Macy’s slim, empathetic account makes readers see the woman behind the achievement.

SALLY RIDE

LIFE ON A MISSION: THE REAL-LIFE STORY

A fast-moving, straightforward and up-to-date biography of the first American woman astronaut.

Arranged chronologically, the 10 chapters are narrated with appealing energy, interspersed quotations humanizing the book’s subject. From a tennis championship in high school through a Ph.D. in physics to her flight into space, Ride was a dedicated model of achievement, scientific and otherwise. Macy provides detailed descriptions of her training and the many hurdles involved in selection as an astronaut, and she answers the basic questions about everyday functions in space (eating, washing, toileting, etc.). Boxed insets here and there add side information and context. Macy makes it clear that Ride’s career did not end with her groundbreaking flight, celebrating her activism in the fields of science and women’s rights. Privacy was of utmost importance to Ride, but the glare of publicity made it difficult to maintain. There were two issues that she managed to keep from the public until her last days: She had pancreatic cancer, and she was gay. The introduction addresses both up front. The extensive backmatter provides scholarly data, while the writing imparts the drive and character of this famous woman.

Macy’s slim, empathetic account makes readers see the woman behind the achievement. (author’s note, timeline, further reading and viewing, bibliography, source notes, index, endnotes) (Biography. 9-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-8854-0

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats.

50 IMPRESSIVE KIDS AND THEIR AMAZING (AND TRUE!) STORIES

From the They Did What? series

Why should grown-ups get all the historical, scientific, athletic, cinematic, and artistic glory?

Choosing exemplars from both past and present, Mitchell includes but goes well beyond Alexander the Great, Anne Frank, and like usual suspects to introduce a host of lesser-known luminaries. These include Shapur II, who was formally crowned king of Persia before he was born, Indian dancer/professional architect Sheila Sri Prakash, transgender spokesperson Jazz Jennings, inventor Param Jaggi, and an international host of other teen or preteen activists and prodigies. The individual portraits range from one paragraph to several pages in length, and they are interspersed with group tributes to, for instance, the Nazi-resisting “Swingkinder,” the striking New York City newsboys, and the marchers of the Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Mitchell even offers would-be villains a role model in Elagabalus, “boy emperor of Rome,” though she notes that he, at least, came to an awful end: “Then, then! They dumped his remains in the Tiber River, to be nommed by fish for all eternity.” The entries are arranged in no evident order, and though the backmatter includes multiple booklists, a personality quiz, a glossary, and even a quick Braille primer (with Braille jokes to decode), there is no index. Still, for readers whose fires need lighting, there’s motivational kindling on nearly every page.

A breezy, bustling bucketful of courageous acts and eye-popping feats. (finished illustrations not seen) (Collective biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-14-751813-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Puffin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl.

FRIENDS FOREVER

From the Friends series , Vol. 3

Shannon just wants to get through eighth grade in one piece—while feeling like her own worst enemy.

In this third entry in popular author for young people Hale’s graphic memoir series, the young, sensitive overachiever is crushed by expectations: to be cool but loyal to her tightknit and dramatic friend group, a top student but not a nerd, attractive to boys but true to her ideals. As events in Shannon’s life begin to overwhelm her, she works toward finding a way to love and understand herself, follow her passions for theater and writing, and ignore her cruel inner voice. Capturing the visceral embarrassments of middle school in 1987 Salt Lake City, Shannon’s emotions are vivid and often excruciating. In particular, the social norms of a church-oriented family are clearly addressed, and religion is shown as being both a comfort and a struggle for Shannon. While the text is sometimes in danger of spelling things out a little too neatly and obviously, the emotional honesty and sincerity drawn from Hale’s own life win out. Pham’s artwork is vibrant and appealing, with stylistic changes for Shannon’s imaginings and the leeching out of color and use of creative panel structures as her anxiety and depression worsen.

A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl. (author's note, gallery) (Graphic memoir. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-31755-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more