THE LITTLE SHIPS

THE HEROIC RESCUE AT DUNKIRK IN WORLD WAR II

A moving, fictionalized account of the ``miracle of Dunkirk,'' in which an armada of 861 ships ferried to safety across the English Channel over 300,000 Allied soldiers who had been trapped in northern France by the Germans. Added to the inherent historical drama of the story is the piquancy of its narration by a young girl from the English village of Deal, who dons her older brother's clothes to aid her father on the family's fishing boat, the Lucy. Spare, expressive text and Foreman's illustrations, as sullen in hue as the sky over the Channel, combine to bring the heroic story vividly to life: the uneasy chill of the ``silent parade'' over the waters to the sandy, flat beaches of Dunkirk, the thousands of soldiers waiting for rescue; the ``mess of an army on the run''—loose French horses, barking dogs, abandoned equipment. Safe at home later, the girl listens to a broadcast of Churchill's thundering ``We shall fight'' speech (an excerpt appears under the author's note) and is ``glad that Mr. Churchill didn't keep his words in his hands and in his eyes in the way of Deal fishermen.'' An eloquent ending to a book that makes a near-mythical event of WW II real and deeply personal. (Picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-689-80827-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1997

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It’s not the first time old Ben has paid our times a call, but it’s funny and free-spirited, with an informational load that...

BEN FRANKLIN'S IN MY BATHROOM!

Antics both instructive and embarrassing ensue after a mysterious package left on their doorstep brings a Founding Father into the lives of two modern children.

Summoned somehow by what looks for all the world like an old-time crystal radio set, Ben Franklin turns out to be an amiable sort. He is immediately taken in hand by 7-year-old Olive for a tour of modern wonders—early versions of which many, from electrical appliances in the kitchen to the Illinois town’s public library and fire department, he justly lays claim to inventing. Meanwhile big brother Nolan, 10, tags along, frantic to return him to his own era before either their divorced mom or snoopy classmate Tommy Tuttle sees him. Fleming, author of Ben Franklin’s Almanac (2003) (and also, not uncoincidentally considering the final scene of this outing, Our Eleanor, 2005), mixes history with humor as the great man dispenses aphorisms and reminiscences through diverse misadventures, all of which end well, before vanishing at last. Following a closing, sequel-cueing kicker (see above) she then separates facts from fancies in closing notes, with print and online leads to more of the former. To go with spot illustrations of the evidently all-white cast throughout the narrative, Fearing incorporates change-of-pace sets of sequential panels for Franklin’s biographical and scientific anecdotes. Final illustrations not seen.

It’s not the first time old Ben has paid our times a call, but it’s funny and free-spirited, with an informational load that adds flavor without weight. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 9-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-101-93406-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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CHILDREN OF THE LONGHOUSE

Ohkwa'ri and his twin sister, Otsi:stia, 11, are late-15th century Mohawks living in what would become New York State. Both are exemplary young people: He is brave, kind, and respectful of his elders, and she is gentle and wise beyond her years. One day Ohkwa'ri hears an older youth, Grabber, and his cronies planning to raid a nearby Abenaki village, in violation of the Great League of Peace to which all the Iroquois Nations have been committed for decades. When Ohkwa'ri reports what he has heard to the tribal elders he makes a deadly enemy of Grabber. Grabber's opportunity for revenge comes when the entire tribe gathers for the great game of Tekwaarathon (later, lacrosse). Ohkwa'ri knows that he will be in great danger during the long day of play and will have to use all his wits and skills to save himself and his honor. Bruchac (Between Earth and Sky, p. 445, etc.) saturates his novel with suspense, generating an exciting story that also offers an in-depth look at Native American life centuries ago. The book also offers excellent insights into the powerful role of women in what most readers will presume was a male-dominated society. Thoroughly researched; beautifully written. (Fiction. 8- 11)

Pub Date: June 1, 1996

ISBN: 0140385045

Page Count: 155

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1996

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