SKYWALKERS

MOHAWKS ON THE HIGH STEEL

Weaving together architectural, engineering and Native American history, Weitzman tells the fascinating story of how Mohawk Indian ironworkers helped construct the sprawling bridges and towering skyscrapers that dominate our urban landscape. The book begins with a brief but informative history of the Kanien'kéhaka—People of the Flint. Leaders in establishing the League of the Iroquois, a confederation of Indian nations in the New York region, Mohawks had a longstanding reputation for their sense of tight-knit community, attraction to danger and love for physical challenge, qualities that served them well when hired in the late 1800s to do the most arduous work in railroad and bridge construction. With the advent of the skyscraper, Mohawks possessing agility that seemed gravity-defying worked hundreds of feet above the ground. They were not immune to tragedy, and the author discusses in detail the collapse of the Québec Bridge that killed 31 Mohawk workers. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs that capture the daring spirit of these heroic workers, the concise, captivating account offers great insight into the little-known but considerable role Native Americans played in our architectural and engineering achievements. (glossary, bibliography, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59643-162-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: July 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010

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THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

In a large, handsome format, Tarnowska offers six tales plus an abbreviated version of the frame story, retold in formal but contemporary language and sandwiched between a note on the Nights’ place in her childhood in Lebanon and a page of glossary and source notes. Rather than preserve the traditional embedded structure and cliffhanger cutoffs, she keeps each story discrete and tones down the sex and violence. This structure begs the question of why Shahriyar lets Shahrazade [sic] live if she tells each evening’s tale complete, but it serves to simplify the reading for those who want just one tale at a time. Only the opener, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” is likely to be familiar to young readers; in others a prince learns to control a flying “Ebony Horse” by “twiddling” its ears, contending djinn argue whether “Prince Kamar el Zaman [or] Princess Boudour” is the more beautiful (the prince wins) and in a Cinderella tale a “Diamond Anklet” subs for the glass slipper. Hénaff’s stylized scenes of domed cityscapes and turbaned figures add properly whimsical visual notes to this short but animated gathering. (Folktales. 10-12)

 

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-84686-122-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Barefoot Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2010

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ONCE UPON A MARIGOLD

From the Marigold Trilogy series , Vol. 1

Cold indeed is the heart not made warm by this bubbly fairy-tale romance. Raised by a kindly forest troll, Christian knows little of the world beyond what he can see through his telescope, but gazing upon a nearby castle, he falls head over heels for Princess Marigold. What chance has he, though, as a (supposed) commoner? When at last he nerves himself to send her a message via carrier pigeon, she answers and the courtship is on—via “p-mail” at first, then, after he lands a job as a castle servant, face to face. Setting numerous fairy-tale conventions just a bit askew, Ferris (Of Sound Mind, 2001, etc.) surrounds her two smart, immensely likable teenagers, who are obviously made for each other, with rival suitors, hyperactive dogs, surprising allies, and strong adversaries. The most notable among the last is devious, domineering Queen Olympia, intent on forcing Marigold into marriage with a penniless, but noble, cipher. The author gets her commonsensical couple to “I Do” through brisk palace intrigue, life-threatening situations, riotous feasting, and general chaos; Queen Olympia gets suitable comeuppance, and the festivities are capped by the required revelation that Christian is actually heir to the throne of neighboring Zandelphia. Fans of Gail Carson Levine’s Princess Tales will be in familiar territory here, as well as seventh heaven. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-15-216791-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2002

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