Storytelling and history, beautifully stitched together.

STITCH BY STITCH

CLEVE JONES AND THE AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT

Learn the history of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt stitch by stitch.

Cleve Jones, San Franciscan activist and mentee of Harvey Milk, is the central figure in an informative picture book that captures the history and tone of the era in which the AIDS Quilt grew. While in San Francisco, Cleve witnessed a mysterious illness that was sweeping through the gay male community, killing the majority of victims. On Nov. 27, 1985, Jones helped organize a march to remember recently assassinated politicians Milk and Mayor George Moscone. Cleve and a co-organizer handed out cardboard and markers, asking participants to write down names of friends who’d died of AIDS. The sight of these names taped to the walls of San Francisco’s Federal Building became the impetus for the quilt. Its story is beautifully captured in the book’s smooth pacing and brief paragraphs. Readers will follow its journey from that march as it becomes both a monument to mourning and a means of changing the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. The weighty backmatter, which includes discussion points, a glossary, timeline, biographies, and brief bibliography, will help educators and caregivers guide further learning. The racial diversity on display throughout the book is admirable; it’s a shame that diversity did not extend to body shapes as well. This quibble aside, the book is pretty darn impressive. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Storytelling and history, beautifully stitched together. (Informational picture book. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3739-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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A great collection of harrowing, true survivor stories.

SURVIVORS

A large-format hardcover gathers together true stories of adventure and survival.

Two that are well-known, at least to adults, are Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition and the ordeal of Aron Ralston, who cut off his own arm with a dull pocketknife in order to extricate himself from a dislodged boulder that trapped him in a narrow canyon, the subject of the film 127 Hours. Lesser known is the story of Poon Lim, who survived 133 days alone in the South Atlantic when the merchant ship he was serving on was sunk by a U-boat. At one point, he caught a shark several feet long, pulled it aboard his raft, beat it to death, and proceeded to suck its blood and eat it raw for nourishment. Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke, the sole survivor of a plane crash in the Peruvian rain forest, relied on survival lessons taught by her parents. During her nine-day ordeal, she poured gasoline on her wounds, which succeeded in removing 35 maggots from one arm. In a skiing accident, Anna Bågenholm was trapped under freezing water for so long her heart stopped. Four hours later, medics managed to warm her blood enough to revive her. The attractive design features a full-page or double-page–spread color illustration depicting a pivotal moment in each well-told story. Entirely absent are such standard features as table of contents, source notes, bibliography, or index, pegging this as an entertainment resource only.

A great collection of harrowing, true survivor stories. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-571-31601-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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MAMMOTH BONES AND BROKEN STONES

THE MYSTERY OF NORTH AMERICA'S FIRST PEOPLE

How and when the Western Hemisphere, particularly North and South America, came to be populated continues to be both mysterious and controversial for scientists. Archaeologists plug away with the tools at their disposal but have “more questions than answers.” Harrison does a good job setting the issue in context. He describes the earliest efforts to identify the original inhabitants of the continents, exploring the Clovis culture, believed by many to be the first humans to reach North America. After clearly explaining how scholars decided that they were first, he then lists the arguments against this hypothesis. In the course of looking at both sides, he introduces young readers to “the strict rules of archaeology.” The author demonstrates the precise work of those attempting to understand the hidden aspects of human history and how many of these old questions are seen in the light of new technologies and discoveries. The narrative is aided by both photographs and original illustrations that imagine scenes from both the distant past and the field experiences. (glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59078-561-4

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Aug. 17, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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