Synopses & Reviews
As he did for frontier children in his enormously popular Children of the Wild West, Russell Freedman illuminates the lives of the American children affected by the economic and social changes of the Great Depression. Middle-class urban youth, migrant farm laborers, boxcar kids, children whose families found themselves struggling for survival . . . all Depression-era young people faced challenges like unemployed and demoralized parents, inadequate food and shelter, schools they couldnt attend because they had to go to work, schools that simply closed their doors. Even so, life had its bright spotslike favorite games and radio showsand many young people remained upbeat and optimistic about the future.
Drawing on memoirs, diaries, letters, and other firsthand accounts, and richly illustrated with classic archival photographs, this book by one of the most celebrated authors of nonfiction for children places the Great Depression in context and shows young readers its human face. Endnotes, selected bibliography, index.
This gritty well sourced account of WWI offers a compelling and often horrific look at the conflict. Freedman (Washington at Valley Forge) hooks readers with his fluid style and a detail rich story of Archduke Ferdinand's assassination and the political powder keg that existed at the time in Europe. The book recounts gruesome mass killings brought about by trench warfare and going "over the top" into the "no man's land" in between combined with the debuting technologies of machine guns and tanks chemical and air warfare. Haunting bamp;w photos and poignant quotations from both Central and Allied combatants do not gloss over atrocities ("dozens of men with serious wounds must have crawled for safety into new shell holes and now the water was rising about them and... they were slowly drowning"). This remarkable pictorial overview of WWI its causes major battles and legacies (namely WWII and the repartitioning of Europe and the Middle East) concludes with chapter notes bibliography and index. Readers' conclusions will likely mirror that of a French soldier writing in his diary just before he was killed: "Humanity is mad!... What scenes of horror and carnage!" Ages 12–up. (Aug.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
"This gritty, well-sourced account of WWI offers a compelling and often horrific look at the conflict. Freedman (Washington at Valley Forge) hooks readers with his fluid style and a detail-rich story of Archduke Ferdinand's assassination and the political powder keg that existed at the time in Europe. The book recounts gruesome mass killings brought about by trench warfare and going 'over the top' into the 'no man's land' in between, combined with the debuting technologies of machine guns and tanks, chemical and air warfare. Haunting b&w photos and poignant quotations from both Central and Allied combatants do not gloss over atrocities ('dozens of men with serious wounds must have crawled for safety into new shell holes, and now the water was rising about them, and... they were slowly drowning'). This remarkable pictorial overview of WWI, its causes, major battles, and legacies (namely WWII and the repartitioning of Europe and the Middle East) concludes with chapter notes, bibliography, and index. Readers' conclusions will likely mirror that of a French soldier writing in his diary just before he was killed: 'Humanity is mad!... What scenes of horror and carnage!' Ages 12 up. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
School Library Journal, starred review
The Bulletin, starred review
"In his signature lucid style, Freedman offers a photo-essay that examines World War I. . .An important addition to history curriculum."--Booklist, starred review
"Elegantly written and filled with vivid, powerful photographs, this masterful work demands a spot in every collection."--School Library Journal,and#160;starred review
"Freedman once again demonstrates his incomparable mastery of presenting complex, sweeping historical subjects in an engaging, dynamic narrative."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"[Freedman's] dramatic, often heart-wrenching narrative ends with a brief description of the rise of Hitler, leading to the reopening of hostilities in 1939. Although his focus is the war in Europe, and the book is unusually evenhanded in assessing the faults and virtues of the combatant countries, Freedman touches on fighting elsewhere in the world."--Horn Book, starred review"It was the war that world leaders didn't want to fight, and the war that didn't quite end, and here Freedman narrates its story with a steady eye on the wasteful atrocity that ushered in modern warfare. . . . Freedman's timely organization of chronological events and topical issues is masterful, and the allegretto pacing of his narration seems deceptively effortless."--The Bulletin, starred review
"This gritty, well-sourced account of WWI offers a compelling and often horrific look at the conflict. Freedman (Washington at Valley Forge) hooks readers with his fluid style and a detail-rich story of Archduke Ferdinand's assassination and the political powder keg that existed at the time in Europe...Readers' conclusions will likely mirror that of a French soldier writing in his diary just before he was killed: "Humanity is mad!... What scenes of horror and carnage!"--Publishers Weekly, starred reviewand#160;
"Historic black-and-white photographs and no-nonsense but readable writing give this volume style, punch and character." School Library Journal, Starred
"a fully realized portrait of a musical artist and her times...an outstanding, handsome biography. Freedman at his best." KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred reviews Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"Freedman provides thrilling accounts...copious quotes...allow her resonant voice--and personal grace--to fill these pages...An engrossing biography." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review Publishers Weekly, Starred
"This inspiting work once again demonstrates Freedman's talent for showing how a person's life is molded by its historical and cultural context." SLJ School Library Journal, Starred
"In his signature prose, plain yet eloquent. Freedman tells Anderson's triumphant story . . . Older readers and adults will want this too." BOOKLIST Booklist, ALA
"Freedman offers the story of a movement encapsulated in the biography of an extraordinary African-American woman." BCCB Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"a masterful biography...The prose is sharp and clean with generous use of quotations...a superb choice." VOYA VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"In 1908 Lewis Hine left his teaching position for a full-time job as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee, then conducting a major campaign against the exploitation of children. Hine's photographs serve as a visual accompaniment to Freedman's narrative, which not only documents the abuses of the times but also traces the chronology of Hine's development as a crusader." Horn Book
"Readers will not only come to appreciate the impact of his groundbreaking work, but will also learn how one man dedicated and developed his skill and talents to bring about social reform." School Library Journal, Starred
"It's the photo essay at its best." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"A memorable book that is notable both for its subject and for its exquisite documentary photographs." School Library Journal, Starred
"Freedman has created a sensitive biography of Eleanor Roosevelt -- certainly sympathetic but not overly adulatory; it captures her spirit. The beautifully crafted text flows smoothly and is accompanied by over one hundred black-and-white photographs portraying Roosevelt at every age. Young readers will find inspiration, hope, and guidance in the life of the outstanding woman. Bib., ind." -- Copyright © 1994 The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.
"Freedman at his best: a splendid achievement." Kirkus Reviews with Pointers
"A realistic, perceptive, and unromanticized photobiography of Lincoln, including a sampler of quotations from his writings and speeches." -- Booklist,
ALA, Editor's Choice
"Eloquent. . . . A human portrait of a politician honorably confronting the most vexing issues of his era. . . . This biography feels astonishly real." -- The New York Times Book Review
"Few, if any, of the many books written for children about Lincoln can compare with Freedman's contribution. . . . This is an outstanding example of what (juvenile) biography can be. Like Lincoln himself, it stands head and shoulders above its competition." -- School Library Journal
"An extremely well-written and informative book that tells about Braille's life and the development of his alphabet system for the blind. . . . An entertaining and fascinating look at a remarkable man." School Library Journal, Starred
"Delivers concrete data with which to create a sense of the times...enhanced by...Freedman's many comparisons." HORN BOOK Horn Book
"Stirring photo-essay...eloquent...[Freedman's] signature plainspoken prose...'convey[s] in human terms the true meaning of economic statistics.' BOOKLIST, starred Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
"Another superb photo-essay by a veteran author. A wonderful, informed, and sympathetic overview...of this period." SLJ, starred School Library Journal, Starred
"Freedman captures the historical scope of young lives during the Great Depression...At once bleak and uplifting." -PW Publishers Weekly
"[A] magnificent volume...Freedman is a master of the photo-essay, and this is one of his best." -KIRKUS, starred Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"Plenty of primary-source testimony...Freedman offers an account within the reach and interest of middle-schoolers." -BCCB Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Freedman does an exemplary job of making a disheartening and complicated subject...approachable and engaging...a fantastic resource." VOYA VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
"[told] with depth, clarity, and vigor...beautiful, dazzling illustrations...will lure even the most reluctant history student and reader." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
With clear and engaging prose, [Freedman] describes how the 1494 arrival of cattle and horses in Hispaniola led to a need for skilled and rugged horsemen able to control the eventually vast heards. While tracing the geographic spread of the vaqueros' work over time and the tasks and tools involved in the trade, he also weaves in some thought-provoking social history.
School Library Journal
Combining impressive research and the skill of a campfire storyteller, Freedman described the rugged and often violent life of the original "cowboys," as they are known today.
Publishers Weekly, Starred
With clear and economical prose, the ever-capable Freedman combines political, religious, and social history to celebrate the achievements of the largely unsung men who invented the tools and techniques that sustain an American mythos. . . .Lushly illustrated with archival material (including a spectacular sequence of Remington drawings) this fast-paced text brings to light the contributions of the Indians without whom the cowboys might never have existed.
Like Sandler's Vaqueros: America's First Cowmen, this is an exploration of the little-feted precursor to the cowboy. Sandler offers more discussion of the vaquero-cowboy connection, but the ever-reliable Freedman manages to make this overview both more concise and more contextually informative.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
null Children's Books: 100 Titles NYPL
null Booklist, Editor's Choice
Russell Freedman's handsome introduction to the history and work of the vaqueros pays long-overdue tribute to the skillfulness and ingenuity of these early Native-American cowmen.
[Freedman's] descriptive powers engross the reader as he depicts roundups, mustang breaking, slaughteringthe technique of hamstringing is jaw-droppingly explainedand even daily life on the hacienda. Period paintings of men and horses, cattle and land match both the action and the respectful solemnity of the prose.
New York Review of Books
"Clear and packed with interesting details ... [t]his engaging work presents history as a story still being written." Kirkus Reviews, Starred
Students will discover fascinating information as well as a fine example of the research process in this thought-provoking work.
School Library Journal, Starred
"A well-rtesearched, intelligent account of America's 'discovery.'" Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
:"This well-designed, clearly written book looks at various ideas about the discovery of the Americas, including the famous voyages of Columbus in 1492, the claims that fifteenth-century Chinese explorer Zheng He may have salied to the Americas, and the now-documented settlement of Vikings in Newfoundland around the year 1000." Book Links, ALA
"Freedman has done it again, providing a well-organized, lucid, and engaging explanation of an important subject for middle-grade and middle school readers." Horn Book, Starred
Freedman provides an intriguing, fresh, and compelling view of traditional American history, taking readers beyond the familiar story of Columbus as the 'discoverer of America' and presenting new theories and possiblitites about who might have come to the Americas first and why.
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)
A variety of illustrations from maps and models to dioramas and paintings embellish the text; a bibliography, index, and specific sources for quotations are also included.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The subjects of Freedman's photo biographies range from his 1988 Newbery Medal-winning Lincoln and his two Newbery Honor Books, Eleanor Roosevelt (1993) and The Wright Brothers (1991), which was also Booklist's Top of the List for youth nonfiction, to his stirring The Life and Death of Crazy Horse, a 1996 Booklist Editors' Choice. This is his first book about an artist, and, as always, he writes with eloquence and grace about the private person and her revolutionary public role. Martha Graham herself said that her life was her work, as dancer, teacher, and choreographer; and Freedman's focus is on how she created a thrilling new modern dance language that connected movement with emotion, how she made visible "all those feelings that you have inside you that you can't put words to." He connects her artistic breakthroughs with the social and cultural history of her time, the political and artistic rebellion that challenged the role of women and the formality of ballet. In discussing individual dances, he shows how her themes of the outsider and the lonely rebel changed to complex psychological portraits of people like Emily Bronte and Emily Dickinson. The electrifying black-and-white photographs are an integral part of every chapter: you read Freedman's lyrical description of a performance and feel you must see a picture of it; turn the page, and there is a photo of Graham in flaming action. Full documentation in chapter notes at the back shows the routes of Freedman's research: books, articles, and tapes that readers can search out, and also his own extensive personal interviews with those who knew and worked with Graham. Another great YA title that will appeal to adults as much as to teens." Booklist, ALA
"Illustrated with stunning black-and-white photographs, this book deserves not only a place in the reading repertoire of those who desire to dance, but in the hands of all young people." NATE-Language Arts
Nonfiction master Russell Freedman illuminates for young readers the complex and rarely discussed subject of World War I. The tangled relationships and alliances of many nations, the introduction of modern weaponry, and top-level military decisions that resulted in thousands upon thousands of casualties all contributed to the "great war," which people hoped and believed would be the only conflict of its kind. In this clear and authoritative account, the Newbery Medal-winning author shows the ways in which the seeds of a second world war were sown in the first. Numerous archival photographs give the often disturbing subject matter a moving visual counterpart. Includes source notes, a bibliography, and an index.
In this clear and authoritative account, Russell Freedman illuminates for young readers the complex and rarely discussed subject of World War I, showing the ways in which the seeds of a second world war were sown in the first.
"Elegantly written and filled with vivid, powerful photographs, this masterful work demands a spot in every collection." —School Library Journal, starred review The nonfiction master Russell Freedman illuminates for young readers the complex and rarely discussed subject of World War I. In this clear and authoritative account, the author shows the ways in which the seeds of a second world war were sown in the first. Numerous archival photographs give the often disturbing subject matter a moving visual counterpart.
Introduces readers to the proud young men who inspired a legend -- the trail-driving cow herders of the late nineteenth century.
"A voice like yours," celebrated conductor Arturo Toscanini told contralto Marian Anderson, "is heard once in a hundred years." This insightful account of the great African American vocalist considers her life and musical career in the context of the history of civil rights in this country. Drawing on Anderson's own writings and other contemporary accounts, Russell Freedman shows readers a singer pursuing her art despite the social constraints that limited the careers of black performers in the 1920s and 1930s. Though not a crusader or a spokesperson by nature, Marian Anderson came to stand for all black artists -- and for all Americans of color -- when, with the help of such prominent figures as Eleanor Roosevelt, she gave her landmark 1939 performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which signaled the end of segregation in the arts. Carefully researched, expertly told, and profusely illustrated with contemporary photographs, this Newbery Honor and Sibert Medal-winning book is a moving account of the life of a talented and determined artist who left her mark on musical and social history. Through her story, Newbery Medal-winning author Russell Freedman, one of today's leading authors of nonfiction for young readers, illuminates the social and political climate of the day and an important chapter in American history. Notes, bibliography, discography, index.
Photobiography of early twentieth-century photographer and schoolteacher Lewis Hine, using his own work as illustrations. Hines's photographs of children at work were so devastating that they convinced the American people that Congress must pass child labor laws.
Traces the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt from his birth in 1882 through his youth, early political career, and presidency to his death in Warm Springs, Georgia, in 1945.
Historical photographs show what life was like for pioneer and Indian children growing up in the American West during the late nineteenth century.
The intriguing story of Eleanor Roosevelt traces the life of the former First Lady from her early childhood through the tumultuous years in the White House to her active role in the founding of the United Nations after World War II. A Newberry Honor Book.
A description of the boyhood, marriage, and young professional life of Abraham Lincoln includes his presidential years and also reflects on the latest scholarly thoughts about our Civil War president. Winner of the 1988 Newbery Medal.
Abraham Lincoln stood out in a crowd as much for his wit and rollicking humor as for his height. This Newbery Medal-winning biography of our Civil War president is warm, appealing, and illustrated with dozens of carefully chosen photographs and prints.
Russell Freedman begins with a lively account of Abraham Lincoln's boyhood, his career as a country lawyer, and his courtship and marriage to Mary Todd. Then the author focuses on the presidential years (1861 to 1865), skillfullly explaining the many complex issues Lincoln grappled with as he led a deeply divided nation through the Civil War. The book's final chapter is a moving account of that tragic evening in Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. Concludes with a sampling of Lincoln writings and a detailed list of Lincoln historical sites.
This title has been selected as a Common Core Text Exemplar (Grades 2-3, Read Aloud Informational Text).
A biography of the modest Frenchman who, after being blinded at the age of three, went on to develop a system of raised dots on paper that enabled blind people to read and write.
In this rousing account of the first true cowboys, Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman brings to life the days when the vaqueros rounded up cattle, brought down steers, and tamed wild broncos. In the service of wealthy Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century, Mexican ranch hands began herd- ing cattle, often riding barefoot. They soon developed and perfected the skills for this dangerous work and became expert horsemen. Hundred of years later the vaqueros shared their expertise with the inexperienced cowboys of the American West, who adopted their techniques and their distinctive clothing, tools, and even lingo. Yet today it is the cowboy whom we remember, while the vaquero has all but disappeared from history.
The vaqueros are at last given their due in this dramatic narrative, lushly illustrated with beautiful period paintings and drawings.
Many generations of American schoolchildren were taught that Columbus discovered America, and a holiday reminds us every October. But historical investigation in recent years has shown us otherwise. There is evidence that adventurers, explorers, traders, and nomads from various parts of the globe set foot on American soil long before 1492. And expeditions that landed in the Americas reported people already living thereindicating that America had been discovered” before.
Russell Freedman brings his legendary skills as researcher and storyteller to this fresh and intriguing look at the American past. Colorful legends and first-person accounts are woven into the riveting narrative, which also illuminates the way historians and mapmakers have gathered, evaluated, and recorded information throughout the ages.
Martha Graham, the American dancer, teacher, and choreographer, revolutionized the world of modern dance. She possessed a great gift for revealing emotion through dance, expressing beliefs and telling stories in an utterly new way. Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman documents Martha Graham's life from her birth in 1894 to her final dance performance at the age of seventy-five and continued career as a choreographer until her death in 1991. Graham's own recollections as well as those of her dancers, students, friends, and lovers reveal Graham's unwavering dedication, her extraordinary sense of artistry, and the fierce intensity that left an impression on all who saw her perform. Original research based on interviews and a remarkable collection of photographs not widely reproduced give this biography a rare and unparalleled depth. Includes notes,a bibliography, and an index.
About the Author
Russell Freedman received the Newbery Medal for Lincoln: A Photobiography. He is also the recipient of three Newbery Honors, a National Humanities Medal, the Sibert Medal, the Orbis Pictus Award, and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and was selected to give the 2006 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Mr. Freedman lives in New York City and travels widely to research his books.
Table of Contents
ONE: A Crusader with a Camera TWO: Becoming a Photographer THREE: Seeing Is Believing FOUR: Spinners, Doffers, and Sweepers FIVE: Breaker Boys SIX: Street Kids and Farm Kids SEVEN: Making a Difference Declaration of Dependence Child Labor Then and Now Bibliography Acknowledgments and Picture Credits Index