Author Archives: Alexis Underhill

Thoreau: A Sublime Life

This graphic novel illustrates the life of Henry David Thoreau, the American who “went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately…” Thoreau was a man of many interests – ecology, abolitionism, pacifism, Native American culture. While most people … Continue reading

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At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui

In the 1970s, workers digging to build an air raid shelter in China struck white clay and pockets of methane gas, leading to the discovery of the most well-preserved mummy discovered in the world. Three tombs were found, and inside … Continue reading

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Schools of Hope

Julius Rosenwald was part owner of Sears, Roebuck and Company in the early 1900s. His motto was “Give while you live.” He started giving to mostly Jewish causes when he was young, but one man changed that. Rosenwald meet Booker … Continue reading

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Children Growing Up with War

Photojournalist Jenny Matthews begins her book by discussing what it means to be a freelance photographer, how she got started and how she is able to go into conflict zones and do her job. She ends her introduction with the … Continue reading

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All the Bright Places

Violet survived the accident that killed her sister, but she doesn’t know how to move forward. One day she finds herself on the top of her school’s bell tower. Before there is another tragedy, Theodore “The Freak” Finch pulls her … Continue reading

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Warsaw, Lodz, Vilna: The Holocaust Ghettos

Part of the Remembering the Holocaust series, this volume focuses on the first phase of Hitler’s plan to achieve the Final Solution. After the successful invasion of Poland, the Jews were to be “concentrated” in designated areas. The author describes … Continue reading

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Line of Fire: Diary of an Unknown Soldier August, September 1914

As Barroux was walking through Paris, he found a diary in a heap of trash. It was the diary of a soldier serving during  World War I. Barroux retrieved the diary and illustrated the soldier’s story. Much of the account … Continue reading

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Voices from the March on Washington

This book in verse tells the story of the March on Washington through the (fictional) voices of many. The focus is on the voices of six, representing a cross-section of those who were there on the mall in Washington. While … Continue reading

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The Space Between

This dark fantasy is about Daphne, the child of Lucifer and the demon Lilith, and her half-brother Obie. Obie is in love and is going to abandon his family, his job and his home in Hell for the girl he … Continue reading

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The Manhattan Project

This reference begins with the Allies’ fears that Germany would be the first to create the atomic bomb and then proceeds through the steps taken to make sure the Allies beat them to it. From the selection of the scientists … Continue reading

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Essential Lives: Malala Yousafzai

This biography begins with the assassination attempt on Malala on her way home from school in 2012. The next few chapters provide background information: on Pakistan, Islam, the Taliban, and Malala’s childhood. The author does a good job illustrating how … Continue reading

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Walter Dean Myers

Washington Post reporter Jim Naughton called Walter Dean Myers a “one man movement.” Myers told stories about the lives of African American youth at a time when literature for youth was “monochromatic,” written by white authors about white characters. This book … Continue reading

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At Issue: Fracking

This volume provides a range of opinions on issues related to fracking: the environmental risks, possible contamination, pollution, chemicals used and more. The sources range from government agencies to news reports to industry reports. The articles are short and accessible; … Continue reading

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Current Controversies: Violence in the Media

In this volume of the series, violence in music lyrics and videos, exposure to violence in television and movies, violent video games and society’s reaction to violence in the media are considered. Opposing views on each of these issues are … Continue reading

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Opposing Viewpoints: Civil Liberties

In this volume of the series, free speech, religious freedom, due process and privacy rights are considered. Balanced views on each of these issues are presented, along with questions to promote critical analysis. The views include the prominent opinions on … Continue reading

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The End or Something Like It

Kim promised her bff that she would come back to visit after she died. Knowing that she had a congenital heart defect, Kim actually spent a lot of time planning for how she would return to visit Emmy. But almost … Continue reading

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Homestretch

Gaston, “Gas,” is devastated by the loss of his mother, who he believes was killed by an illegal alien in an auto accident. When Gas’s father begins drinking more and becomes physically abusive, Gas decides it is time to leave. … Continue reading

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Falling for Hamlet

Ophelia is paparazzi fodder: she is the daughter of the King of Denmark’s adviser and the girlfriend of the King’s son, Hamlet. Her life is the epitome of today’s celebrity culture. When Hamlet’s dad dies unexpectedly and his mother marries … Continue reading

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My Unfair Godmother

After being forced to move in with her father and new step-family because her mother must travel with her actress little sister, Tansy thinks life is horribly unfair. Her father has never had enough time for her, and now she … Continue reading

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The Different Girl

In a dystopian future, where global warming has threatened resources and the religious right does not trust scientists and bullies want to wipe out education and replace it with the rule of might, four “girls” are being raised on a … Continue reading

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Guantanamo Boy

Khalid, a fifteen year old from England, is on a trip to Karachi to visit family when he is mistaken for a terrorist and sent to Kandahar and then Guantanamo Bay. An innocent victim of the war on terror, he is held, … Continue reading

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Getting Somewhere

Instead of serving time in juvie, four girls elect to enter a new correctional program. Each of the girls has some sort of history that makes them reluctant to trust. Working together helps the girls to slowly begin to open up … Continue reading

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Better off Friends

Levi moves to the Midwest at the beginning of seventh grade and just hopes to fit in with the guys. When pretty girl Macallan is assigned to show him around, they immediately discover their love of British comedy and become … Continue reading

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Hidden Like Anne Frank

This book tells the stories of 14 Jews who went into hiding in the Netherlands during World War II to survive. The stories are stark; a few have moments of happiness but most are stories of desperation, fear and longing. … Continue reading

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The Arab-Israeli Six-Day War

Recently a group named Hamas, located in the Gaza Strip, and the nation of Israel engaged in prolonged exchanges of rocket attacks and air strikes.  A series of “ceasefires” did nothing to assuage the violence.  This military tit-for-tat response has … Continue reading

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