A thorough and accessible introduction to the Holocaust and the students who dared to take a stand against evil.

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WE WILL NOT BE SILENT

THE WHITE ROSE STUDENT RESISTANCE MOVEMENT THAT DEFIED ADOLF HITLER

In the heart of Germany, a student resistance movement called the White Rose took a courageous stand to denounce the Nazis.

“They could have chosen to throw bombs,” but the young members of the White Rose chose to oppose Nazi Germany with printed words. The clandestine student activists, including Hans and Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst, wrote leaflets decrying Nazi atrocities, urging German citizens to resist the Nazi government, and denouncing the Nazi “dictatorship of evil.” Cranking out thousands of mimeographed leaflets at night in a secret cellar, the students proclaimed to Nazi leaders, “We are your bad conscience,” imperiling their lives. Among the wealth of good Holocaust literature available, Freedman’s volume stands out for its focus and concision, effectively placing the White Rose in its historical context, telling the story of Nazi Germany without losing the focus on the White Rose, and doing so in just over 100 pages. Archival photographs are effectively integrated into the text, and the typeface at times resembles the typewriter’s text on mimeographed leaflets, a nice design choice. The selected bibliography includes volumes for young readers and the superb German-language film Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (2005).

A thorough and accessible introduction to the Holocaust and the students who dared to take a stand against evil. (source notes, picture credits, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-22379-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2016

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A slim volume big on historical information and insight.

COME ON IN, AMERICA

THE UNITED STATES IN WORLD WAR I

A wide-ranging exploration of World War I and how it changed the United States forever.

Students who know anything about history tend to know other wars better—the Civil War, World War II, Vietnam. But it was World War I that changed America and ushered in a new role for the United States as a world political and economic leader. Two million Americans were sent to the war, and in the 19 months of involvement in Europe, 53,000 Americans were killed in battle, part of the staggering total death toll of 10 million, a war of such magnitude that it transformed the governments and economies of every major participant. Osborne’s straightforward text is a clear account of the war itself and various related topics—African-American soldiers, the Woman’s Peace Party, the use of airplanes as weapons for the first time, trench warfare, and the sinking of the Lusitania. Many archival photographs complement the text, as does a map of Europe (though some countries are lost in the gutter). A thorough bibliography includes several works for young readers. A study of World War I offers a context for discussing world events today, so this volume is a good bet for libraries and classrooms—a well-written treatment that can replace dry textbook accounts.

A slim volume big on historical information and insight. (timeline, source notes, credits) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2378-0

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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Unvarnished but nevertheless valuable for fishing so many admirably nonconformist women from obscurity.

WOMEN WHO DARED

52 FEARLESS DAREDEVILS, ADVENTURERS, AND REBELS

A populous gallery of courageous, independent women from (fairly) recent times.

Skeers’ roster of acrobats, aviators, professional wrestlers, mountaineers, rescuers, survivors, medical workers, and intrepid travelers has a mildly antique flavor, being drawn largely from the 19th and 20th centuries (a few of the subjects are still alive, mostly in retirement). On the other hand, nearly all of her choices are likely to be unfamiliar to young readers. Arranged beneath the subtitle’s three headers (and alphabetized by first name rather than last), each gets a rubric (“Arctic Survivor,” “Bodacious Bicyclist,” “Lionhearted Librarian”), a stylized full-length portrait from Gosling with an iconographic border, and a one-page highlight-reel tribute that generally ends on an inspirational note: Sophie Blanchard, “dainty and daring” balloonist, “bested the danger and defied social norms, stereotypes, and even gravity itself to prove that women could successfully achieve their high-flying dreams.” The author doesn’t cast her net too widely, as all but 12 of these putative role models hail from the United States or Europe, and though nonwhite minorities are decently, if not strongly, represented, she is inconsistent about noting them. Also, the large bibliography is not at all user-friendly, being arranged by author rather than subject and presented in an indigestible mass of miniscule type.

Unvarnished but nevertheless valuable for fishing so many admirably nonconformist women from obscurity. (index) (Collective biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-5327-1

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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