An amuse-bouche of world mythology that may leave readers craving more.

GODS OF WORLD MYTHOLOGY

Myths and legends communicate key values and beliefs within a society, though the stories may share many similarities across time and culture.

In this brief compendium, Nardo examines common themes across mythologies pulled from around the globe. The famous mythologist Joseph Campbell and contemporary expert E.J. Michael Witzel claim that myths the world over share common themes, values, and tropes because of a shared heritage of storytelling that dates back to the earliest humans. These tales often involve powerful and wise creator deities as well as heroic humans, and each communicates something of the values and traditions of each culture to the listener or reader. This title serves as a cursory primer of several major mythical traditions from around the world. Through each retelling and subsequent background exposition, readers discover particulars about the cultures from which each myth sprang but also their many similarities. Classical historian Nardo begins with the Greco-Roman and Norse mythological traditions that Western readers are most likely already familiar with before expanding to Hindu, Chinese, Aztec, and Igbo mythical traditions. Though a great primer for reluctant readers and those looking for a brief overview and laudable for its inclusion of non-Western traditions, readers hoping for a deeper dive will need to look elsewhere. Ample illustrations add interest and support the text.

An amuse-bouche of world mythology that may leave readers craving more. (source notes, further reading, index, picture credits) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-6782-0082-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: ReferencePoint Press

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

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An inspiring collection and an encouragement to young girls from all walks of life.

BECAUSE I WAS A GIRL

TRUE STORIES FOR GIRLS OF ALL AGES

A collection of minimemoirs of successful women whose enduring spirits have enabled them to follow their passions, achieve their dreams, and overcome obstacles and naysayers.

It begins with Dolores Huerta, the union organizer who worked alongside Cesar Chavez and helped to rally thousands while also a mother and wife. Francesca Zambello tells the story of the barriers she faced as a woman wanting to direct theater and opera, a particularly male-dominated sector of the arts. As a teenager, Holly Knight loved rock music and started her own band, going on to write Grammy-winning songs of female empowerment for such singers as Tina Turner and Pat Benatar. Aspiring to break into rap music growing up, Elizabeth Acevedo decided to walk away from it after refusing to glorify the stereotypes of sex, drugs, and violence that too often characterized the form. Instead, she chose spoken word and poetry to tell her truth. This anthology represents a culturally diverse group of women who disclose how they found the inner strength and courage to excel, oftentimes breaking new ground in fields where women were not welcome. The collection is organized by decade, and interspersed throughout are bulleted lists of women’s historic accomplishments from the 1920s to the present day. Represented are CEOs, entrepreneurs, bestselling authors, bankers, and scientists, ending with girls and young women who are already leaders, paving the way for future generations of young women.

An inspiring collection and an encouragement to young girls from all walks of life. (Collective memoir. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-15446-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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Painstaking, judicious, and by no means exculpatory but with hints of sympathy.

BONNIE AND CLYDE

THE MAKING OF A LEGEND

A portrait of two victims of the Great Depression whose taste for guns and fast cars led to short careers in crime but longer ones as legends.

Blumenthal (Hillary Rodham Clinton, 2016, etc.) makes a determined effort to untangle a mare’s nest of conflicting eyewitness accounts, purple journalism, inaccurate police reports, and self-serving statements from relatives and cohorts of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Though the results sometimes read as dry recitations of names and indistinguishable small towns, she makes perceptive guesses about what drove them and why they have become iconic figures, along with retracing their early lives, two-year crime spree, and subsequent transformations into doomed pop-culture antiheroes. She does not romanticize the duo—giving many of their murder victims faces through individual profiles, for instance, and describing wounds in grisly detail—but does convincingly argue that their crimes and characters (particularly Bonnie’s) were occasionally exaggerated. Blumenthal also wrenchingly portrays the desperation that their displaced, impoverished families must have felt while pointedly showing how an overtaxed, brutal legal system can turn petty offenders into violent ones. A full version of Bonnie’s homespun ballad “The Story of Bonnie and Clyde” and notes on the subsequent lives of significant relatives, accomplices, and lawmen join meaty lists of sources and interviews at the end.

Painstaking, judicious, and by no means exculpatory but with hints of sympathy. (photos, timeline, author’s note, source notes, bibliography, index) (Biography. 12-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47122-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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