In bringing an important life back into the conversation during divided political times, this book spotlights a steadfast...

MARTÍ'S SONG FOR FREEDOM / MARTÍ Y SUS VERSOS POR LA LIBERTAD

Weaving in work from poet and Cuban freedom fighter José Martí, Otheguy presents a sensitive portrayal of the revolutionary.

Told in stanzas paired alongside Domínguez’s Spanish translation, Martí’s life story faces detailed, evocative full-page paintings, some painful (Martí witnessed the horrors of slavery), others celebratory. While the pale-skinned Cuban’s life contained many contradictions and political subtleties, the book focuses on Martí’s love of country and ties it in not only to his writing work, but to a more literal love of a homeland: his affinity for nature that continued even when he lived in the United States in exile. “In the Catskills, José splashed in the waterfalls, / hiked through the helecho, / the ferns that lined the paths, / and admired the thick bark of the oak trees,” Otheguy writes. If the text sometimes feels workmanlike, it’s only because the included bits of Martí’s poetry are so strong and searing. “I’ve seen the wounded eagle / Fly to the clear blue sky, / And I’ve seen the snake lie dying / From its own poison, alone in its lair.” While it doesn’t paint the most detailed picture of who Martí was as a person, it conveys enough of his fervent belief in Cuba’s independence and where those beliefs took him in life to make up for that.

In bringing an important life back into the conversation during divided political times, this book spotlights a steadfast hero and brilliant writer still worth admiring today. (Picture book/biography. 7-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-89239-375-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is...

THE ENDLESS STEPPE

GROWING UP IN SIBERIA

To Esther Rudomin at eleven Siberia meant the metaphor: isolation, criminals and cruel punishment, snow and wolves; but even in Siberia there is satisfaction from making a friend of a prickly classmate, from seeing a Deanna Durbin movie four times, from earning and studying and eventually belonging.

Especially in Siberia, where not wolves but hunger and dirt and cold are endemic, where shabbiness and overcrowding are taken for granted, where unselfishness is exceptional. At the heart of Mrs. Hautzig's memoir of four years as a Polish deportee in Russia during World War II is not only hardihood and adaptability but uniquely a girl like any other. Abruptly seized in their comfortable home in Vilna, Esther and her family, are shipped in cattle cars to Rubtsovsk in the Altai Territory, work as slave laborers in a gypsum mine until amnesty, then are "permitted" lobs and lodging in the village--if someone will take them in. After sleeping on the floor, a wooden platform is very welcome; after sharing a room with two other families, a separate dung hut seems a homestead. Then Esther goes to school, the greatest boon, and, to her mother's horror, wants to be like the Siberians....Deprivation does not make Esther grim: the saddest day of her life is her father's departure for a labor brigade at the front, her sharpest bitterness is for the bland viciousness of individuals.

Involving from "the end of my lovely world" to the end of exile (when the Rudomins, as Jews, were jeered in Poland), this is a beautiful book with no bar to wide acceptance (and a rich non-juvenile jacket by Nonny Hogrogian). (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 15, 1968

ISBN: 978-0-06-447027-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: T.Y. Crowell

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1968

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Several unexpected connections, though Eurocentric overall and lacking in racial diversity.

HEAD TO HEAD

18 LINKED PORTRAITS OF PEOPLE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD

Renowned achievers go nose-to-nose on fold-out pages.

Mixing contemporary celebrities with historical figures, Corbineau pairs off his gallery of full-page portraits by theme, the images all reworked from photos or prints into cut-paper collages with highly saturated hues. Gandhi and Rosa Parks exemplify nonviolent protest; Mother Teresa and Angelina Jolie are (mostly) commended for their work with impoverished people; and a “common point” between Gutenberg and Mark Zuckerberg is that both revolutionized the ways we communicate. The portraits, on opposite ends of gatefolds, open to reveal short biographies flanking explanatory essays. Women and people of color are distinctly underrepresented. There are a few surprises, such as guillotined French playwright Olympe de Gouges, linked for her feminism with actress Emma Watson; extreme free-fall jumper Felix Baumgartner, paired with fellow aerialist record-seeker Amelia Earhart; and Nelson Mandela’s co–freedom fighter Jean Moulin, a leader of the French Resistance. In another departure from the usual run of inspirational panegyrics, Cornabas slips in the occasional provocative claim, noting that many countries considered Mandela’s African National Congress a terrorist organization and that Mother Teresa, believing that suffering was “a gift from God,” rarely gave her patients painkillers. Although perhaps only some of these subjects “changed the world” in any significant sense, all come off as admirable—for their ambition, strength of character, and drive.

Several unexpected connections, though Eurocentric overall and lacking in racial diversity. (map, timeline) (Collective biography. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7643-6226-2

Page Count: 84

Publisher: Schiffer

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

more