Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Time for Martyrs: Life of Malcolm X

Aretha, David.  A Time for Martyrs: Life of Malcolm X.  Morgan Reynolds  2013  144p  $28.95  ISBN 978-159935328-9  ms/hs  series: Civil Rights Leaders  Biography  VG-BN

Many books on Malcolm X present only Malcolm’s extreme viewpoints about the black experience in America and how he believed it should change.  This book goes beyond the rhetoric and looks at the events that impacted him at an early age, including his years in prison, how he was influenced by the people he met there, and the books he read while incarcerated.  The author demonstrates that Malcolm X was constantly a work in progress, willing to change as he matured and became exposed to ideas not always in alignment with his preconceptions.  Numerous primary-source quotes and photographs give today’s readers insight into the turbulent era of the 1950’s and 1960’s.  The author does not shy away from the controversial personality that was Malcolm Little.  Descriptions of his life in the Nation of Islam and his split from the group portray a man of strong beliefs.  This is a must-have book for young readers, to show them that the African-American community was not all of one mind during the civil-rights era in regard to the changes society needed to make.  With Malcolm X espousing tactics that were diametrically opposed to those being presented by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he created quite a commotion among blacks as well as whites.  The last chapter notes his influence on contemporary rap artists as well as on the larger black community. 

This book is part of the series Civil Rights Leaders, which recently has added titles. Each book contains photographs, primary-source materials, a timeline, source notes, lists of resources for further reading and an index.  Each one offers a concise biography that highlights an important figure in the American civil rights movement.

Summary: This biography provides background on the times in which Malcolm X lived as well as facts about this life.  More importantly, readers glimpse the events that helped shape his beliefs, and come away feeling that they know the man behind the image. Grades 6-12.

Malcolm X, Civil Rights Movement                      --Lois McNicol

Story of the Civil Rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Photographs

Aretha, David.  Story of the Civil Rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Photographs.    Enslow  2014  48p   $17.95  ISBN 978-0-7660-4238-4  ms/hs  series: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement in Photographs  Nonfiction  E-BNS

This brief book describes the events leading up to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, and what happened on that day.  The book begins with the planning of the event and notes previous attempts at peaceful reform.  Specific stories about some of the people who journeyed to the march highlight its significance. Subsequent chapters provide a chronicle of the march itself, including the speeches, the goals and its results. Succinct text boxes provide additional relevant information.  Most significant, however, are the photographs, which serve as primary-source material.  Each photograph enhances the accompanying text, clarifying and highlighting the information.  Additional text boxes provide summaries and relevance of the selected photographs.
    
Additionally, the information given is concise and accurate.  This short book about the first effective and notable civil-rights march on Washington relays information in an orderly and historically precise manner.  To add to the credibility of the well-written text, there are first-person accounts by participants in the march.  The graphics are visually appealing and are remarkably reflective of the text and photographs.
    
Through the use of photographs of primary documents and authentic quotes from participants, David Aretha has created a book that focuses on the most important events surrounding the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.  The inclusion of a table of contents, timeline, pages of suggestions for further reading, and an index also make this an excellent resource tool.

This is one book in
the series The Story of the Civil Rights Movement in Photographs. Other titles in this series include The Story of the Little Rock Nine, Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and The Story of the Selma Voting Rights Marches.   

Summary: This book describes the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, and chronicles the events of that day and the effects the march had on the nation.      

Civil Rights Movement                           --Virginia McGarvey

Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Photographs

Aretha, David.  Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Photographs.  Enslow  2014  48p   $17.95  ISBN 978-0-7660-4234-6  elem/ms  series: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement in Photographs  Nonfiction  VG

Rosa Parks stood up for her civil rights by sitting down.  This book chronicles the now-famous tale of how a tired black woman refused to vacate her seat on the public bus for a white man, thus sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott and creating an important rallying point for the nascent Civil Rights Movement.  Aretha provides clear, if slightly biased, explanations of the onset of racial segregation and how Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders fought injustice through nonviolent protest.  The text does not shy away from the negative as well as the positive outcomes of these protests.

Th
is slender volume is bursting with information, and the very readable text is further enhanced by interesting sidebars and many photographs from the era.  The book would be a good springboard for launching a discussion of civil rights, African-American role models, and strong female role models.  The book will appeal to student researchers and history buffs, as well as casual readers.     

Summary: This book describes the role Rosa Parks played in battling for equal rights during the Civil Rights Movement. 

Rosa Parks, Civil Rights Movement                     --Hilary Welliver

The Finisher

Baldacci, David.  The Finisher.  Scholastic Press     2014  497p.  $17.99  ISBN 978-0-545-65220-9  ms/hs    Fantasy  E-BN     

Vega Jane resides in the village of Wormwood, which is less than a suitable environment. She is caring for her younger brother, since their parents have been confined to a convalescent home, and the pair often struggles for food and shelter. Stories abound about the dangerous, dark forest of Quag that is filled with terrifying beasts and bloodthirsty Outliers, surrounding Wormwood to keep residents within the village. But when Vega sees Quentin, her mentor, being chased out of Wormwood, she becomes curious and discovers that he has left her messages and clues that there may be a more suitable environment beyond the Quag. However, it is dangerous and life- threatening to investigate what might lie beyond, as the village of Wormwood has powerful people who threaten those who wish to escape.

David Baldacci has created a highly suspenseful novel that will captivate young readers.
He leads readers on a highly adventurous and mysterious quest as they root for Vega to find the truth and pursue a better life for herself and her brother.

In addition to the well-written and fast
-paced plot, Baldacci has introduced an extensive vocabulary that will not only challenge readers but add to the excitement.  This is a novel that demands discussion and will thrill young readers.

Summary:  Vega Jane, caring for her younger brother in the village of Wormwood, is employed as a “finisher”; but, when her mentor disappears into the forbidden and dangerous Quag, he leaves a message and mysterious clues for Vega that there might be more beyond what she has always believed to exist.

Goblins-Fiction                                 --Virginia McGarvey