Monday, March 27, 2017

The Search for Olinguito: Discovering a New Species by Sandra Markle

The Search for Olinguito: Discovering a New Species
by Sandra Markle
Millbrook Press. 2017
ISBN: 9781512410150
Grades 3 up
To review this book I borrowed a copy from my local public library
Note: Louise is writing all the reviews while Cathy is on sabbatical until February 2018.

It is hard to imagine, in this world of information overload, that there still could be an animal species undiscovered. Yet, that is exactly what happened in 2013 from the auditorium at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Kristofer Helgen, a scientist at the museum in charge of their collection of mammals, made the exciting announcement that they had found a new animal. The first new species discovered in thirty-five years.

Facts about this new species and just exactly how Helgen went about tracking it down is the subject of this riveting science book. Full of color photographs that are well-captioned, Markle’s book is perfect for budding scientists. 

Oh, what was the new species? An Olinguito (oh-ling-GEE-toe)

Purchase a copy for your library to find out more about this thrilling science adventure.

Back matter includes an author’s note, source notes, a glossary, ways to find out more information about cloud forests, index.

Sandra Markle has written numerous award winning books for children. 
Other books we've reviewed by her:

Reviewed by Louise!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights by Deborah Kops

Alice Paul and the Fight for Women’s Rights
by Deborah Kops
Calkins Creek. 2017
ISBN: 9781629793238
Grades 6-12
To write this review, I received an Advanced Uncorrected Proof from the publisher.

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on         account of sex.”

On July 19-20, 1848, the Seneca Falls Convention, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott was held in Seneca Falls, NY. At the convention, Stanton read from the “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions,” a statement of grievances and demands that called upon women to organize and to petition for their rights. The convention passed 12 resolutions, the ninth demanding the right for women to vote. This convention served to launch the women’s suffrage movement in the United States. Yet, despite the initial enthusiams, the woman suffrage movement languished into the doldrums until 1912, when a tiny woman with great energy, Alice Paul, became Chair of National American Woman Suffrage Association's congressional Committee (NAWSA).

Kop’s excellent book is the story of Alice Paul and her determination to keeping national attention on the woman suffrage movement. Born in Moorestown, New Jersey on January 11, 1885, Paul was the power behind the passing of the Nineteeth Amendment in 1919, which was ratified to the Constitution in March of 1920, allowing women the right to vote.

A force to be reckoned with, Paul would work until exhaustion and employed militant tactics that at times offended fellow suffragettes. When, in 1913, after orchestrating the first Senate debate on a woman suffragette amendment, “Paul asked a promising volunteer, “Can’t you stay on and help us with a hearing next week?”  The volunteered explained she planned to take a summer holiday with friends. “Holiday?” Paul repeated.” Ashamed, the young volunteer changed her mind and would remain working alongside Paul for many years. 

Paul was thoroughly committed to the equal rights for women, though she did shy away from including African American women. She willingly endured jail, hunger strikes, and being forced to eat by having “a doctor inserted a long tube through one of her nostrils into her stomach and poured milk and liquid food down the tube”, Paul never gave up. After the ratification of the Nineteethn Amendment - the Susan B. Anthony Amendment - Paul would go on to write the first draft of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and would spend the rest of her life trying to see it ratified to the Constitution. (To this day, the ERA is still short of being ratified to the Constitution by three States)

Relying heavily on primary sources, this engaging narrative is not a biography of Alice Paul, because she kept her private life private. Kop’s states in the Author’s Note, “No one had much luck uncovering what lay behind Paul’s public face, though, and for a simple reason: she did not want most people to know. She would happily talk with journalists at great length about the Susan B. Anthony Amendment (Nineteethn Amendment) and the Equal Rights Amendment, but she resisted talking about herself. And very few documents she left behind reveal her feelings.”  Instead, this is a wonderful story of Alice Paul and the history of women's rights. 

Back matter includes author's note, brief bios of important women mentioned in text, source notes, bibliography, and index.

Alice Paul's admirable perseverance and indomitable spirit, who gave her whole life to the cause of a woman’s right for equality is a wonderful role model for all of us.

More about Deborah Cops, go here.

 Other books to include on a display: Around American to Win the Vote: two suffragists, a kitten, and 10,000 miles by Mara Rockliff; Illustrated by Hadley Hooper, Let Me Play: the story of Title IX: the law that changed the future of girls in America by Karen Blumenthal

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Martina & Chrissie by Phil Bildner

Martina & Chrissie: the Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports
by Phil Bildner; Illustrated by Brett Helquist
Candlewick. 2017
ISBN: 9780763673086
Grades 2-5
To review this book, I received a copy from the publisher

“Hey, guys —
yeah, I’m talking to you.
You see those two names on the cover?
Martina and Chrissie?
That’s Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.
You know who they are, right? No?
Wow, okay.”

And so begins this exciting informational picture book, a duel biography, of how two women of equal talent, tennis stars from the mid-1970’s till 1990, though they did play against each other refused to be rivals. Instead…they remained friends. 

Bildner’s casual tone conveys great excitement as he explains to readers how Chris Evert, from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Martina Navratilova, from Revnice, Czechoslovakia “were the greatest rivals in the history of sports. ALL SPORTS.”  

Chrissie was all technique. She was poised, had precision and was in great shape. Martina, had a lefty serve, loved to rush the net and at first was very out of shape. Where Chrissie was calm, Martina was all emotion. They became friends and enjoyed competing against each other. "After awhile, Martina got tired of all that losing." She got a new coach and got in shape. She started winning. Martina's new coach didn't allow her players to be friends with their rivals. Coach wanted her players to "hate their opponents. Like enemies." 

Bildner plays off the rivalry between Chrissie and Martina with the conflict going on between the US and Russia at that time. The Cold War.

Helquist’s illustrations, rendered in acrylic and oil on paper, artfully filling every inch of the pages. Evert & Navratilova, fierce and determined while on the court, are seen smiling when hanging out as friends. 

Sure, if you go by the numbers, then yes, Martina had more wins. But, that’s not the story Bildner wants to tell. Nope. The story is this: these two tennis stars were great because they were friends and helped each other be the best they could be.  “Because they played together, they became the best, equal parts of the greatest rivalry in the history of sports.”

Back matter includes a timeline with more facts about Chrissie and Martina’s games. Sources include books, articles, some audiovisual materials, and websites.

Just in time for Women’s History Month, this is a great book to share with all students.

Posted by Louise