Illustrated with archival material and supplemented with extensive backmatter, this is a thoroughly engaging portrait of a...

PRESENTING BUFFALO BILL

THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE WILD WEST

Fleming presents a lively, evenhanded portrait of William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, a master of self-promotion who became a world-famous entertainer and whose name became synonymous with “Wild West.”

When his abolitionist father died from a savage attack after delivering an anti-slavery speech in “Bleeding Kansas,” 11-year-old Cody herded cattle, worked on wagon trains, and rode for the Pony Express. He joined the anti-slavery Jayhawkers, served the Union during the Civil War, and worked as a civilian scout during the Plains Indian Wars. He earned the nickname “Buffalo Bill” for single-handedly slaughtering thousands of bison. Throughout her chronicle of Cody’s adventures, Fleming notes the ever present challenge of distinguishing the realities of Cody’s life, given his penchant for embellishment and outright fabrication. Fleming depicts Buffalo Bill as the first global superstar, whose lasting fame came as a result of his Wild West Show, which toured throughout the United States and Europe and featured fellow living legends Sitting Bull and Annie Oakley. Fleming also suggests without exploring at great length that the show did much to mythologize the “Wild West” in the popular consciousness, with many misconceptions persisting.

Illustrated with archival material and supplemented with extensive backmatter, this is a thoroughly engaging portrait of a fascinating, larger-than-life figure. (photos, bibliography, source notes) (Biography. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59643-763-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing.

THE AMAZING BOOK IS NOT ON FIRE

THE WORLD OF DAN AND PHIL

A couple more YouTube stars write a book.

Howell, who goes by "danisnotonfire," and "AmazingPhil" Lester are the latest YouTube stars hoping to cross over to the world of books. Instead of crafting a memoir or adapting their videos into a fictional series, the duo have filled these 225 pages with bold graphics, scatological humor, and quirky how tos that may entice their fan base but will leave everyone else out in the cold. It contains a wide variety of nonsense, ranging from Phil's chat logs to information on breeding hamsters. There's an emoji-only interview and some Dan/Phil fanfiction (by Howell rather than a fan) and even a full double-page spread of the pair's unsuccessful selfies. All this miscellany is shoveled in without much rhyme or reason following introductory pages that clearly introduce the pair as children, leaving readers who aren't in on the joke completely out of the loop. The authors make no attempt to bring in those on the outside, but in all honesty, why should they? The only people buying this book are kids who already love everything Dan and Phil do or clueless relatives in desperate search of a gift for the awkward teens in their lives. The book's biggest fault is its apparent laziness. It feels like something slapped together over a weekend, with no heart or soul.   

A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-93984-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2015

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FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF SLAVERY

Sandwiched between telling lines from the epic of Gilgamesh (“…the warrior’s daughter, the young man’s bride, / he uses her, no one dares to oppose him”) and the exposure of a migrant worker–trafficking ring in Florida in the mid-1990s, this survey methodically presents both a history of the slave trade and what involuntary servitude was and is like in a broad range of times and climes. Though occasionally guilty of overgeneralizing, the authors weave their narrative around contemporary accounts and documented incidents, supplemented by period images or photos and frequent sidebar essays. Also, though their accounts of slavery in North America and the abolition movement in Britain are more detailed than the other chapters, the practice’s past and present in Africa, Asia and the Pacific—including the modern “recruitment” of child soldiers and conditions in the Chinese laogai (forced labor camps)—do come in for broad overviews. For timeliness, international focus and, particularly, accuracy, this leaves Richard Watkins’ Slavery: Bondage Throughout History (2001) in the dust as a first look at a terrible topic. (timeline, index; notes and sources on an associated website) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-88776-914-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2010

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