The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Van Loon (published 1921) was awarded the first Newbery Medal in 1922, an award intended to celebrate the “the most distinguished contributions to American literature for children” that had been published in the previous year. As a volume that hoped to portray history with a conversational style, Van Loon

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Africana: An Encyclopedia of an Amazing Continent by Kim Chakanesta, illustrated by Alabi Mayowa (Quarto Publishing, 2022) is an invaluable new volume for young people that captures basics about the history, landscapes, people, and cultures throughout the regions in Africa. Africa is a giant continent, so obviously one volume will never be enough. Africana provides

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Until I was an adult, I had not heard of Africa’s history and the historical leaders of the entire continent. Other than the Egyptian’s creation of the pyramid and the history of the Nile’s flooding, I don’t remember entering the continent during my years in my 1980s public schools. Beginning in college, I have worked

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Note: I received a digital copy of the book for review consideration. Cloaked in Courage by Beth Anderson, illustrated by Anne Lamelet (Calkins Creek, 2022) tells the unique story of Deborah Sampson, a woman who pretended to be a man and joined the army during the Revolutionary War to help fight for freedom. Subtitled Uncovering

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If there is any president of the United States that I have both disgust and intrigue for, it is Andrew Jackson, the southern president who completely changed the face of the presidency from upper class elite to “man of the people.” A president who approved and carried out the first of many Native American relocations

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Extreme Battlefields by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, illustrated by Drew Shannon (Annick Press, 2016) details how ten very unique battles throughout history were shaped by the weather and terrain in which they were fought. in which weather was a deciding factor in the victory or non-victory of the warring parties. From Hannibal in the Alps to

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Beatrice Nash is an educated, talented, and pleasant woman. But life in 1914 England does not give much credence to those qualities when she has been left orphaned and impoverished at the old maid age of 22 without any marriage prospects. To make matters worse, she must rely on her unfriendly relatives for assistance in finding

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I’ve been blogging on this page for eight years now. It’s kind of hard to believe that my oldest child was five months old when I began. Here I am, two more children later (and the youngest is 5 months old), and I struggle to find time to read the books I love let alone

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The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination by Barry Strauss (Simon & Schuster, March 2015) examines the traditions of the assassination of Julius Caesar, clearing up the myths (such as Shakespeare’s play) from reality. Analyzing such a historic event from 44 B.C. is not easy since eyewitness accounts are few and far

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