A worthy addition to the effort to tell a more complete and compelling American history.

CHANGING THE EQUATION

50+ US BLACK WOMEN IN STEM

African American women in the past and present have overcome racial and gender barriers to succeed in STEM fields.

Bolden begins by providing background and context, explaining that traditionally STEM’s definition did not include medical fields. Bolden, however, does include women from those areas, including Dr. Rebecca Crumpler, who “earned her MD in 1864—four years before black people in America had citizenship.” Dr. Crumpler, like many discussed, combined her scientific knowledge with a commitment to serve the community. In the period after the Civil War that saw the establishment of black colleges, many of the subjects received degrees and taught in those schools. Following Plessy v. Ferguson, some worked in the institutions available to serve blacks. While there are obvious similarities in the stories presented, there were also some unique situations, such as Ida Gray Nelson Rollins’. The first black woman doctor of dental surgery, she came to the field after working for two white dentists who encouraged her. Many more were mentored by other African Americans who recognized their talents. Contemporary biographees include video game developers, computer scientists, and a founder of a nonprofit organization that encourages black girls to learn coding. Bolden’s lively text, accompanied by archival images, underscores the importance of sharing these stories to understand the long tradition of black women striving in these areas.

A worthy addition to the effort to tell a more complete and compelling American history. (source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-0734-6

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 5, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats.

50 IMPRESSIVE KIDS AND THEIR AMAZING (AND TRUE!) STORIES

From the They Did What? series

Why should grown-ups get all the historical, scientific, athletic, cinematic, and artistic glory?

Choosing exemplars from both past and present, Mitchell includes but goes well beyond Alexander the Great, Anne Frank, and like usual suspects to introduce a host of lesser-known luminaries. These include Shapur II, who was formally crowned king of Persia before he was born, Indian dancer/professional architect Sheila Sri Prakash, transgender spokesperson Jazz Jennings, inventor Param Jaggi, and an international host of other teen or preteen activists and prodigies. The individual portraits range from one paragraph to several pages in length, and they are interspersed with group tributes to, for instance, the Nazi-resisting “Swingkinder,” the striking New York City newsboys, and the marchers of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Mitchell even offers would-be villains a role model in Elagabalus, “boy emperor of Rome,” though she notes that he, at least, came to an awful end: “Then, then! They dumped his remains in the Tiber River, to be nommed by fish for all eternity.” The entries are arranged in no evident order, and though the backmatter includes multiple booklists, a personality quiz, a glossary, and even a quick Braille primer (with Braille jokes to decode), there is no index. Still, for readers whose fires need lighting, there’s motivational kindling on nearly every page.

A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats. (finished illustrations not seen) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-14-751813-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Puffin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

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A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl.

FRIENDS FOREVER

From the Friends series , Vol. 3

Shannon just wants to get through eighth grade in one piece—while feeling like her own worst enemy.

In this third entry in popular author for young people Hale’s graphic memoir series, the young, sensitive overachiever is crushed by expectations: to be cool but loyal to her tightknit and dramatic friend group, a top student but not a nerd, attractive to boys but true to her ideals. As events in Shannon’s life begin to overwhelm her, she works toward finding a way to love and understand herself, follow her passions for theater and writing, and ignore her cruel inner voice. Capturing the visceral embarrassments of middle school in 1987 Salt Lake City, Shannon’s emotions are vivid and often excruciating. In particular, the social norms of a church-oriented family are clearly addressed, and religion is shown as being both a comfort and a struggle for Shannon. While the text is sometimes in danger of spelling things out a little too neatly and obviously, the emotional honesty and sincerity drawn from Hale’s own life win out. Pham’s artwork is vibrant and appealing, with stylistic changes for Shannon’s imaginings and the leeching out of color and use of creative panel structures as her anxiety and depression worsen.

A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl. (author's note, gallery) (Graphic memoir. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-31755-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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