THE SEA-RINGED WORLD

SACRED STORIES OF THE AMERICAS

Tales from 18 Indigenous cultures portray how the first peoples of the Americas have seen their world and their place in it, beginning thousands of years before Europeans arrived.

The Indigenous cultures highlighted here range from the Arctic to the southern tip of South America. Creation stories describe the births of Sun and Moon and life-sustaining lakes and rivers. Stars fill the Hopi sky when Spider Grandmother casts her web to the heavens. Great floods cover the Earth. Some narratives suggest ancient migratory journeys. Human survival is often a struggle as people cross deserts or endure drought, heat, and ice. Cautionary tales, like the Alutiiq warning against needless hunting, offer guidance. Tales of war and conquest, famine and exile, reflect the rise of empires. In a Mopan (Maya) tradition, a prince and a god fall in love, and in an Inuit story, sea and weather goddesses are partnered. A Nahua two-spirit story unites genders in one being, manifesting completion and wholeness. These retellings, most three to four pages in length, are generous in spirit. García Esperón, a lauded Mexican poet, evokes a harshly beautiful world, and Bowles’ finely rendered translation begs to be read aloud. Mijangos’ exceptional blue, black, and white digital illustrations, incorporating a variety of design elements into a unified whole, reflects and enhances themes and connections among the stories. Informative backmatter includes a pronunciation guide, cultural notes, a map, a glossary, and a bibliography.

Spellbinding. (Traditional stories. 8-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-64614-015-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Levine Querido

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2021

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This first book in the Fighting for Justice series is a must-read for all civics classrooms.

FRED KOREMATSU SPEAKS UP

From the Fighting for Justice series

When Fred Korematsu, a young Japanese-American man, defied U.S. governmental orders by refusing to report to prison camps during World War II, he and his allies set in motion a landmark civil liberties case.

Like any American, Fred dreams of marriage and raising a family with his sweetheart, Ida, a daughter of Italian immigrants. But after the attack on Pearl Harbor, wartime hysteria spreads, and Japanese natives and Japanese-Americans on the West Coast are ordered to prison camps. Knowing this is unjust, Fred changes his name and calls himself "Spanish Hawaiian" but becomes dismayed knowing others are imprisoned in camps. His identity ultimately discovered, he is jailed following his arrest for his refusal to report to the camps and there meets Ernest Besig, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. Together, they begin a long and against-all-odds fight against injustice. Written in free verse, Fred’s story engages in powerful bursts and shows how speaking out brings complex consequences. Enhanced with pictures and archival materials, well-researched and approachable historical essays interspersed throughout Fred’s account offer context, while Houlette’s reverent illustrations give humanity to Fred’s plight. Co-authors Atkins and Yogi raise good questions (such as, “Have you ever been blamed for something just because of how you look?”) that will inspire a new generation of activists.

This first book in the Fighting for Justice series is a must-read for all civics classrooms. (resources for activism, note from Karen Korematsu, bibliography) (Blended nonfiction/historical fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-59714-368-4

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Heyday

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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Go adventuring with a better guide.

50 ADVENTURES IN THE 50 STATES

From the The 50 States series

Find something to do in every state in the U.S.A.!

This guide highlights a location of interest within each of the states, therefore excluding Washington, D.C., and the territories. Trivia about each location is scattered across crisply rendered landscapes that background each state’s double-page spread while diminutive, diverse characters populate the scenes. Befitting the title, one “adventure” is presented per state, such as shrimping in Louisiana’s bayous, snowshoeing in Connecticut, or celebrating the Fourth of July in Boston. While some are stereotypical gimmes (surfing in California), others have the virtue of novelty, at least for this audience, such as viewing the sandhill crane migration in Nebraska. Within this thematic unity, some details go astray, and readers may find themselves searching in vain for animals mentioned. The trivia is plentiful but may be misleading, vague, or incorrect. Information about the Native American peoples of the area is often included, but its brevity—especially regarding sacred locations—means readers are floundering without sufficient context. The same is true for many of the facts that relate directly to expansion and colonialism, such as the unexplained near extinction of bison. Describing the genealogical oral history of South Carolina’s Gullah community as “spin[ning] tales” is equally brusque and offensive. The book tries to do a lot, but it is more style than substance, which may leave readers bored, confused, slightly annoyed—or all three. (This book was reviewed digitally with 12.2-by-20.2-inch double-page spreads viewed at 80% of actual size.)

Go adventuring with a better guide. (tips on local adventuring, index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7112-5445-9

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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