Not much to choose between the two editions, for readers adult or otherwise.

THE FIRST CONSPIRACY

THE SECRET PLOT TO KILL GEORGE WASHINGTON

Meltzer and Mensch’s melodramatic 2018 account of a plot that would have definitely changed the outcome of the Revolutionary War, reissued in modestly tightened form for younger audiences.

In dozens of short chapters featuring barrages of orotund, present-tense prose, the authors spin a scanty web of evidence into a whirl of conspiracy. First, though, come paeans to George Washington’s sterling character and irreplaceability along with an extended overview of the war’s run-up from the occupation and abandonment of Boston to the British fleet’s arrival in New York harbor. It’s in the stews of New York (“Drinking. Disease. Filth. Secret plots”—but the syphilis and prostitutes to be found there in the adult edition seem to be absent) that ousted Loyalist governor William Tryon hatches a scheme to commit widespread sabotage and, as a hyperventilating contemporary dubs it, “SACRICIDE,” and also there that the conspirators give themselves away just prior to the disastrous Battle of Long Island. Though most escape punishment, one prisoner is hanged on the very day that the Continental Congress sees the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. Further chapters on Washington’s own spycraft, on his changing attitude toward allowing free blacks to enlist, and other conspiracies real or drummed up serve to enrich the page count as well as, sometimes, the content. Massive sections of endnotes and scholarly sources are carried over from the original.

Not much to choose between the two editions, for readers adult or otherwise.   (index) (Nonfiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-24483-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.

MAYA LIN

THINKING WITH HER HANDS

One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Lyrical writing focuses on the aftermath of the Holocaust, a vital, underaddressed aspect of survivor stories.

BOY FROM BUCHENWALD

THE TRUE STORY OF A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR

Following his liberation from the Buchenwald death camp, Romek didn’t know how to reclaim his humanity.

Romek’s childhood in his Polish shtetl of Skarżysko-Kamienna, where he was the youngest of six loving siblings, wasn’t wealthy, but it was idyllic. Skarżysko-Kamienna was “forests and birdsong,” with “the night sky stretching from one end of the horizon to the other.” His family was destroyed and their way of life obliterated with the Nazi invasion of Poland, and Romek lost not just memories, but the accompanying love. Unlike many Holocaust memoirs, this painfully lovely story begins in earnest after the liberation, when Romek was among 1,000 Jewish orphans, the Buchenwald Boys, in need of rehabilitation. Having suffered years of starvation, disease, and being treated as animals, the boys were nearly feral: They fought constantly, had forgotten how to use forks, and set fire to their French relief camp dormitory. Some adults thought they were irredeemable. With endless patience, care, and love, the mentors and social workers around them—themselves traumatized Holocaust survivors—brought Romek back from the brink. Even in a loving and protective environment, in a France where the boys were treated overwhelmingly kindly by the populace, it took time to remember goodness. Parallels between anti-Semitism and racism in the U.S. and Canada are gentle but explicit.

Lyrical writing focuses on the aftermath of the Holocaust, a vital, underaddressed aspect of survivor stories. (historical note, timeline) (Memoir. 12-14)

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0600-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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