Danbury.  The messenger and his horse were too tired to continue and Sybil’s father had to stay to organize the men to fight, so Sybil changed into her father’s old breeches and rode off on the colt she had been training.  Sybil rode through the rain and darkness telling patriot farmers that the British were burning Danbury.   An encounter with a deer and a loyalist farmer add excitement to the story.  The end papers are a map from the William L. Clements Library, a research library at the University of Michigan.  This is a welcome story to show that females made a contribution during the Revolutionary War.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

MALCOLM X
Adolf, Arnold.  MALCOLM X.  Illlus. By Rudy Gutierrez. Trophy Chapter Book series. New York:   
     Harper Trophy, 1970, 2000.  53p.  0-06-442118-X; pb., $4.25.     Gr. 2-5    320.54  or   921

     The text was written in 1970 but the illustrations are new.  The vocabulary is easy, the style is straightforward, and the format is chapter book.  There is more about his family life than in Myers’ picture book, MALCOLM X: A FIRE BURNING BRIGHTLY (HarperCollins, 2000).  This book makes more of his drug use than the Myers book does but unlike the Myers book, does not mention the Nation of Islam’s connection to his death.  The teacher who suggested he be a carpenter instead of a lawyer is actually named by Adof.  This is a good choice for emerging child and adult readers.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Myers, Walter Dean.  MALCOLM X: A FIRE BURNING BRIGHTLY. Illus. by Leonard Jenkins. 
    New York:  HarperColllins, 2000.   40p.   0-06-027707-6; hb., $15.95   0-06-027708-4; lib.bdg.,
    $15.89     99-21527   Gr. 1-5+    320.45  or  921

     This title exemplifies what a picture book should be.  The full-page illustrations, a combination of acrylic, pastel, and layered spray paint, are a perfect complement to the text.  Quotes from Malcolm X appear frequently and are in larger, darker type or larger white text superimposed over the illustrations.  Even the end papers add to the attractiveness of the book.  Numerous quotes give a feeling for who Malcolm X was.  A two-page chronology completes the book.  The Michigan connection is that although he was born in Omaha, NE, Malcolm’s school years were spent in Lansing, MI.   He also lived in Boston and New York City.   Malcolm Little was a good student and was disappointed when he was told in school that being a lawyer was not realistic and that he should become a carpenter.  In Boston he got in with bad company and at age 21 he was sent to prison for ten years where he read a lot and frequently wrote to his family.  Malcolm joined the Nation of Islam under Elijah Muhammad and changed his name but later left them because he felt that their noninvolvement was not in keeping with the times.  Iin 1965 at the age of 39, Malcolm X was killed and three members of the Nation of Islam were convicted of his murder.  Myers says that “Malcolm X was a complex man living in a complex time of turmoil and change”  and he has done a credible job of explaining who this man was and what he stood for during his life.  This title serves as a biography, history, or ethnic supplement.  Although the grade level was listed for K-3, this book seems more appropriate for older students.  Purchase for intermediate and middle school or public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

MANDELA, NELSON
McDonough, Yona Zeldis.  PEACEFUL PROTEST: THE LIFE OF NELSON  MANDELA.
    Illus by Malcah Zeldis.  New York: Walker, 2002.  32p.  0-8027-8821-1; lib.bdg., $16.95
    Gr. 1-6     92    or     968.06

    Brightly colored gouache illustrations are an integral part of this biography of the first black president of the democratic Republic of South Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.  This picture book begins with his birth in 1918 in the village of Mvezo where his father was a chief of the Thembu people.  Buti’s bedtime stories were of warriors, legends, and fables of his people.  In order to further his education, Buti moved from his village to live with Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, his guardian, who lived in the capital of Thembuland.  Rather than take part in an arranged marriage, Nelson went to Johannesburg where he experienced apartheid first hand.  Nonviolent protests caused Nelson to be jailed for 27 years.  The book ends with his retirement from public office in 1999.   This picture book gives an excellent overview of Mandella’s life although his two marriages and children are only briefly mentioned.  The same map of South Africa appears on the end papers and a chronology, bibliography, and pronunciation guide round out this biography.  Purchase for school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

MATISSE, HENRI.
Le Tord, Bijou.  A BIRD OR TWO: A STORY ABOUT HENRI MATISSE. Grand Rapids:
     Eerdmans,  1999.  32p.    0-8028-5184-3; hb., $17.00   98-55108   Gr. 4-12+   759.4  or   921

     Anyone who has ever seen a Matisse painting will appreciate the style and colors used in this picture book.  The author’s note and partial list of museums where Matisse’s art can be found are useful additions.  The illustrations reflect the variety in this artist’s work: paintings, drawings, paper cutouts, and sculptures.  Through the brief poetic text, readers learn how Matisse’s use of color was influenced by the Mediterranean and sunshine, about his curved lines he called arabesque, and his delicate and fragile drawings.   Le Tord says  “Matisse made us “hear” with our eyes the music he painted in his pictures”  Le Tord makes us “hear” and appreciate Matisse’s art through her poetic text and colorful illustrations.  This picture book furthers art appreciation for  all age groups.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

MAYES, WILLIE
Mandel, Peter.  SAY HEY!  A SONG OF WILLIE MAYS.  New York:
    Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 2000.  32p.    0-7868-0480-7; hb., $15.99
    0-7868-2417-4; lib.bdg., $16.01   99-34441  Gr. K-4      796.357    or     92

     “Say Hey Facts” at the end of the book not only tell how Willie’s nickname the “Say Hey Kid” came about but also includes relevant personal and baseball facts.  The back of the book and the jacket look like a baseball card and include statistics for when Mays played outfield for the New York Giants.  The book itself is told in rhyme and the refrain that appears after every two lines can be used to introduce antiphonal choral reading to students.  Provide a hand signal for students to say the refrain in unison:   “Say hey, Willie.  Say hey.”  It’s unfortunate that part of the illustrations have been lost in the margins.  While this can keep Mandel’s book from being a Caldecott winner, it should not keep librarians in school and public libraries from purchasing this handsome versatile book that will be a crowd pleaser.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

MC CARTHY, JOSEPH
Sherrow, Victoria.  JOSEPH MC CARTHY AND THE COLD WAR.  Woodbridge, CT:
     Blackbirch,  1999.  80p.  Notorious Americans and Their Times series. 1-56711-219-6;
     lib.bdg., $19.45    98-15559      Gr. 5-9+    973.921   or    921

     The best part of this series is that the people are portrayed as an integral part of the times in which they lived.  The setting for Senator Joseph McCarthy’s influence is the cold war and the politics of fear generated by those times.  Terms that are explained are: The “Red Scares;” Alien Registration Act/Smitih Act; red-baiting; Cold War; The Hollywood Ten;  Blacklists; Alger Hiss Case; Internal Security Act; Rosenberg Case; Book burnings; McCarthy Committee; Army-McCarthy Hearings; and Senate Censure.  McCarthy’s was born in Wisconsin, raised chickens, ran a grocery store, went to college during the depression, became a lawyer, campaigned for FDR, lost a district attorney election, became a Republican and successfully ran for judge using incorrect information and illegal campaign tactics  As a judge he ignored “proper legal procedures when they were inconvenient.”  When he ran for the U.S. Senate, McCarthy “falsified his military record.”  Other problems included improper influencing of his voting by a prefab housing company and  not declaring all his income.   He was an undistinguished senator who served on unimportant committees and had little re-election support so he needed a hot issue and hit on communism then lied about having a list of 205 communists.  When Sen. Tydings investigated his allegations and couldn’t find anything, McCarthy accused Tydings of shielding communists, doctored two photographs so it looked like Tydings was talking to a well-known communist,  and Tydings was not reelected.  When he turned his investigations toward his own party, V.P. Nixon asked him to confine his investigations to the Truman administration.  Some prominent citizens he investigated were Linus Pauling, George C. Marshall, and Robert Oppenheimer.  The book ends with McCarthy’s censure, drinking problem, and death by an inflamed liver at the age of 48.  Many of the programs and laws passed during the “McCarthy Era” were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.  A glossary, index, chapter source notes, further reading, and web sites are helpful.   This is a very useful book for understanding this painful time in American History  and can be used for curriculum enhancement in middle and high schools.  Public libraries will be interested it for a quick survey of those times.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

NEWTON, ISAAC
White, Michael.  ISAAC NEWTON: DISCOVERING LAWS THAT GOVERN THE UNIVERSE .      Woodbridge, CT:  Blackbirch, 1999.    64p.  1-56711-326-5; lib.bdg., $18.95  98-49142   Gr. 5-8      92  or  530.092

     This book clearly explains Isaac Newton’s life and times and his discoveries as they relate to our modern world.  Photographs and graphics colorfully and appropriately illustrate the text.  Readable print and page lay-out, a chronology of dates, scientific terms, index, additional books and web sites make this bright, readable book a useful addition to any library.  Newton’s PRINCIPIA, and his laws that still govern our universe, become clear. Young adults and readers of all ages will appreciate this concisely written and delightfully illustrated biography.
    Sally Shann, Board Member, L’Anse Area School and Public Library, L”Anse, MI

O’CONNOR, SANDRA DAY
McElroy, Lisa Tucker with help from Courtney O’Connor.  MEET MY GRANDMOTHER:
    SHE’S A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.  Photos by Joel Benjamin. Grandmothers at Work series.   
    Brookfield,CT:  Millbrook, 1999.  32p.    0-76-13-1566-7; lib.bdg., $22.00   Gr. 1-7     347.73  or  921

    In this photo essay, 9-year-old Courtney O’Connor visits the U. S. Supreme with her grandmother, the first woman appointed to the highest court in the land.   Written in the first person, Courtney explains that “the job of the Supreme Court is to make sure that two things happen: that all people coming to the Court get justice and that the laws are interpreted and enforced fairly.”  Readers get a clear picture of O’Connor as a person, not just as a justice.  The book causally works information about O’Connor’s personal life and her job into the text.  For example, McElroy explains what a Chief Justice is when Rehnquist and his granddaughter, who is also visiting, are pictured.  Information about how the two justices knew each other before being on the court together is also given on that page.  Color photos follow the Justice as she begins her day with exercise, researches in the library, then read briefs and letters before writing opinions.  There is no glossary but one is not needed because McElroy skillfully works explanations of vocabulary like “opinions” and “chambers” into the text. The book is useful for classes studying Washington, D.C. because Courtney and her grandmother visit places like Eleanor Roosevelt’s statue, the Vietnam Memorial, the Air and Space Museum, the Supreme Court building, and the National Archives where the U. S. Constitution is kept. The last page gives nine items labeled  “If You Want to Be a Supreme Court Justice…”
 There is no index but none is needed because the picture book is intended to be read like a story.  Since topic sentences and important phrases are in larger, colored type, readers are able to find topics readily and use the book for research.  Besides being an interesting pictorial biography, this book is of use for intergenerational and women’s studies.  Although Courtney is nine years old, the picture of Dana Rhenquist helps to makes the book accessible to middle school students.  This title is a fine purchase for school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

POLLOCK, JACKSON
Greeenberg, Jan and Sandra Jordan.  ACTION JACKSON.  Illus by Robert Andrew Parker.
    Brookfield, CT:  Roaring Brook/Millbrook, 2002.  32p. 0-7613-2770-3;     hb., $23.90
    Gr.  2-5     759.13   or   92

    This picture book for older students is devoted to the morning when Pollock created the canvas that was known as “Number 1, 1950” or “Lavender Mist.”  The author, who knew Pollock when he was young, shows this controversial artist using his body to create this famous painting.  There is a two-page biography of Pollock from 1912-1956 with several photos, two pages of notes and sources with photos of paintings, biography notes, and a bibliography.  This unusual book will be good for art history collections at all levels.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

RALEIGH, SIR WALTER (RALEGH)
Aronson, Marc.  SIR WALTER RALEGH AND THE QUEST FOR EL DORADO.   New York:   
    Clarion, 2000.  222p.  0-395-8427-X; hb., $20.00     99-04396    Gr. 7-12+     942.055   or   921

    A Cast of Characters at the beginning of the book lists Raleigh's relations and allies; Elizabeth's courtiers and advisors; English seamen; poets, playwrights, writers; conquistadors; and Americans.  Among those listed in the Durham House set is Thomas Harriot, who kept detailed records on a trip to the new world with Raleigh and who is featured in R. Stiger's THOMAS HARRIOT: SCIENCE PIONEER (Clarion, 1999).   Much attention was devoted to John White who drew maps and sites of the new world on a trip with Raleigh.   When White returned three years later, the Roanoke colony had disappeared including his daughter's child, Virginia Dare, the first European child born in the new world.  Sir Humphrey Gilbert, Raleigh's half brother, was "the first to set out for the new world with the aim of creating an English colony."   Sir Francis Drake was Raleigh's stepcousin and Sir Richard Grenville was his cousin.  A section of the prologue explains El Dorado and how it affected explorations to the new world.   Readers learn that Raleigh was a second son who had to make his own fortune and received lands for his role in Ireland and in the new world.  Raleigh had the patronage of Elizabeth I but she threw him into the Tower of London when he married one of her ladies in waiting without her permission.  When Elizabeth died, Raleigh was charged with high treason by her successor, James.  Other persons who receive attention in the book are Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Essex, Shakespear, and Milton.
    The black and white maps and drawings are period pieces.  Extensive chapter notes, a six-page time line, and a detailed index add to the value of the book.  This title is useful for middle and high school students who are studying the Elizabethan Age, early exploration in the Americas, the Spanish Armada, or the early history of England.  Although this title will appear in youth collections in public libraries, it will also be useful to adults.  Don't miss this versatile biography.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

RICE, CONDOLEEZZA
Wade, Mary Dodson.  CONDOLEEZZA RICE: BEING THE BEST.  Gateway Biography series.  
    Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2003.  48p.  0-7613-2619-7; lib.bdg., $23.90    Gr.  2-4    92 or 335.03

    President George W. Bush’s National Security Adviser, Condoleeza Rice, had a dream of working in the White House when she was nine years old.  Her background includes great-great grandparents who were slaves, a father who was pastor of a church and a high school counselor, and her mother, a talented musician, who named her from an Italian musical phrase.  While she was growing up, Rice was further involved in many activities: ice skating, ballet, French, and piano and her parents helped to built up her self- confidence.  Rice changed her focus from music to studying the Soviet Union after she heard a speech by Professor Josef Korbel, head of the Dept. of International Relations at the University of Denver.  She eventually received her Ph.D. in political science.  Rice reached her goal of working in the White House after a career in university teaching and administration.  This biography covers her home life, talents, interests, like music and sports, and presents a wonderful role model.   Purchase this timely book for biography collections in school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

ROCKEFELLER, JOHN D.
Coffey, Ellen Greenman.  JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER: RICHEST MAN EVER .  
    Giants of American Industry.  Woodbridge, CT:  Blackbirch, 2001.  112p.
    1-56711-509-8; hb., $29.94      2000-052999     Gr. 3-9   338.7   or    92

    Beginning with his boyhood, the book follows the life of Rockefeller through the founding of Standard Oil and his monopoly and concludes with his descendents. The book ends with a bibliography and an index.  Purchase for eleventh grade history projects.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

ROGERS, WILL
Keating, Frank..  WILL ROGERS: AN AMERICAN LEGEND.  Illus by Mike Wimmer.
     San Diego: Silver Whistle/Harcourt, 2002.  30p.  0-15-202405-0; hb., $16.00
     2001-005949     Gr. 1-4       972.7    or   92

     Although children outside Oklahoma do not know Rogers, they will have a feeling about him from this picture book because there is a quote from this witty man on every page.  Readers learn that the part Cherokee boy was raised on a ranch where he learned to ride and rope.  In his adult life “When times were bad, Will Rogers made people hope.  When times were good, he made people laugh.”  “Will wrote as he spoke: simple, true, thoughtful, and wise.”  The oil on canvas illustrations feature Oklahoma earth tones and the type looks like a typewriter font that he would have used for his writing.  This biography of an American legend is a handsome picture book.  Besides using this book in elementary schools, middle school teachers can use it effectively with students studying the depression or Native Americans.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

ROOSEVELT, ELEANOR
Feinberg, Barbara Silberdick.  ELEANOR ROOSEVELT: A VERY SPECIAL FIRST  LADY.      
    Gateway Biography series.  Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2003.  48p.   0-7613-2623-5; lib.bdg.,     
    $23.90         2002-003413     Gr. 3-5     92     973.91

    A variety of photos, including the cover of a Time magazine, show Eleanor and her family.  Readers gain sympathy for Eleanor when they learn about her alcoholic father and how her mother and later her mother-in-law treated her.  Her support for her husband in his political life is included as well as how she was “A New Kind of First Lady.”   Lucy Mercer is mentioned in only a few sentences about Eleanor finding her love letters to FDR and her being with FDR when he died.   Eleanor’s involvement with the Red Cross, NAACP, ADA, and the UN make her “An Honored Citizen of the World.”  Because her life was packed with noteworthy accomplishments, this short book could have been a boring catalogue of events but Feinberg does a credible job of making it interesting.  This book is for a younger audience than Freedman’s Newbery Honor Book, ELEANOR: A LIFE OF DISCOVERY (Clarion, 1993).  There is a timeline, bibliography, further reading, Internet sites, and index.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, Michigan

ROOSEVELT, FRANKLIN D.
Grapes, Bryan J., ed.  FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT.  Presidents and their Decisions
    series.  San Diego: Greenhaven, 2001.  256p.  0-7377-0504-3; lib.bdg., $32.45
    0-7377-0503-5; pb., $21.20   Gr. 5-10+     973.917   or   92

    Pages 12-46 are devoted to a biography of FDR that includes his public service. Then each chapter is devoted to a topic essays are included by people with differing viewpoints on how he handled key decisions.  Topics include the New Deal, the Supreme Court packing plan, World War II, and treatment of minorities including African Americans, the Japanese threat, and Jewish refugees.  Care is taken to include background on the social, political, and economic factors he faced.  The appendix includes 17 speeches or executive orders.  There is a chronology, bibliography, and index.
    Other presidents in the series include:  Clinton, L. Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan.  Any curriculum that includes study of the twentieth century needs these books for support.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

SAINT PATRICK., 373?-463?
Tompert, Ann.  SAINT PATRICK.  Illus. by Michael Garland. Honesdale, PA:  Boyds Mills, 1998.  1–56397-659-5; hb., $14.95   97-72774    Gr.  5+      92  or  270.2

     According to the author's note, one of two letters written by St. Patrick called "Confession" was the main source for this book although other sources were consulted. Celtic borders around the text give the book an Irish flavor but make the mixed media illustrations on the opposite page seem bereft of a border.  The mixed media illustrations are adequate for the job.  The biography begins with the birth of a boy named Succat,  later named Patrick, who was born in southwest Britain in the fourth century.  At age 16 Patrick left his comfortable home when he was captured by Irish pirates and sold into slavery to an Irish chieftain or king where he was assigned to guard sheep.  Patrick was not a religious boy but during his six years of slavery, he began talking with God.   Then  a voice told him a ship was ready to take him back to his own country and it came to pass.  Although his parents did not want him to leave again, God told Patrick in a dream that he was to go back to Ireland and convert the people to Christianity.  After becoming a priest and then a bishop, Patrick finally returned to Ireland where he baptized and confirmed many people over 30 years.  The two most commonly known stories about St. Patrick are mentioned in the Author's Note: using the shamrock to explain the trinity and expelling the snakes from Ireland.   Since most of the books about St. Patrick are legends, this biography is a welcome addition especially where books about the saints are in demand.  Public librarians can display the book during March with other holiday books.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

SCHNEIDER, HELGA
Schneider, Helga.  LET ME GO.  New York:  Walker & Co., 2004. 166p.
          ISBN: 0-8027-1435-8 hb. $19.00.     Gr. 5-12     j 921

          This is the story of Helga Schneider's last visit with her mother, who was a guard at Auschwitz during World War II.  The author also struggles to understand why her mother abandoned her and how her mother could be a concentration camp guard and kill thousands of innocent Jews.  This is a heart-wrenching story about a daughter who wants to love her mother, but cannot get over the horrible things that she has done in her life.  The daughter asks many questions to try and make her mother say something to help her justify the alienation she feels knowing about her mother’s role in WWII history.  This intriguing story gave an interesting insight into many things that took place at concentration camps and how the guards were "programmed" to feel, or not feel about the things they were required to do.
          Melissa Coyne, Substitute Teacher, Patron, Tahquamenon Area Library

SCOTT, BLANCHE STUART
Cummins, Julie.  TOMBOY OF THE AIR; DAREDEVIL PILOT BLANCHE STUART  SCOTT.  
   
Illus. with photographs. New York: HarperCollins 2001. 80p.    0-06-029138-9; hb., $16.95      
    00-032009     Gr. 3-6    92   or   629.13

    Talk about gusto!  If Blanche Stuart Scott had lived in another generation; who knows, she might have been a First Lady.  Little-known female aviation pioneer, Scott, was definitely spirited.  By the time she was thirteen she had smashed seven bicycles trying to do every trick that was in the book (and some that weren't). Being an only child, and knowing how to play her father who had vowed never to buy another bicycle, she badgered him with tantrums and tears. The very next day he gave in to her pleas. This time he bought her a Cadillac.  Her reckless driving through the streets of Rochester, NY, caused the City Council to call a special meeting to "Stop this child from driving a dangerous vehicle."  The time?  1902.  This impetuous female defied society and grew up to become a college coed, after which she took a job as an automobile saleswoman.  Scott had wanted to be the first transcontinental female driver, but because she was beaten to this by Alice Ramsey; she resorted to becoming the first woman in America to fly a plane in public. After becoming a stunt pilot she had a stunt mishap, breaking forty-one bones that caused her to give up flying.  Consequently she moved to Hollywood to work as a writer. Scott finally ended up back in New York as a radio talk-show host.   A time line reveals Scott's amazing life.  Cummins offers nderstandable explanations of aviation, but also writes in a light, playful style so typical of the subject's personality.  Historical black and white photos of airplanes and automobiles will draw the reader right into the text.  As revealed in this enlightening and informative title, this feisty, spunky lady definitely had what it took to make her dreams take flight.
    Patricia Fittante; Children’s Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

SHAW, ANNA HOWARD
Brown, Don.  A VOICE FROM THE WILDERNESS; THE STORY OF
    ANNA HOWARD SHAW.  Illus by author. Boston:  Houghton Mifflin, 2001.
    32p.  0-681-08362-6; hb., $16.00  00-033482  Gr.  K-5    92   or    324.6

    The framed pen and ink and watercolor illustrations are single or double page spreads and help to place Anna Howard Shaw's life in the proper time frame for readers.  When she was four years old, Anna and her family left England to join their father who was already in America.  Her family settled in Lawrence, Massachusetts and then her father sent part of the family to establish a homestead in Michigan.  Their life was typical of what pioneers must do in the Michigan wilderness in mid 19th century Michigan.  At age 15, Anna became a schoolteacher.  After meeting a woman minister, Anna went to college to be a minister and later a doctor.  Until her death in 1919, the year before Congress voted for women's suffrage, Anna worked for the right to vote.  In the Author's' note, readers learn that Shaw replaced Susan B. Anthony as the president of the national American Woman Suffrage Movement at Anthony's death.  Shaw's autobiography, from which this book was derived, is located on the Project Gutenberg Web site and the URL is given.  This is an interesting picture book about a woman who is not as well known and she should be.  This book is both historical and inspirational.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

SINATRA FRANK.
Woog, Adam.  THE IMPORTANCE OF FRANK SINATRA.  Farmington Hills, MI:
    Lucent/Gale, 2001.  108 p.  1-56006-749-7; lib.bdg., $27.45    Gr. 6-10    782.42   or   921

    This is one of 50+ titles in "The Importance of..." series including biographies of individuals from the worlds of politics, sports, music, art, literature, science and religion. Within the larger context of the entire series the reader might find the answer to the first question that springs to the reviewer's mind, " What middle school student would find Frank Sinatra important?"  As stated in the Forward, "Each volume attempts to emphasize an individual's contribution both in his or her own time and for posterity."   Primary and secondary sources are used and quotes are footnoted.  This volume includes photographs, bibliography, chronology and an index.  It serves as an example of how a biographer researches a subject as well as a view of the life and times and contributions of the subject.  Chapters are prefaced with a quote and bold subbtitles, black and white photos and boxed excerpt from other works on Sinatra  break up long pages of print and Pique the reader's interest.  Other features include a bibliography, index, footnotes, and black and white photographs.
    Sinatra is presented as one of the great popular entertainers of his time and as an individual who lived the American Dream.  He was the son of immigrants who rose to fame and fortune through his talent and hard work.  Presenting his foibles and inadequacies as well as his admirable qualities bring him to life as a "real" person.  Pete Hamill writes that, " One reason he continues to matter is that he perfected the role of the Tender Tough Guy - an archetype that did not exist in American culture and created a new model for American masculinity."
    While some adults may object to exposing middle school students to the less savory side of life in the form of promiscuity and connections to the criminal underworld, most children that age have already heard of the excesses of today's music and sports idols and should be able to put it in perspective.
    Carolyn Anderson, L’Anse School and Public Library Advisory Board member

STILES, JACKIE
Stewart, Mark.  JACKIE STILES:  GYM DANDY.  Basketball’s New Wave series.  Brookfield, CT:  
    Millbrook, 2002.  48p. 0-7613-2614-6; lib.bdg., $22.90   2002-002670     Gr. 4+     796.323   or  921

    Jackie Stiles was born in 1978 near Topeka, KS.  Her mother was a nurse and her father was a basketball coach.  Their fifth child, born with congenital encephalopathy and her brain did not develop properly, died when Jackie was in junior high school.    Jackie loved playing basketball at an early age and because she lived in a small town, she had the gym open to her to practice late at night.  She practiced and practiced and emulated some of Michael Jordan’s shots.  During high school Jackie had little time for boys.  Although her team did not win the state championship, she made All-state four times, was on the first team, All-American and was Kansas basketball player of the Year twice, and set two state records.  In addition she was a regional cross-country and tennis champs. Although she had offers to play for several college teams, Jackie choose Southwest Missouri State University, SMSU. Jackie’s college stats and achievements are included through 2001.  Although she was a great player, other college coaches had “nothing but nice things to say about her…”  and four quotes are provided.  Jackie signed with the Portland Fire of the WNBA and with Nike.  Although Jackie only scored two points in her first game and  the team did not do well during that season, Jackie was  “Rookie of the Year” and was an All-Star for 2001.
    The writing is fluent, the topic is interesting, the color photos on almost every page are sharp, and the index is complete.  This is a good bet for biography collections in school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
 

[ To the top of this page ] | [ To SPC Homepage ]


T -- Z

TALLCHIEF, MARIA.

Tallchief, Maria and Rosemary Wells.  TALLCHIEF: AMERICA'S PRIMA BALLERINA.
    Illus. by Gary Kelley.  New York: Viking, 1999. unp.    0-670-88756-0; hb., $15.99.
    98-35783    Gr. 2-8   92    or    792.028

    In the introduction, Wells tells how her own mother was a ballerina who was on the stage when the 16-year-old Tallchief saw a Russia ballet for the first time.  The book, written in the first person, tells of Maria's early days and ends when she went to New York for further ballet studies.  Readers learn that Maria was born on an Osage Indian Reservation in Oklahoma to a mother who was Scots-Irish and a father who was a full blooded Osage.  Readers learn that when she was a child the native culture and language were against the law to practice so ceremonies were held in secret.  The family moved to Los Angeles where she learned that her former teacher had taught her incorrectly and she had to unlearn and begin again.  Maria was born with music flowing through her veins and was also an accomplished pianist but at the age of twelve she had to concentrate on just one, so she chose ballet.  A highlight of her young life was watching a troupe called the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo.  Then she knew that she too would travel around the world and dance. This book will be popular with budding ballerinas or students looking for  biographies of Native Americans or women.  This picture book biography is better than most and
will make a good addition to school and public library collections.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
TITUBA
Miller William.  TITUBA.  Illus by Leonard Jenkins.  San Diego: Gulliver/Harcourt,
    2000.  32p.  0-15-201897; 2; hb.,  $16.00.    Gr. 1-4.      974.4  or  92

    The author’s note for this picture book gives background information about Tituba, the slave who came from the Barbados to New England and was involved in the Salem witch trials.  Although Miller states in this note “This book is a creative attempt to tell her story and fill in the missing periods of her life,” the book is catalogued as nonfiction.  It should be noted that cataloging and classification are not decided by the author.  The feelings, motivation, and dialogue attributed to this famous slave are “creative” and it is surprising that it was given a B or 974.4 because it is really biographical fiction.  Because no bibliography is included and no information is given in the author’s note about sources, it is unknown if Tituba’s inspiring words at the end of the book were hers or those of the author because the dialogue at the beginning of the book is obviously created.   The illustrations were created with spray paint, acrylics, and pastels and the colors are bold and the emotions raw.  If this book is biographical fiction it is successful, if it is biography or history, it violates nonfiction rules.  Purchase based on your needs.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

VENTURA, JESSE
Uschan, Michael.  JESSE VENTURA.  People in the News series.  San Diego: Lucent, 2001.
    111p.  1-56006-777-2; lib.bdg., $29.94     00-010391   Gr.  3-9     977.6   or   92

    James George Janos was born in 1951 in Minneapolis.  Ventura is his wrestling name.  The book chronicles his early years, his Navy SEAL years in Vietnam, professional wrestling, movie star career, Mayor of Brooklyn Park, MN, governor of Minnesota, and ends in 2000.  Sidebars include “A Brief History of Pro Wrestling,” “Why Jesse Ventura Won,”  “Leaving the Reform Party,” and “The Infamous Playboy Interview.”  There are extensive notes for each chapter, a chronology, two books “For Further Reading,” a long list of “Works Consulted,” and an index.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

WASHINGTON, GEORGE
Ashabranner, Brent.  THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT: A BEACON FOR AMERICA.  
    Photos by Jennifer Ashabranner.  Great American Memorials. Brookfield, CT:  Twenty-first Century/Millbrook, 
    2002.  64p.  0-7613-1524-1; lib.bdg., $25.90    Gr. 3+     975.3

    The Ashabranners, father and daughter, begin with a personal note about being in Washington D.C. during the Fourth of July celebration in 2001 to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence then move on to the history of the birth of our nation.  There is information about George Washington and early efforts to create a memorial to honor him that the Continental Congress passed in 1783.  The War of 1812 curtailed those efforts.  Construction began again in 1848 when the cornerstone was laid but construction stopped when they ran out of money in 1854 due to the Know-Nothing party.  The Civil War also delayed the project and the incomplete monument stood neglected for years until the nation was preparing for its centennial.  The federal government took over the project and the dedication was in 1884.  There are black and white photos of alternative designs and color pictures of views from other historic places like the Lincoln Memorial as well as pictures of those other memorials.  Aphotos include the monument and the crowd who heard Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.   Statistics, visitor information, a bibliography of 15 books, and an index complete the book.  This is an important addition to school and public libraries that will be important for its historic and geographical value or for celebrating Washington’s birthday.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

WILLIAM, PRINCE OF WALES
Billinghurst, Jane.  GROWING UP ROYAL: LIFE IN THE SHADOW OF THE
    BRITISH THRONE.  Buffalo: Annick/Firefly, 2001.  154p.  1-55037-623-3; hb.,
    $22.95  1-55037-623-3; pb., $13.95    Gr. 3-9+  305.23   or  920

    The photo of Prince William, Prince Harry and either Princess Beatrice or Princess Eugenie (the royals are not identified) will be sufficient to reel browsers into this book even if they just look at the black and white and color photo that are inserted into the book in clusters.  The author has a breezy style and uses humor to engage readers.  The approach is different from a straight collective biography because it takes a questioning approach--What it would like to be royal.  After telling all about their lives, readers get to decide at the end of the book if they would like that position.  The gist of the book is that being royal isn’t as carefree as it seems.
    The book begins with a British Royal Family tree with numbers marking the sixteen heirs to the throne.  There are numerous sidebars with text against a gray background.  Although the author commiserates with William and Harry for having their parent’s marital breakdown chronicled by the press, she not give details and Camilla is not mentioned.  Readers will learn about history in spite of themselves.  There is lots of interesting information like royal pets; education (nannies, boarding schools, and university or lack of it); hobbies like sports and collecting; duties; dressing correctly for the occasion; living in a castle or palace (sometimes haunted); military service; Olympic competition; relationship with the media; bodyguards; duties of an heir to a throne; royal servants; and remaining apolitical.  William and Harry’s activities make them seem human and foibles are not ignored like Beatrice and Eugenie losing their Angora rabbits because they “didn’t look after them properly.”
    There is a surprising amount of information about royal families around the world, past and present, integrated into the test including those who have been deposed or killed.  There is also a section at the end of the book with the ten current royal families of Europe and a complete index.  Every library, no matter how small, can afford the paperback but it will get lots of use by browsers and readers of all ages.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Landau, Elaine.  PRINCE WILLIAM: W.O.W., WILLIAM OF WALES.
    Gateway Biography series.  Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 2001.  48p.
    0-7613-2120-9; lib.bdg, $22.90      941.085   or    92

    Prince William, second in line to the British throne, was born in 1982.  Black and white and color photos chronicle his life. The author does not paint a totally favorable picture of him.  In nursery school he earned the nickname "Basher," he behaved badly at Prince Andrew's wedding, and he refused to put away his toys or go to bed when told.  On the other hand, he was protective of his mother and younger brother.  His relationship with his parents and their relationship with each other as well as their embarrassment to him are mentioned but not dwelt on.  William's years are Ludgrove and Eton are discussed.  Tiggy, the young nanny who was at his father's when he visited is mentioned but not his mother's dislike of her.  Enough tidbits of his life are included to make the book interesting: like being "blooded" when shooting his first deer, his first car, the year off for service projects before attending the Univ. of St. Andrews in Scotland, wearing an electronic tracking bracelet, never flying in the same plane as his father, and being greeted by 600 screaming girls.  The influence of his mother and her death as well as Wills’ aversion to the media are noted.  This book is sure to be popular with female readers who are interested in "a present-day prince who will one day be king."
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

WOODS, TIGER.
Uschan, Michael V.  TIGER WOODS. People in the News Series. San Diego:  Lucent, 1999.  112p.  
    ISBN 1-56006-528-1,  lib.bdg. $22.45.98-50295.  Gr. 4-10    796.335 or 921

     Tiger Woods is appealing to juveniles because few professional athletes are so young. Black and white photos and text take Tiger from child prodigy to superstar.  A glossary of golf terminology is essential for the non golfers.  Notes,  important dates, further reading, works consulted, and an index complete the book.  Tiger's relationship with his father and quotes from other golfers are included.
     Mary Ann Paulin;  Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

WRIGHT, ORVILLE AND WILBUR
MacLeod, Elizabeth.  THE WRIGHT BROTHERS: A FLYING START.
    Illus with  photos.  Tonawanda, NY:  Kids Can, 2002.  32p.  1-55074-933-1; hb.,
    $14.85   C2001-901519-4     Gr. 2-8     920     or   629.13

    There is lots of information packed into this picture book biography.  The photos are organized in collages and sidebars and there are numerous drawings and maps.  One could learn much just from reading the letters and captions accompanying the photos and drawings.  From the quotes and the drawings of the brothers, with speech balloons coming from their mouths, readers learn about the Wright brothers, their jobs, their inventions, and their passion for flight.  The text explains the history of flight before and after the brothers’ contribution and the hundreds of mistakes they made before their success.  There is a time line of Wilbur and Orville’s lives and the history of flight, five helpful web sites, and an index.  This is an informative biography for primary and intermediate students as well as for remedial middle and high school students.  Freedman’s Newbery Honor book, THE WRIGHT BROTHERS: HOW THEY INVENTED THE AIRPLANE (Holiday, 1991), is for older readers.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

YZERMAN, STEVE
Lazarus, Shelley.  HOCKEYTOWN HERO: THE STEVE YZERMAN STORY.  Ann Arbor:
    Proctor Publications, 2000.  99p.  1-928623-04-2; pb., $12.95   Gr. 3-9+      796.962   or    921

    A hockey fan has written this sports biography about a very private athlete.  Besides the biography itself, touches have been added by the librarian author: a map of places mentioned in the book, statistics for regular seasons and playoffs, career awards and accomplishments, glossary, time line index, further reading, and resources including web sites.  Lazarus begins her authorized biography with Steve's skating debut at age 3 at a family outing.  Steve, born in British Columbia, began playing hockey at age five but he and his three brothers played other sports also.  Information about playing on hockey teams in his youth is included as well as testimonials mentioning his "unselfishness when it came to helping teammates score."   The book includes living and playing in Ontario, being drafted by the Detroit Red Wings, and winning the Stanley Cup that had eluded Detroit for 42 years until 1997 and again in 1998.  The information about coaches, players, fans, and the superstar flow from beginning to end aided by large print.  Yzerman read biographies about hockey players when he was a kid and young hockey fans will enjoy reading this biography too.  This book is a good addition to sports biography collections anywhere but is essential where hockey is popular.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 

[ To the top of this page ] | [ To SPC Homepage ]


920 -- COLLECTIVE BIOGRAPHIES

Anderson, William.  THE WORLD OF THE TRAPP FAMILY.
    Photos by David Wade.  Davison, MI:  Anderson Publications, 1998.
    P. O. Box 423  48423.  1-890757-00-4 pb.  $24.95    Gr. 7-12+    920

     Just as he brought biographical information about the Wilder family to readers, Anderson shares the lives of the famous Trapp family whose Austrian villa was used by the Nazis during World War II.  Many readers feel they know the family and want to know even more about them because of the musical and movie, THE SOUND OF MUSIC.  Interesting information includes:  how the baron differed from his movie persona, learning about the first baroness, how Maria and Georg met, what happens after the family left Austria, the family's travels throughout the U.S., purchasing a home in VT, and what became of the children after they grew up.  The book contains color and black and white photos of Salzburg, the Alps, the family then and now, and homes in Austria and Vermont.  Photos of memorabilia include programs, telegrams, maps clippings, paintings, tickets, and schedules.  This well researched, well written, and attractively laid out book answers questions about how the Trapp family's story differs from the Broadway musical and the movie.  Curriculum areas include music and World War II.  Purchase where needed.  Public librarians will find that adults will check this book out even more than children.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Bailey, Martha. AMERICAN WOMEN IN SCIENCE, 1950 TO THE PRESENT:
    A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.  Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1998.  455p.
    0-87436-921    98-22433     Gr. 9+ 920   or   509.2

    Vol. 2 of AMERICAN WOMEN IN SCIENCE includes women who were:  born 1920 or after;  started work after 1950; are a member of the National Academy of Sciences or National Academy of Engineering; recipient of a an award; worked primary in the U.S.; and made a significant contribution as a scientist.  The author, a life sciences librarian at Purdue University, used standard biographical sources to select the women.   It is helpful to have an alphabetical list of the over 300 women at the beginning of the book.  Another list is arranged by 78 specific areas of science but the main entry is in alphabetical order.  Some of the areas are:  computers; space program; astronomy and astrophysics; environment and ecology; medicine; economics; engineering; mathematics; physiology; psychiatry; psychology; social and behavioral sciences.   Individual entries include: year of birth and death, field, education, professional experience, marital status, children, and a one or two page article. Volume 2  is a companion to Bailey's first volume:  AMERICAN WOMEN IN SCIENCE,  COLONIAL TIMES TO 1950: A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY (ABC-CLIO, 1994; $60).  When classes  write reports about scientists, it is difficult to find enough information about women.  Both of Bailey's book will also serve in schools where students investigate people in the news.  Although written for adults, middle and high school students would find information easy enough to comprehend.  Recommended for all public and university library reference collections and middle and high school collections where needed.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Boekhoff, P.M.  BEN AND JERRY.  Farmington Hills, MI: Thompson Gale, 2005.
    48 p.  ISBN 0-7377-2611-3 hb. $23.70   Gr. 9-11   j 920

    This true and unconventional success story is a shining example of two “underdogs” making their way to the top by overcoming many failures through hard work and determination. A duo of self-proclaimed “overweight nerds” meet in middle school gym class and form a lifelong bond through their unique and widely popular ice cream creations and spectacular marketing strategies.  The team becomes known across the nation as “Ben & Jerry” and their ice cream, named after them, became one of the most popular brands in the United States.  Active in social causes, the company supported small businesses and created flavors such as Rainforest Crunch to help small farmers.   This book is easy to comprehend because of bolded words that may be unfamiliar to young readers, such as “cinder block” and “biochemistry,” and appear in the handy glossary in the back.  This is great reading material for children who are reading their first biographic book or who are studying inventors.  I would not hesitate to purchase other books in this Inventors and Creators series. 
    Jana Aho, Media Assistant, Gladstone School & Public Library

Cosner, Shaaron and Victoria Cosner.  WOMEN UNDER THE THIRD REICH:
    A BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY.  Westport, CT:  Greenwood, 1998. 224p.
    0-313-30315-0; hb., $55.00.  97-45641    Gr. 7-12+    920  or  943.086

    Readers of Snyder's classic, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE THIRD REICH  (McGraw, 1976), will notice that few women were included..  The Cosners' book helps to rectify this loss and is destined to become a classic of its own.  Over a hundred women who were involved in the Third Reich in various capacities are arranged in alphabetical order with appendixes for 15 roles and 17 countries of origin.  A name and subject index is included.  The bibliography is important for two reasons:   to provide traditional bibliographic sources and to introduce books specific to women in the Third Reich.  The fifteen roles of the women are :  artists; athletes; authors; hidden children; journalists and communications; Nazis and Nazi sympathizers; performing artists; political prisoners; politicians and political dissidents; rescuers; resistance (workers and fighters); scientists (mathematicians, physicians, and professors); soldiers; spies; and the underground (fighters and workers).  Most of the women are unknown but some of them are famous:  Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress; Marlene Dietrich, anti-Nazi actress; Anne Frank, diarist; Magda Goebbels, "First Lady of the Third Reich;" Marguerite Higgins, one of first U.S. war correspondents to enter Dachau and Buchenwald concentration camps; Erika Mann, daughter of Thomas, actress, writer, and anti-Nazi; Joanna Reiss, hidden child and author of the Newbery Honor book, THE UPSTAIRS ROOM; Sophie Scholl, execued White Rose resistance fighter; Hanna Szenes (Senesh)  executed resistor and  Zionist who parachuted behind German lines;  Corrie Ten Boom, rescuer, religious author and lecturer; Dorothy Thompson, American war correspondent;  and Winifred Wagner, one of Hitler's first supporters and daughter-in-law of Richard.  One woman, remembered in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., was Ona Simaite, a Lithuanian librarian who collected overdue library books from the ghetto as a front for her activities.  Ona is only one of a dozen rescuers, most of whom are not well-known, included in this book.  Middle and high school collections where the Holocaust is studied, public and college libraries should purchase this well-researched and well-written book.
    Mary Ann Paulin;  Director, Superiorland Preview Center

Fradin, Dennis Brindell.  THE SIGNERS: THE FIFTY-SIX STORIES BEHIND THE DECLARATION 
    OF INDEPENDENCE.
  Illus by Michael McCurdy.  New York: Walker, 2002.  164p.  0-8027-8849-1;
    hb., $22.95  0-8027-8850-5; lib.bdg., $23.85     20002-066364     Gr. 4-9       973.3   or   920

    According to the introduction “The British targeted the fifty-six signers for special punishment.  The homes of twelve signers were burned, and nearly twenty of them lost much of what they owned.”  The stories of these men are told state by state with a chart showing their vital statistics and a map of where that state resided among the original thirteen.  There is also a descriptive phrase, a signature, a portrait, and one picture per person.  The scratchboard illustrations add significantly to the text and provide an old-world tone.  A facsimile of “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America complete with signatures is included as well as a copy of the Declaration of Independence in regular type are included.  There is an extensive bibliography and an index.  This handsome book will be welcome by intermediate, middle, and high school students.
    Mary Ann Paulin, director, Superiorland Preview Center

Fredriksen, John C.  AMERICAN MILITARY LEADERS FROM COLONIAL TIMES
     TO THE PRESENT, Vol. I and II.  Santa Barbara, CA:  ABC-CLIO, 1999.
    926p.   1-57607-001-8; hb., $175.00  99-27929  Gr. 7-12+    355.0092   or    920

    Vol. I moves from Creighton Adams, John Adair, and Ethan Allen to Raol Lufbery, Frank Luke, Jr., and Nathaniel Lyon.  Vol. II moves from Arthur and Douglas MacArthur to Thomas Macdonough to Alvin York, Hub Zemke, and Elmo Zumwalt.  There are two alphabetical lists of both volumes at the beginning of each book.  Each entry includes birth and death dates (if applicable) as well as rank and area of service; i.e., Army or Navy General, Militia General, Navy or Army Officer, Adventurer, Secretary of War, Airman, Army nurse, War Chief, Fighter Pilot, Explorer, Indian Fighter, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Privateer Captain, Marine Corps Commander, Inventor, and more.  There is a list of leaders by title from Adjutant General, Adventurer, and Aeronautical Engineer to War Correspondent, War Hero, and West Point Superintendent.   There is also a subject index.
    Of the 422 entries, only five are women; Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix, Jackie Cochran, Molly Pitcher, and Deborah Sampson.  There are 23 Native Americans; Black Hawk, Blue Jacket, Billy Bowlegs, Joseph Brandt, Cochise, Crazy Horse, Gall, Geronimo, Joseph, Little Crow, Little Turtle,  William McIntosh, William Weatherford, Opechancanough, Osceola, Ely Parker, Philip, Pontiac, Pushmahata, Red Cloud, Red Jacket, Tecumseh, and Stand Watie.  There are representatives from both North and South.  Not all are included because of military success, but some, like George B. McClellan or George A. Custer, are included because defeats are of national consequence.  Some like Beaumont, Gorgas, and Reed were doctors and several like Byrd, Peary, and Pike were explorers.  Ernie Pyle was a war correspondent who died in battle.  Some, like Lafayette, Kosciuszko, and Baron Von Steuben, were not Americans.  Some more recent military include:  Chester Nimitz, William Westmorland, Oliver North, Norman Schwarzkopf, and Colin Powell.   This very accessible book is aimed at the high school market but can be used by middle school and college students as well.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

Harness, Cheryl.   GHOSTS OF THE WHITE HOUSE.  Illus. by the author.  New York:
    Simon and Schuster,  1998. 48p.  0-689-80872-0; hb.  $16.00   96-39752    Gr. 2-6.     973.09  or 920

     When the narrator's class goes on a field trip to the White House, George Washington steps out of a portrait on the wall and gives her a private tour.  In each room, ghosts of past presidents share interesting tidbits with her.  Sidebars with portraits and facts about the presidents help readers learn more about the two or more presidents who are shown talking to the narrator in each of the rooms.  The presidents are grouped around a theme, for example on the page showing the sidebars of Grant and Eisenhower, the two generals look at maps and books and discuss battles while other presidents who have been soldiers in various wars make comments.    The narrator sees all of the presidents' ghosts all together in the Rose Garden at the end of her tour.  Later in the book there is a drawing giving names to identify  each of those presidents.  An added feature is a double-page spread showing a timeline of presidents, their life spans,  time in office, and U.S. events as well as constitutional requirements of the office.  Pictures of the five living presidents and information about them are appears at the end of the book. There is also a bibliography.  End papers include two group portraits of the presidents which are unfortunately covered up by the book jacket flaps.  Harness provides a painless way to learn about our presidents in or out of classrooms.  The  U.P. Reading Association conference at N.M.U. invited Harness to be a speaker at the 1999 fall conference.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Lester, Julius.  THE BLUES SINGERS: TEN WHO ROCKED THE WORLD .
    Illus by Lisa Cohen.  New York:  Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 2001.  47p.
    0-7868-0463-7; hb., $15.99   00-59019     Gr. 4-10   781.643

    This biography of ten black blues musicians is told by in the voice of a grandfather telling his granddaughter about musicians he or his father heard.   The introduction sets up this scenario and talks about the roots of blues from slavery times because it made singing them feel better.  "Honey if it wasn't for the blues, we probably wouldn't have anything to listen to except our toenails growing."  The musicians featured are Bessie Smith (Empress of the blues), Robert Johnson (who improvised from "reciting from a feeling), Mahalia Jackson (brought the blues feeling into church music), Muddy Waters, (A blues and rock and roll hall of famer) Billie Holiday ("unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing"), B. B. King (musician to presidents and the Queen), Ray Charles ("The Genius"), Little Richard ("In the history of rock 'n roll, there is probably no one more important...") James Brown (Godfather of soul), and Aretha Franklin ("...towered above the rest.").  The biographies are told with flair and the page layouts are interesting.  Each entry begins with a full-page portrait of the musician, birth and death dates with places, and a quote about them.  This biography can be enjoyed by people of all ages.  A bibliography and recommended listening list follow.  Highly recommended.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

Lilley, Stephen R.  FIGHTERS AGAINST AMERICAN SLAVERY.   Illus with  photos.
     San Diego:    Lucent, 1999.  128p.    1-56006-036-0      98-18281     Gr.  6-10    920

     Stephen R. Lilley has added another title to the "History Makers" series with this title which fills the bill for any student who has to do a report on abolition. It might also possibly serve as an interesting read  for any youth who is browsing the stacks.  Six of the eight chapters feature a popular abolitionist including, Benjamin Lundy, William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner and John Brown.  The book also gives a history of slavery and the  emancipation.  The neat part about this publication, which will really be a plus for any student doing research on the subject, is that at the end of the book there are "Notes", which in actuality, are individual bibliographies for each chapter.  Additionally, there is a "Chronology" that follows the lives and contributions of the featured individuals as well as  abolitionist happenings in history.  Also included is a valuable list of "Further Reads" which provide a lot of related titles on the subject.  There are many black and white historical photographs which compliment the text.  This definitely is a well-organized, easy-to-understand tribute to the dedicated leaders in the abolition movement.
     Patricia Fittantte, Children's Librarian,  Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

MacLeod, Elizabeth.  THE WRIGHT BROTHERS: A FLYING START.  Illus with photos.
    Tonawanda, NY:  Kids Can, 2002.  32p.  1-55074-933-1; hb., $14.85   Gr. 2-8     920 or 629.13

    There is lots of information packed into this picture book biography.  The photos are organized in collages and sidebars and there are numerous drawings and maps.  One could learn much just from reading the letters and captions accompanying the photos and drawings.  From the quotes and the drawings of the brothers, with speech balloons coming from their mouths, readers learn about the Wright brothers, their jobs, their inventions, and their passion for flight.  The text explains the history of flight before and after the brothers’ contribution and the hundreds of mistakes they made before their success.  There is a time line of Wilbur and Orville’s lives and the history of flight, five helpful web sites, and an index.  This is an informative biography for primary and intermediate students as well as for remedial middle and high school students.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
 
McElmeel, Sharron L. 100 MOST POPULAR CHILDREN'S AUTHORS: BIOGRAPHICAL
    SKETCHES AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1999.   498p.
    1-56308-646-8; hb.,  $48.00.  98-41924    Gr.3+     920

     The book begins with D. Adler, L. Alexander and Avi and ends with B. R. Wright, E. Yates, and J. Yolen which represents the balance between male and female authors.   Most of the authors write fiction (except for two biographers, and five poets) and most (except for five like Alcott) are contemporaries .  Articles range from 2-5 pages.  Articles and books by and about the person are included and series are described before listing titles.  A separate genre index is a special feature.  Purchase for schools containing grades 3-8 even if you own the Wilson Junior author series and can afford Gale's Something about the Author series.  Investigate other books by McElmeel: POPULAR NONFICTION AUTHORS FOR CHILDREN and 100 MOST POPULAR PICTURE BOOK AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center

 Nardo, Don.  WOMEN LEADERS OF NATIONS.  San Diego: Lucent, 1999.  112p.
    Illus with photos. History Makers series.  1-56006-397-1, lib. bdg.   98-35810.  Gr. 6+   920.

     There are chapters for eight women who have been leaders of their countries: Cleopatra, Egypt; Isabella, Spain; Elizabeth I, England; Catherine the Great, Russia; Victoria, England; Golda Meir, Israel; Margaret Thatcher, Great Britain; and Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan. Although similar books about these women have been written, this book should be purchased for the addition of Bhutto and the first two chapters or first 25 pages which discuss the role of women rulers in history and warrior women such as the Amazons; Queen Sammuramat of Assyria; Tomyris the warrior queen from near the Caspian Sea; Artemisia, Queen of Caria; Boudicca of Roman Britain; Queen Zenobia of Palmyran; France's Joan of Arc; England's Mother Ross; Matilda of Tuscany; Queen Christina of Sweden; and  Indira Gandhi of India.  A small black and white picture of each of the eight women and a few others and maps satisfy our curiosity.  There is also a chronology, further reading, major works consulted, additional works consulted, and index.  Purchase Nardo's book to cover a neglected segment of world  leadership.      Mary Ann Paulin;  Director, Superiorland Preview Center
     32 years experience as a school library media specialist
 
 Pfeffer, Susan Beth.  WHO WERE THEY REALLY?  TRUE STORIES BEHIND
    FAMOUS CHARACTERS.    Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 1999.  72p.   0-7613-040-3;
    lib.bdg.    98-47826    Gr. 3+  920     or      820.9    PAULIN'S PICKS

        Photographs or drawings accompany each of the 12 articles about how real children inspired classical children's literature.   Although librarians have heard some of the stories before, it is convenient to have them all in one place.  Some of the stories  may not be familiar.  While telling the story about the inspiration for the books, information about the author comes out also.  There is always at least one photo in which the author is present.   Others of interest include illustrations from the books, or photos of homes, animals, toys, or statues.  The books or series included are: Dodgson's ALICE IN WONDERLAND; Barrie's PETER PAN; Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN; Andersen's THE LITTLE MERMAID; MOTHER GOOSE; Lovelace's BETSY-TACY; Henry's MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE; Milne's CHRISTOPHER ROBIN; Milne's WINNIE HE POOH; Potter's PETER RABBIT; Bond's PADDINGTON BEAR; and Wilder's " LITTLE HOUSE" books.  Reading this book is like finding out details of the lives of your best friends. This is an essential purchase for university collections where children's literature is taught and for all elementary schools and public libraries.
        Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Rappaport, Doreen.  WE ARE THE MANY: A PICTURE BOOK OF AMERICAN
    INDIANS.  Illus by Cornelieus Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu.  New York:  HarperCollins,
    2002.  32p.  0-688-16559-1; hb., $15.99  Gr. 3-7   970.004  or  920

    Rappaport, a writer of multicultural books, provides vignettes  of 13 Native Americans in chronological order from Tisquantum (Squanto) through Sacajawea to Maria Tallchief and Wilma Mankiller.  Over half of them are women.  Dates for the people and tribal name are included in the heading.  Different tribes are represented with each person. “Each story in this book re-creates one moment in a person’s life.“  The incidents are varied: Jim Thorpe winning an Olympic gold medal and William McCabe as a code talker during World War II.  The illustration covers one whole page and a fourth of the opposite page.  The rest of the page is devoted to text.  The book ends with a page devoted to pronunciation, research resources, books for young readers, and websites.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Rohmer, Harriet.  HONORING OUR ANCESTORS:  STORIES AND PICTURES BY
    FOURTEEN ARTISTS.  San Francisco, CA: Children's Book Press, 1999.  32p.
    0-89239-158-8; hb., $15.95.     98-38686     Gr. 4-6+   759.13    or   920

     Fourteen artists from many cultures write and portray real or spiritual ancestors.  A list of all of them along with their mediums are listed.  The artists are Carl Angel, Asian; Enrique Chagoya, Hispanic; George Crespo, Puerto Rican; Mark Dukes, African American;  Maya Christina Gonzalez, Hispanic; Caryl Henry, Africani American; Nancy Hom, Chinese; Hung Liu, Chinese; Judith Lowry, Native American; Stephen Von Mason, African American; Mira Reisberg, Jewish; JoeSam Trinidad; Pattsi Valdz, Hispanic; and Helen Zughaib. Lebanese. This is a celebration of multiculturalism as well as can be used to encourage children to write and illustrate people they admire.  Art teachers can use this book to show various art mediums can make use of this book.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Supriorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Sandler, Martin W.  INVENTORS.  Illus. with photos from the Library of Congress.  New York:
    HarperCollins 1996. 96p.   0-06-024924-2 hb., $21.95    0-06-446746-5; pb., $10.95
    95-944    Gr. 5+      609.2   or    920

    Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.  This may not be a quotation from famous statesman, but it makes sense if you put yourself in the shoes of one of the many inventors written about by Sandler.   Great inventors in history came up with ground-breaking discoveries that changed life as we know it---things we take for granted; electric lights, the Ferris wheel, the
telephone, television, computer, to name a few.  Sandler's work presents the evolution of some of our country's greatest inventions and how they helped our country grow and develop and lead to even more inventions. Included are over one hundred photographs and illustrations from the Library of Congress that reveal the ingenuity of these great mental giants, who by using theirspirit and imagination brought these inventions to reality. "Invention breeds invention" (that quotation did come from a famous individual...Ralph Waldo Emerson)
    Patricia Fittante, Children's Librarian, Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI

St. George, Judith.  JOHN & ABIGAIL ADAMS: AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY.
    New York: Holiday, 2001.  147p.  0-8234-1571-6; hb., $22.95  00-048226    Gr. 4-9       92  or 973.4

    After reading two thousand letters written by the John and Abigail Adams, a gifted writer tells the story of America’s beginnings through their lives.  John began as a lawyer who rode circuit from one district courthouse to another.  Their first letters, according to the custom of the day were signed using their mythological names.  The couple began their correspondence before they were married in 1764 when she was almost 20 and he was 29.  For much of their life the couple lived apart, once for five straight years.  The couple were apart when John was a delegate to the First (1774) and Second (1775) Continental Congresses.  John and son Johnny (John Quincey) left for Europe in1778 where John was negotiating with the French and later John was first American ambassador to the Netherlands, while he was negotiating the Peace treaty in Paris.  Abigail joined him when he was appointed the first American ambassador to Great Britain.
    Their first years of marriage were spent raising children and becoming active in patriotic causes.  When the British passed the Stamp Act, John denounced it.  While on the Massachusetts General Court, John was lawyer for the British soldiers who killed civilians at the Boston Massacre.  John wrote “The die is cast” when the Boston Tea Party and the retaliatory Coercive Acts happened.  “John nominated George Washington as commander in chief…was a key player in establishing the American navy and the corps of marines.”
    The couple had their share of sorrow in their personal lives.  A child was stillborn.  Son Charles was an alcoholic who abandoned his family and died at age 30.  Daughter Nabby died of breast cancer at age of 48.   There were also political disappointments.  John was not as charismatic as Ambassador Benjamin Franklin while they were in Paris wooing the French.  As first ambassador to Great Britain, he was unable to gain trade concessions from them and because of his ten years abroad, people called him “His Rotundity,”  puppet of the French, and called Abigail “Her Majesty.”   There were estrangements from friends because of politics, Mercy Warren and Thomas Jefferson, which were fortunately made up before it was too late.  There was the political treachery of Alexander Hamilton.  John lost the presidency to Jefferson and although their politics were very different, he had to serve as Vice President.  Adams was not reelected and when he left office, people did not visit him like they did Washington.  Abigail died 7 years before her son became President of the U.S. and her husband outlived her.
    An interesting sidelight was that Johnny was a child in arms when his mother took him to watch the Battle of Breed’s Hill.  He went with his father to Paris and at age 13 he accompanied his father’s friend, Francis Dana, who was appointed to represent the U.S. in Russia and became Dana’s secretary because he spoke French, the common language with the Russians.  At age 17 he lived with his parent s in London where his father was ambassador, graduated from Harvard, became a U.S. Senator, American ambassador to Russia and later Great Britain, Secretary of State for Monroe, and then president.
    St. George says, “Abigail and John were equal partners.  They were partners in raising their children.  They were partners in sharing their joy in good times and upholding each other in times of sorrow.  Now they would be partners in sharing their talents to serve the country they loved.”  “John and Abigail’s letters to each other were more than exchanges of affection, family news and political reports.  They were life-and love-sustaining.”  This is a good addition to collections where history of early America is needed, especially contributions of women.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

 Welch, Rosanne.  ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WOMEN IN AVIATION AND SPACE .
    Santa Barbara:   ABC-CLIO, 1999.  286p.  0-87436-958-4     Gr. 8+     920   or   629.13

    The over 150 entries include groups such as ATA, the Air Transport Auxiliary of "civilian pilots [who] ferried planes from manufacturers to the Royal Air Forces bases to save military pilots for battle in World War II" as well as individual pilots.  Some of the women accomplished the following feats: first woman to fly from Paris to Tokyo; first woman to fly solo from England to New Zealand; first woman to complete officer training as an air weapons controller in the Canadian Air Force; first woman to make a parachute jump; first woman to fly a jet fighter; first woman to qualify for space travel; first woman to break the sound barrier; first African American woman to earn a pilot's license.  Many are unknown but some are household words: Jacqueline Cochran; Amelia Earhart; Kelly Flinn;  Shannon Lucid; Sharon Christa McAuliffe; Oveta Culp Hobby;  and  Judith Resnik.  Other topics include Mercury 1; NASA.  The bibliography consists of organizational sources and print sources.  The black and white photos are sparse.  High schools can use it for studying scientists, American history, space exploration, and historical and contemporary biographies.  Public and university libraries will be interested in this book for the reference collection.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
 
 [ To the top of this page ] | [ To SPC Homepage ]


CHILDREN'S AUTHORS AND ILLUSTRATORS

Clinton, Catherine., ed.  I TOO, SING AMERICA: THREE CENTURIES OF AFRICAN AMERICAN POETRY. Illus. by Stephen Alcorn.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin,  1998.  128p.  0-395-89599-5; hb., $20.00   97-46137   Gr. 5+    712.2   or   811.08
 
    This poetry anthology of 35 poems by 25 African Americans (equally divided between men and women) has an added feature; biographies of the poets are included with a separate paragraph about their poetry.  Among the poets are Wheatley, Du Bois, Bontemps, Hughes, Walker, Brooks, Angelou, Giovanni, Walker, and Dove.  At least three pages are devoted to each poem, one for the poem, one for the poet, and one full-page illustration.  In many cases there is also a divider page with a design on it that seems to keep the poets separate from each other.  This works in all but two cases.  For instance, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is opposite the biography of Paul Laurence Dunbar. Most people know that J. W. Johnson wrote the song and not Dunbar.  However, Lorde’s “Rites of Passage” is not universally known and is opposite the biography of Amiri Baraka; no poet is listed, for the poem so confusion could take place.  Nevertheless, this is a collection of noteworthy poets, three are Pulitzer Prize winners and one who was poet laureate of the U.S.  This anthology provides balance to collections that are top heavy with poetry of Europeans and their American descendants.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
 
de Paola, Tomie.  HERE WE ALL ARE.  Illus by the author.  A 26 Fairmont Avenue Book series.  
    New York:  Putnam, 2000.  26p.  0-399-23496-9; hb., $13.99.     Gr. 3-6    92   or   813.54
 
    Beginning with a floor plan of the de Paola’s new house, this second book in the series, includes a description of the attic, a 30s refrigerator, furniture decals and how they work, and the “just in case” room for a baby whom Tomie hopes is a girl because he already has a brother. Much information is provided about Tomie’s activities:  being banned from the new shower because he splashed too much, using mother’s lipstick from her “vanity” while pretending to be Miss Mae West, licking the new maple bedpost to see if it tasted like maple syrup, participating in art experiences at school, not getting the lead in a school play but stealing the show anyway, nap time, dancing lessons, and being asked to make the school valentine box when he thought he was being called to the office to be punished.  The charming and childlike episodes include joys and disappointments while sharing experiences from de Paola’s life.  Of special interest is how Tomie got the unusual spelling for his name and the trouble it caused him.  Good chapter books are always in demand and kids will enjoy reading about a favorite author and illustrator.  Purchase for school and public libraries especially where the first book was popular.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
   
dePaola, Tomie.  26 FAIRMONT AVENUE.  Illus by author.  New York: Putnam, 1999.  58p.
    0-399-23246-X; hb., $13.99   98-12918    Gr. 3-6    92   or   813.54
 
    In the author’s note at the end of the book, dePaola explains to readers how he got the idea for this chapter book and says that future chapter books will also be about his childhood and family.  This title is devoted to the period in his life when his family was building a new home at 26 Fairmount Avenue. The perils from a hurricane, fire, and mud make for interesting chapter book fare.  dePaola tells of his disinterest in kindergarten once he learned that they wouldn’t teach him to read until next year.
    Some teachers and librarians will be interested in the segment where dePaola shares his frustration at seeing the new Disney movie, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and realizing that they had changed the story.  Children will feel like they are “insiders” when dePaola talks about Oz, Mary Poppins, and the Upstairs and Downstairs Nanas.
    There will be local interest in learning that dePaola was allowed to draw all over the plasterboard walls before plaster and wallpaper were added.  The artist chose to draw his family.  Teachers of classes who placed group pictures on the walls of the new Peter White Public Library in Marquette, MI will be interested in reading this book aloud to their classes or providing it for students to read to themselves.  The idea for addingphotos within the Marquette library walls was inspired by a name written on a wall that was uncovered during the renovation of the original building.
    Mary Ann Paulin; director, superiorland Preview Center
    *Editor's Note:  this book was selected as a Newbery honor book for 2000

Greenberg, Jan.  HEART TO HEART: NEW POEMS INSPIRED BY TWENTIETH-    CENTURY AMERICAN ART.  New York:  Abrams, 2001.  80p.  99-462335    811.608

    In the Introduction, Greenberg tells how a "group of distinguished American poets were invited to choose a twentieth-century American artwork and write a poem stimulated by it.  The result is spectacular.  Teachers can ask students to emulate this project.  This book is divided into four parts: Stories “includes poems that conjure a memory or tell an anecdote; Voices “contains poems in which the poet steps inside the artwork and assumes the voice of the object or person depicted there; Impressions “displays the poets' powers of description as they examine the elements of the artwork and offer vibrant word pictures based on what is contained there;" and Expressions "explores aspects of visual form that concern the nature of art and the artist."
    There are a number of books that match poetry with famous works of art but they were matched from poetry that already existed, not inspired by the art.  Separate sections of biographical notes on poets and artists as well as an index conclude the book.  This book serves two purposes, to introduce art and poetry to young people.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855

Hopkins, Lee Bennett. PASS THE POETRY PLEASE!  New York:  Harper Collins, 1998. 277p.
    0-06-027746-7; hb., $15.00   0-06-446199-6; pb. $13.95     372.64    PROFESSIONAL PICK.

     The articles about the poets, although they contain some identical paragraphs, are different from the last edition.  Two poets appeared in the second but not the third edition and six poets were added to the third edition that were not in the second while eighteen appear in both editions.  Poets dropped are N. M. Bodecker and B. S. de Regniers.  Poets added are: B. J.  Esbensen; E. Greeenfield; N. Grimes; J. P. Lewis; V. Worth; and J. Yolen.   Poets who appear in both are: A. Adoff; H. Behn; G. Brooks; J. Ciardi; L.Clifton; A. Fisher; R.Frost; N. Giovanni; L. Hughes; X. J. Kennedy; K. Kuskin; M. C. Livingston; D. McCord; E. Merriam; L. Moore; J. Prelutsky; C. Sandburg; and S. Silverstein.  Silverstein died after the book was published so no mention is made of his death.  The list of  birthdays by month contains 11 more poets.  There are bibliographies of poetry books and ideas for introducing poetry in this handbook.  Recommended.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 

Marcus, Leonard S.  SIDE BY SIDE:  FIVE FAVORITE PICTURE-BOOK TEAMS
    GO TO WORK.  New York:  Walker, 2001.  64p.0-8027-8778-9; hb., $22.95
    0-8027-8779-7; lib.bdg., $23.85   2001-026344   070.5

    Marcus is a well-respected children's book historian, who authored or edited: DEAR GENIUS: THE LETTERS OF URSULA NORDSTROM; THE MAKING OF GOODNIGHT MOON: THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY RETROSPECTIVE; MARGARET WISE BROWN: AWAKENED BY THE MOON; and 75 YEARS OF CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK POSTERS.  Marcus investigates five picture book teams.  Serendipity is the word to describe how Arthur Yorinks and Richard Egielski became partners.  Maurice Sendak suggested to his student, the writer Egielski, that he knew the perfect person to illustrate his books, someone named Richard.  Their collaboration includes eight books including HEY, AL (Farrar, 1986,) a Caldecott winner.  Alice and Martin Provensen were animators for Walter Lantz Studio and Disney Studios respectively and met while making war-related instructional films during World War II.  The couple collaborated in illustrating over thirty books and then wrote several of their own, including THE GLORIOUS FLIGHT (Viking, 1983) which won the Caldecott Medal.
    John Scieszka and Lane Smith along with art director Molly Leach created books with a special sense of humor that many editors failed to understand.  Their breakthrough book was THE TRUE STORY OF THE 3 LITTLE PIGS (Viking, 1989) and THE STINKY CHEESE MAN (Penguin, 1992,) a Caldecott Honor Book.
    Marcus is a well-respected children's book historian, who authored or edited, among others, DEAR GENIUS: THE LETTERS OF URSULA NORDSTROM (HarperCollins, 2000) and MARGARET WISE BROWN: AWAKENED BY THE MOON (HarperCollins, 1999.)
    Marcus investigates five picture book teams.  Serendipity is the word to describe how Arthur Yorinks and Richard Egielski became partners.  Maurice Sendak suggested to his student, the writer Egielski, that he knew the perfect person to illustrate his books, someone named Richard.  Their collaboration includes eight books including HEY, AL (Farrar, 1986,) a Caldecott winner.  Alice and Martin Provensen were animators for Walter Lantz Studio and Disney Studios respectively and met while making war-related instructional films during World War II.  The couple collaborated in illustrating over thirty books and then wrote several of their own, including THE GLORIOUS FLIGHT (Viking, 1983) which won the Caldecott Medal.
John Scieszka and Lane Smith along with art director Molly Leach created books with a special sense of humor that many editors failed to understand.  Their breakthrough book was THE TRUE STORY OF THE 3 LITTLE PIGS (Viking, 1989) and THE STINKY CHEESE MAN won a Caldecott Honor Book citation.  (Penguin, 1992.)
 Julius Lester and Jerry Pinkney worked for the same editor and worked on THE TALES OF UNCLE REMUS (Dial, 1987) before they met at a library convention.  Through the third sequel, they still did not meet for work sessions.  Real collaboration occurred on their 1995 Caldecott Honor book, JOHN HENRY (Dial, 1994).  Their collaboration of the retelling of the controversial THE STORY OF LITTLE BLACK SAMBO became SAM AND THE TIGERS (Dial, 1996.)
     Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen make science come alive with an unusual teacher and a magic school bus.  Learn how they collaborated on ten Magic School Bus books beginning with THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS AT THE WATERWORKS (Scholastic, 1986) and ending with THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS EXPLORES THE SENSES (Scholastic, 1999.)  A new series in which the teachers goes on vacation and thereby helps children learn about social studies is MS. FRIZZLE'S ADVENTURES: ANCIEINT EGYPT (Egypt, 2001.)
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 

McElroy, Lisa Tucker with help from Abigail Jane Cobb.  MEET MY GRANDMOTHER: SHE'S
    A CHILDREN'S BOOK AUTHOR.  Photos by Joel Benjamin. Meet My Grandmother series.  
    Brookfield, CT:  Millbrook, 2001.  32p.  0-7613-1972-7;  lib.bdg., $22.90   Gr. K-5   j921

    Vicki Cobb, author of almost 100 science books for children is the feature of this popular biography series designed to show that grandmothers can make important contributions to society.  As in the other books, information is presented in the first person by a grandchild.  In  this title, information is imparted by nine-year-old Abby Cobb from Racine, WI.  The information is presented with humor "Most people can't go to work in their pajamas but Gran could..." Readers learn what other jobs Cobb has had (teacher, scientist, TV writer), her office in her condo near New York City, how she conducts experiments, and how a book is written.  Abby tells what they do when she visits, her favorite book, the dolls Gran brings back from her travels, and how Gran met her new husband and how she got to shop for special dresses for the wedding, and how they blew toilet paper around outside with a leaf blower for an experiment.  Cobb's web site address, www.vickicobb.com is given but only the acknowledgements for titles that are shown in this book is given.
    On the last page, there are nine suggestions "If You Want to Be a Children's Book Author..."  The photos are clear and the practice of having bold color backgrounds for text and photos work well when there is a single color used.  The practice of using two colors behind text so that the right side and left side of the text seems cut in half is annoying.  Hopefully, future books will avoid splitting pages in this manner.  Because most libraries own books by Cobb, this title will be welcome in school and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

McElmeel, Sharron L.  100 MOST POPULAR PICTURE BOOK AUTHORS AND
    ILLUSTRATORS: BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES .
    Popular Author Series.   Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 2000.  579p.
    1-56308-647-6; hb.,  $49.00  A/T, genre indexes.

    Up-to-date biographical information, bibliographies, notes, and web sites are included for each person, including six from Michigan.  Authors range from Verna Aardema, Alland and Janet Ahlberg, and Martha Alexander to Jane Yolen, Ed Young, and Margot Zemach.  Most are living but Wanda Gag and Dr. Seuss are some of those who aren’t.  John Sciezka is there but Lane Smith is not.  Most are American but the Ahlvergs, Beatrix Potter, A. Browne, and Burningham are not.  Graeme Base and Mem Fox are Australian.Mitsumasa is the only Asian.  African-Americans are well represented but there aren’t any Hispanics.   Author/title and genre indexes conclude the book.  Although this book will not be used by elementary students as much as McElmeel’s 100 MOST POULAR CHILDREN’S AUTHORS, it is still important enough to be in elementary reference sections.  Whether or not you can afford the “Something About the Author” series  (Gale) or own the Junior Authors and Illustrators series.  (Wilson), this is an essential purchase for elementary, library school, and school of education libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

McElmeel, Sharron L.  100 MOST POPULAR CHILDREN’S AUTHORS:
    BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES.  Popular Author series.
    Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 2000.  579p.   1-56308-646-8; hb.,  $48.00.

    Authors range from David Adler, Lloyd Alexander, and Avi to Bety Ren Wright, Elizabeth Yates, and Jane Yolen.  Most are alive but Barrie, Bellairs, Carroll, Ciardi,  Matt Christopher, Kipling, Kjelgaard, Lawson, M.C. Livingston, Milne, Uchida, and E. B. White are no longer living.  Poets include Lee Bennett Hopkins, Paul Janeczko, Shel Silverstein, and Myra Cohn Livingston among others.  All the authors write chapter books for students in grades three to seven except maybe David Wisniewski whose picture books have adult themes and characters.   Since the basic for inclusion was on the results of a national 1997 survey designed to identify the 100 most important authors and illustrators in children’s literature, Rowling is not included because the Harry Potter phenomena had not yet hit.
    Author/Title and genre indexes are thorough.  These books will be helpful for student reports in grades three through junior high school.  Whether or not libraries can afford the “Something About the Author” series  (Gale) or own the Junior Authors and Illustrators series  (Wilson), this is an essential purchase for elementary, library school, and school of education libraries.  The price is a boon to small school and public libraries that can’t afford the other series.
    Mary Ann Paulin, Director; Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

 Pfeffer, Susan Beth.  WHO WERE THEY REALLY?  TRUE STORIES BEHIND
    FAMOUS CHARACTERS.    Brookfield, CT: Millbrook, 1999.  72p.   0-7613-040-3;
    lib.bdg.    98-47826        Gr. 3+       920   or    820.9    PAULIN'S PICKS

     Photographs or drawings accompany each of the 12 articles about how real children inspired classical children's literature.   Although librarians have heard some of the stories before, it is convenient to have them all in one place.  Some of the stories  may not be familiar.  While telling the story about the inspiration for the books, information about the author comes out also.  There is always at least one photo in which the author is present.   Others of interest include illustrations from the books, or photos of homes, animals, toys, or statues.  The books or series included are: Dodgson's ALICE IN WONDERLAND; Barrie's PETER PAN; Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN; Andersen's THE LITTLE MERMAID; MOTHER GOOSE; Lovelace's BETSY-TACY; Henry's MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE; Milne's CHRISTOPHER ROBIN; Milne's WINNIE HE POOH; Potter's PETER RABBIT; Bond's PADDINGTON BEAR ; and Wilder's " LITTLE HOUSE" books.  Reading this book is like finding out details of the lives of your best friends.  This is an essential purchase for university collections where children's literature is taught and for all elementary schools and public libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Stolley, Richard B., ed.  LIFE:  OUR CENTURY IN PICTURES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE.
    Boston:  Little, 2000.  231p.   0-316-81589-6;  hb., $25.95.     Gr. 5-12+    909.82

    Each decade of the 20th century includes an article written by an outstanding young adult or children’s author:  Katherine Paterson (1900-1913), Jane Yolen (1914-1919), Avi (1920-1929) Robert Cormier (1930-1939), Lois Lowry (1940-1945), Patricia and Fred McKissack (1946-1963), Jerry Spinelli (1964-1975), Gary Paulson (1976-1992), and Cynthia Rylant (1993-1999).  Usually when numerous people write separate chapters of a book, the book has an uneven quality but this book is a unified product.  It is especially interesting that most of the articles are told in the first person and the authors provide their own feelings and experiences.
    A brief biography of each YA author at the end of each section is a bonus.  This is a very readable history of the last century that will be read by kids and adults.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

[ To the top of this page ] | [ To SPC Homepage ]
 

GENEALOGY

Taylor, Maureen.  THROUGH THE EYES OF YOUR ANCESTORS:
    A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO UNCOVERING YOUR FAMILY’S HISTORY .
    Illus. with photos.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.  86p.    0-395-8698-3; hb., $16.00
    0-395-8692-X; pb., $8.95  98-08776     Gr.  4+       929.1

     Taylor has written a book that provides much useful information for getting started in genealogical research: gathering stories and keepsakes and filling out pedigree charts or family group sheets.  Helpful information includes all types of records like social security, death indexes, city directories, CD-ROMs, microfiche, web sites, military records, and research logs.   Interesting items include the top ten U.S.surnames, lists of helpful addresses, names of the major genealogical libraries in the U.S., and understanding the Soundex system of finding variant spellings.  Marguerite Waters likes the layout; the wide split pages with two columns and a variety of black and white photos which break up the pages and make reading easy.  A number of explanations which are helpful include the European style of placing the day first then the month and year rather than placing the month first like Americans do, an explanation of the Gregorian calendar and reading Quaker records which place March as the first month of the year.  There are a few problems such as the lack of an index and a misspelling of the German ancestor table.  One omission is no mention of family marks like those used in Scandinavia as substitutes for signatures.  On the whole this book is informative, appealing, and provides students with ideas for beginning family research for reports or personal information.  Even adult novices can use the information to get started in genealogical research.  Although there are a few minor problems, this book is a welcome addition to public and school libraries.
    Mary Ann Paulin is a retired school librarian with an interest in genealogy.
    Marguerite Waters is a retired school librarian and member of Marquette County Genealogical Society.

[ Back to top ] | [ To SPC Homepage ] [ preview@uproc.lib.mi.us ]