Children - Social Studies

Trailblazers: 33 Women in Science Who Changed the World - Book Review

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Trailblazers: 33 Women in Science Who Changed the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399553967
Availability: Special Order
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers - September 13th, 2016

Did you know that women scientists developed Kevlar, GPS and windshield wipers? These awe-inspiring stories will spark budding scientists to recognize the accomplishments of smart, fiery and unconventional women in all scientific fields. ~ Reviewed by Martha Cornwell

Borden Murders

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The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553498080
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Schwartz & Wade - January 12th, 2016

We all know the story and the infamous child rhyme:

"Lizzie Borden took an axe, And gave her mother forty whacks; When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one,"

However, that is not the whole story. The facts known to the public: two brutal murders were committed on that August 1892 day and Lizzie, the youngest daughter of AJ Borden was the one to discover her father. Miller tells the events of the day from the facts and testimonies that have survived to show why Ms. Borden was acquitted of the crimes. Regardless if this information shows guilt or innocence is not what Miller focuses on. Instead, she shows the reader a slice of history. We see the early years of forensic and police work that would make any crime-show fan cringe. We see the biases society had for and against immigrants, the poor, the well-to-do and women. We see a sensational trail (dubbed the Trial of the Century by many) that included famous lawyers and young lawyers trying their first murder cases and that included testimonies that contradicted itself and how others testimonies would contradiction other testimonies. We see judges that almost told the jury an acquittal was inevitable. We see the privileges extended to Borden due to her position in society and her gender. We see the media at its best and worse. We see people trying to make a name for themselves and some who try and shy away from media attention so as to protect Lizzie. We see friends, servants and family supporting and turning away from Lizzie. We also see a small piece of what happened after the trial and how Lizzie, now Lizbeth, continued to live a life filled with scandal as such facts about possible kleptomania, affairs with an actress and a coachman come to light. And we see how Lizzie always lived her life regardless how how society saw her. Miller creates a picture of a woman who was a woman of her time: a devoted daughter to her father and loyal to her sister, Emma. We see the pose a woman of wealth would be expected to show "outside the home." We see a woman who volunteered in her church. But these same facts show what could be the face of a possible double murderer: a cold, emotionless, spoiled child whom never liked her step-mother and who committed two horrific crimes to gain her fathers wealth. Miller hoped to show a balanced portrait of a human and not "just a murderess" with her interpretations of the photographs, newspaper articles and court documentations still available to the public (some included in the book). ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Taking Flight

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Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385755146
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ember - January 19th, 2016

Her name was Mabinty Bangura. When she was a very young child, both her parents were killed due to war and diseases of Sierra Leone. Her uncle sold her to an orphanage where she would be known as Number -27. Here the horrors of her culture and war meant she was barely surviving. Only after Mabinty was adopted by an American family that things changed. She became Michaela. She gained a new Mama and Papa, older brothers, a new sister (her best friend from the orphanage) and later other younger sisters. And Michaela would be able to follow her new found passion: ballet. Told in her own voice, Michaela and her mother Elaine, show the journey of one child who has beaten the odds. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Symphony for the City of the Dead

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Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad Cover Image
ISBN: 9780763668181
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - September 22nd, 2015

Symphony for the City of the Dead explores how Hitler surrounded and isolated Leningrad. The results created a horrific time in Russian political and personal histories, including that of young composer Dmitri Shostakovich. An edgy, deadly, and secretive world comes to life with death and music. Ages 12 & up. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Most Dangerous

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Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War Cover Image
ISBN: 9781596439528
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Roaring Brook Press - September 22nd, 2015

This is nonfiction that reads like a spy thriller. Already nominated for the National Book Award, this account for middle and high school readers of the Viet Nam war, Daniel Ellsberg, and the Pentagon Papers is meticulously researched, beautifully written, and impossible to put down. ~ Reviewed by Jennifer Armstrong

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom

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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803741232
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - January 8th, 2015

This inspiring memoir shows that young people can change history. Lynda was only 14 when she began marching in Selma, Alabama for equal voting rights for all Americans. In simple, powerful sentences, she tells about her 9 times in jail, her fear when a nonviolent protest became violent, her courage as she continued to march for what she believed.
An informative and emotional trip back to an important time, her story will stay with you. ~ Reviewed by Leah Moore


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