Monday, December 28, 2020

PACKS:  Strength in Numbers by Hannah Salyer. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020. 40p.  ISBN 978-1328577887 hc. $17.99     Gr. K-2     NF 591.56

Besides being an integration of science and language, this book is a visual sensation.  Beginning with full page spreads of a wolf pack, a buffalo herd, a huddle of penguins, and a pod of dolphins, Salyer proceeds to highlight a single noteworthy fact about the remaining animals, while still informing readers of the collective noun for each group.  The bright multimedia illustrations continue to enrich the reader's visual experience throughout.  All 24 animals are diverse and originate from habitats around the world. 
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, December 21, 2020

OVERGROUND RAILROAD by Lesa Cline-Ransome.  Illus. by James Ransome.  Stevens Point, WI:  Holiday House, 2020.  48p.  ISBN 978-082343873-0 hc. $18.99     Gr. 2-5    E PIC

Similar to the Underground Railroad that led slaves to freedom in the 1800’s, the Overground Railroad referred to a railway system that became part of the Great Migration, a movement of blacks from the segregated southern states to the integrated northern states.  Between 1910 and 1970, almost 50% the southern black population moved north for economic opportunity.  This is the journey of Ruth Ellen and her parents, who were fortified with a picnic lunch and a copy of “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” as they boarded the train and rode it to New York City, where a hopeful future awaited them.  As with most Ransome team collaborations, the story reads well and the mixed media illustrations are stunning.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 

ROSIE: Stronger Than Steel by Lindsay Ward.  New York: Two Lions, 2020. 48p. ISBN 978-1542017947 hc. $17.99 Gr. K-3 E PIC

Get ready for a behind-the-scenes look at World War II, especially the women who went to 
work in American factories, along with those in England who were recruited to provide 
food for their countrymen, while being blockaded by the German army.  In a Detroit factory, 
Rosie the tractor was being built to work on English farms, plowing the fields for new crops.  
After four long years of working farm fields with the Land Girls, Rosie's work came to an 
end, as did the war.  The Author's Note at the back of the book is packed with information 
about the women who assisted the war effort from their own hometowns.  The illustrations 
are mostly browns and greens, the colors of plants and soil, as well as military uniforms, but
interspersed with pops of color to depict the determined spirit of the workers.  Ward brings 
a new perspective to World War II with information about "Rosie-the-Riveter" and The Land
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, December 14, 2020

WOMEN IN THE OLD WEST by Marti Dumas. New York: Scholastic Press, 2021.
48p. True Book series. 
 ISBN 978-053113080-3 hc. Gr. 1-2 NF

Scholastic Press has released several series of classroom books for social studies, STEM 
and science, cultures, and more.  The books are full of photos and easy to read.  Dumas 
begins with "A Crossing of Cultures" and covers four chapters of what women experienced 
while living west of the Mississippi, from 1850 to 1910.  The first settlers traveled west by 
wagon train, taking about 5 months to reach their destination.  Women were responsible for 
cooking and childcare no matter where they settled, and lived with few amenities.  
Becoming very independent, many women owned land or businesses.  Wyoming was the 
first state to give women the right to legally vote.  Dumas also includes information about 
black and Native American women.
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI

Monday, December 7, 2020

CLOSE CALLS: How Eleven U.S. Presidents Escaped from the Brink of Death by Michael P. Spradlin.  New York:  Bloomsbury, 2020. 116p. ISBN 978-154760023-6 hc. $18.99   Gr. 4-6   J973.09

History can be so much fun when there are interesting stories to go along with the bare facts.  Stories breathe life into historic figures, like long-dead presidents, and give meaning to surrounding events.  From the very first president of the United States, George Washington, to George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, signs of bravery and leadership were part of their stories.  Most "close calls" were due to military service, but not all.  Ronald Reagan was ambushed by a potential assassin during his presidency.  This short book is broken into eleven chapters, and well documented with Notes and an index. 
Lynette Suckow, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI