This accessible, fact-based account of the boat evacuations that took place on 9/11 puts faces on some of the many heroes...



Meet some unsung heroes of the sea.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the day the World Trade Center was attacked, more than 1 million people in New York were in need of evacuation. Subways, bridges, and tunnels were shut down, so the only way out was to cross the water. Firefighters and police rushed in to help, and Coast Guard officials put out a call for all available boats, leading to the largest evacuation by sea ever recorded, exceeding the Dunkirk boatlift by more than 150,000 evacuees. Detailed pictures show the buildings, the people, and the ships rendered in beige and gray, while a warm blue sky embraces the city despite its tragedy. Accessible, informative text presents the tragedy with relevant detail and explains how captains and crews worked together to bring almost 500,000 people to safety, traveling back and forth from New York City to the New Jersey shore, despite fear, smoke, crowding, and unidentified military jets passing overhead. Quotations from these heroic responders bring immediacy to the story, while the author’s note offers an additional personal perspective. A glossary and source notes are included.

This accessible, fact-based account of the boat evacuations that took place on 9/11 puts faces on some of the many heroes who stepped forward to help in a time of crisis. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5157-0275-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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A picture book worth reading about a historical figure worth remembering.


An honestly told biography of an important politician whose name every American should know.

Published while the United States has its first African-American president, this story of John Roy Lynch, the first African-American speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives, lays bare the long and arduous path black Americans have walked to obtain equality. The title’s first three words—“The Amazing Age”—emphasize how many more freedoms African-Americans had during Reconstruction than for decades afterward. Barton and Tate do not shy away from honest depictions of slavery, floggings, the Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow laws, or the various means of intimidation that whites employed to prevent blacks from voting and living lives equal to those of whites. Like President Barack Obama, Lynch was of biracial descent; born to an enslaved mother and an Irish father, he did not know hard labor until his slave mistress asked him a question that he answered honestly. Freed by the Emancipation Proclamation, Lynch had a long and varied career that points to his resilience and perseverance. Tate’s bright watercolor illustrations often belie the harshness of what takes place within them; though this sometimes creates a visual conflict, it may also make the book more palatable for young readers unaware of the violence African-Americans have suffered than fully graphic images would. A historical note, timeline, author’s and illustrator’s notes, bibliography and map are appended.

A picture book worth reading about a historical figure worth remembering. (Picture book biography. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8028-5379-0

Page Count: 50

Publisher: Eerdmans

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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            The legions of fans who over the years have enjoyed dePaola’s autobiographical picture books will welcome this longer gathering of reminiscences.  Writing in an authentically childlike voice, he describes watching the new house his father was building go up despite a succession of disasters, from a brush fire to the hurricane of 1938.  Meanwhile, he also introduces family, friends, and neighbors, adds Nana Fall River to his already well-known Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, remembers his first day of school (“ ‘ When do we learn to read?’  I asked.  ‘Oh, we don’t learn how to read in kindergarten.  We learn to read next year, in first grade.’  ‘Fine,’ I said.  ‘I’ll be back next year.’  And I walked right out of school.”), recalls holidays, and explains his indignation when the plot of Disney’s “Snow White” doesn’t match the story he knows.  Generously illustrated with vignettes and larger scenes, this cheery, well-knit narrative proves that an old dog can learn new tricks, and learn them surpassingly well.  (Autobiography.  7-9)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-399-23246-X

Page Count: 58

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1999

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