2006 University Press Books


Selected for Public and Secondary School Libraries

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Outstanding Titles

The following titles received ratings of "Outstanding" (O) by members of the 2006 University Press Books Committee. "Outstanding" titles are defined as having exceptional editorial content and subject matter. They are essential editions to most library collections.


Cohen, Daniel

Digital History: A Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web

University of Pennsylvania Press

"Digital History provides forthright and thorough introduction to the web for historians-teachers and students who wish to produce online historical work or to build upon and improve the projects they have already started in this important new medium surrounding the web. It is an excellent text for teachers who need to build a knowledge-base of the web with colleagues and students alike. The book takes the reader step by step through planning a project, understanding the technologies involved and how to choose the appropriate ones, designing a site that is both easy to use and scholarly, and digitizing materials in a way that makes them web-friendly while preserving their historical integrity, and reaching and responding to an intended audience effectively."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)


Ascione, Frank R.

Children and Animals: Exploring the Roots of Kindness and Cruelty

Purdue University Press

"Ascione explores the link between children's personal experiences and subsequent abusive behavior to animals as one that warrants special attention from parents, social workers and councilors. In addition, he provides research to prove these behaviors as predictors of future anti-social behavior."—Carla Bauman Franks (PLA)


Barré, Jean-Luc

Jacques and Ra•ssa Maritain: Beggars for Heaven

University of Notre Dame Press

"This work focuses not only on the philosophical work of the Maritains, but also on their pursuit of social justice, their opposition to the Vichy, their battle against intellectual repression, and their close relationships with novelists, poets, painters, and musicians who were considered revolutionary at the turn of the century. The work includes several pages of photographs with copious notes pages and a substantial bibliography."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)


Hutson, James H.

The Founders on Religion: A Book of Quotations

Princeton University Press

"In compiling his book, Hutson, who is chief of the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress, painstakingly researched original documents, many from the collections of the Library. The Founders on Religion is a lively collection of quotations on everything from the relationship between church and state to the status of women. The founders quoted here range from the most pious to the steadfastly unorthodox. The book illuminates the founders' positions on more than 70 topics, including death, the afterlife, divorce, the raising of children, the reliability of biblical texts and the nature of other religions."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)


Wood, Michael

In Search of Myths and Heroes: Exploring Four Epic Legends of the World

University of California Press

"Classical studies always include the epic journey as it is seen through the hero's eyes. This work, with its lavish color photographs and slick pages, takes its own epic journey pursuing four myths: the Queen of Sheba, Tibet's Shangri-La, Celtic Great Britain's King Arthur, and the Greek myth Jason and the Golden Fleece. Each myth is examined from the real geographic location, accompanied by prolific color photographs. The book supports web-based learning through an affiliated PBS website by the same name, "In Search of Myths and Heroes." An excellent resource for any school library program."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)
"Michael Wood explores four ancient legends creating a book that's entertaining and educational. The book details the regions and gives insight into the legends. The photography is exquisite."—Mary Cosper-LeBoeuf (PLA)
"Written to accompany the PBS series by the same name, this book presents the historical meaning and cultural backgrounds of the legends of Shangri-la, Jason and the Golden Fleece, Queen of Sheba, and Arthur, the Once and Future King. With a helpful index and numerous color illustrations, this work will help satisfy the curious reader and student alike."—Carla Bauman Franks (PLA)


Hillel, Daniel

The Natural History of the Bible: An Environmental Exploration of the Hebrew Scriptures

Columbia University Press

"The Natural History of the Bible details the environment where the Bible took place and how that environment affected the lives of people. This book is compelling because the average person probably doesn't think about the geographical and environmental impact when reading the Bible. Recommended for large public libraries and university libraries."—Mary Cosper-LeBoeuf (PLA)


Pérez, Joseph (translated by Janet Lloyd)

The Spanish Inquisition: A History

Yale University Press

"Joseph Pérez tells the history of the Spanish Inquisition from its medieval beginnings to its nineteenth-century ending. He discovers its origins in fear and jealousy and its longevity in usefulness to the state. He explores the inner workings of its councils, and shows how its officers, inquisitors, and leaders lived and worked. Lloyd has translated more than fifty books and was twice awarded the Scott Moncrieff prize for best translation of a full-length French work of literary merit and general interest."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)


Leonard, Bill J.

Baptists in America

Columbia University Press

"Bill Leonard gives a descriptive narrative of the Baptist faith in the United States. He details the controversial issues that face Baptists, along with the progressive history of the faith. This book will appeal to public library patrons but also university students."—Mary Cosper-LeBoeuf (PLA)


Hempton, David

Methodism: Empire of the Spirit

Yale University Press

"This is a readable history of the Methodist faith that is not bogged down in numbers or statistics, but flows like a story. The section on suggestions for further reading is excellent. Recommended for a public library's religious collection."—Mary Cosper-LeBoeuf (PLA)


Cook, David

Understanding Jihad

University of California Press

"The American public continues to be both fascinated and horrified at the mention of the word 'jihad' because of pre-conceived ideas and images of violence. Here, the historical concept of jihad is revealed while shattering many modern myths."—Carla Bauman Franks (PLA)


Orr, David W.

The Last Refuge: Patriotism, Politics, and the Environment in an Age of Terror

Island Press

"At times a scathing rebuke of modern politics, but always a thought provoking look into the current political structure, both here and abroad. David Orr, minces few words in pointing out the dark side of American Politics, but does so in a way that draws readers in further. His unwavering dedication to protecting the environment shows throughout this book as a testament of everything that we want our political leaders to be, honest, forthright and diligent. While at times he gets bogged down in the minutia of sustainability and environmental politics, I highly recommend this book for all public libraries."—Christina Maria Beaird (PLA)


Venet, Wendy Hamand

A Strong-Minded Woman: The Life of Mary Livermore

University of Massachusetts Press

"The story of this women's life is motivating. The author portrayed Mary A. Livermore as a woman who moved beyond the elements leading a normal day-by-day life. This is an excellent book to be used in history or an English course."—Dr. Gayles Evans (AASL)


Farley, Reynolds and John Haaga (Editors)

The American People: Census 2000

Russell Sage Foundation

"This book sets itself apart from other books on the 2000 Federal Census because it is more than just a compilation of tables and charts of raw census data. It is an interpretive guide to understanding the demographic breakdown of American society. Chapters include: "Gender Inequalities", "Cohorts and Socioeconomic Progress" and "The Lives and Times of the Baby Boomers". Editors Farley and Haaga show trends in American culture that will not be found anywhere else."—Christina Maria Beaird (PLA)


Denlinger, Elizabeth Campbell

Before Victoria: Extraordinary Women of the British Romantic Era

Columbia University Press

"A reader of Before Victoria could fantasize that s/he is reading a gossip sheet about a large, interconnected community rather than a scholarly. Dozens of English women who thrived at the turn of the nineteenth century are profiled briefly and placed in the context of Romanticism—"the evocation of the terrifying and mysterious in the everyday." Early feminist, Mary Wollstonecraft supported herself as governess to a teen-age-girl, later known as Lady Mount Cashell, who left her husband and eight children and completely transformed herself while living in Italy. People pop up in multiple contexts - as happens in everyday, or soap-opera life. Thumbnailed here are, among others, Lord Nelson's Emma, Lady Hamilton; the actress Sarah Siddons; cross-dresser and female husband, Mary Hamilton; Jane Austen, the Brontes, etc. Richly illustrated with rare prints from the New York Public Library. This book merits placement in any women's studies collection and will appeal to general readers."—Judith McGowan (AASL)
"Although not always well-chronicled, the Romantic Era was a time of great change in the lives of women. Before Victoria offers portraits of a group of women who were scientists, artists, writers, poets, philanthropists and reformers during the Romantic Era and details how their accomplishments changed the social and economic landscape for women."—Trisha Burns (PLA)


Ortner, Sherry B.

New Jersey Dreaming: Capital, Culture and the Class of '58

Duke University Press

"It is axiomatic that children of families who value education are more successful in school, and get more schooling than others; that boys have a better shot at high-paying careers than girls; that immigrant children are often more driven than the comfortable children of the American middle and upper-classes. Professor Ortner, one of the inventors of feminist anthropology, studied her high school classmates - the class of '58 - to determine what factors contributed to successful adult lives and in the process showed how well those axioms predicted the future of those teens of the '50s. Ortner's analysis of the "underlying structures of high school social categories." would make excellent reading for those of us who work in secondary schools and for students who, if they understand the larger picture, might break out and reach a level that the 'rules' would not have predicted."—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Elgersman Lee, Maureen

Black Bangor: African Americans in a Maine Community, 1880-1950

University Press of New England

"The U.S. Census recorded that from 1870 through 1950 the African-American population of Bangor, Maine never numbered more than 228 people. If you are the librarian at Bangor High School you already have this book. But as a paradigm, an outstandingly clear example, of a historical study of a community, most other high schools should have it on the shelves too. Maureen Lee went far beyond the census, newspapers and scholarly journals to examine, analyze and interpret divorce records from archived card files, probate records, cemetery internment indexes, university alumni records, military records, mortgage records, etc. When the story leaves the tiny Bangor community it does so to clarify or put in perspective what happened in Bangor, e.g. tradesmen "known as teamsters, expressmen, truckmen or just movers" if self-employed were "one step below professionals.'"—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Kendrick, Stephen and Paul Kendrick

Sarah's Long Walk: The Free Blacks of Boston and How Their Struggle for Equality Changed America

Beacon Press

"Sarah Roberts, a five year old girl forced to walk past five white schools to study at the black school, is the focus of this book and the monumental court case that resulted from the issue. The concept "separate but equal" was created in response to the case; a concept that affected every person in America until it was overturned more than 100 years later. This book is required reading for anyone who wants to learn about the history of school segregation in America. A good purchase for public libraries."—Trisha Burns (PLA)


Work, John W., et al.

Lost Delta Found: Rediscovering The Fisk University-Library of Congress Coahoma County Study, 1941-1942

Vanderbilt University Press

"Shortly before World War II, John Wesley Work, a professor of music at Fisk University, sought modest funding to study "Negro folk ballads...for a practical working knowledge of the musical life of people" of the Mississippi Delta. He was turned down. An appeal to the Library of Congress resulted in a then 26-year-old Alan Lomax being funded to work on the project. He came with recording equipment and discs—items unaffordable at Fisk. Soon after, the people of the Delta were scattered forever by war and the Great Migration. The music captured back then is now a priceless archive. About 50 years later, Lomax wrote The Land Where the Blues Began, a book that may not have given adequate credit to Professor Work. Put both of these books on your shelves not only for the history and the sociology but also for the musical transcriptions, the bawdy stories, and the intriguing discussion of how we know what we know, and is it really the truth?"—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Kahn, Miriam and Eric Younger

Pacific Voices: Keeping Our Cultures Alive

University of Washington Press

"Each chapter brings an "object of culture" to life through personal stories. The book links the idea of "object" to "person", forming a connection between culture and memories. From the Hawaiian pahu (temple drum) to the Korean Gourd Cup, readers get an idea of the true cultural and spiritual meaning these objects have."—Trisha Burns (PLA)


Carretta, Vincent

Equiano, the African: Biography of a Self-Made Man

University of Georgia Press.

"According to his original autobiography, Olaudah Equiano "... was born in 1745 in what is now southeastern Nigeria." At age eleven he was enslaved and sold to English slave traders. His autobiography is "universally accepted as the fundamental text in the genre of the slave narrative." What does Professor Carretta have to add to the story? Well, it seems that Equiano may have been born in Carolina around 1747! That his African identity may have been "invented rather than reclaimed." That he "came to England years earlier than he says." If these facts are true, Professor Carretta suggests, his "literary achievements have been vastly underestimated." Carretta's work should spark scholarly controversy. In any event, your biography section should probably have at least one version of his life. A survey of scholarly opinions on Carretta's assertions would make an interesting school project."—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Griffiths, Ann L. (Editor) and Karl Nerenberg

Handbook of Federal Countries, 2005

McGill-Queen's University Press

"This handbook is an intelligent, well-researched addition to any Reference shelf. Analysis includes a brief synopsis of the history of Federalism in the nation, its constitutional provisions relating to Federalism, the current political situation as well as tables including vital facts and regional maps. A bonus of this book is the "Sources For Further Information" found in each chapter giving readers additional links to web sites, books and articles for each country."—Christina Maria Beaird (PLA)


Nyugen, Tram (foreword by Edwidge Danticat)

We Are All Suspects Now: Untold Storied from Immigrant Communities After 9/11

Beacon Press

"Mesmerizing personal accounts of poor treatment by the US government, as well as everyday trials and tribulations that immigrants face in the aftermath of September 11th, make this book impossible to put down. Nguyen masterfully intertwines these stories to give readers a deeper appreciation of challenges legal and illegal immigrants face within our society. Her timeline of major events effectively traces the impact of terrorism and government policies on civil liberties."—Christina Maria Beaird (PLA)


Ellis, Richard J.

To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegiance

University Press of Kansas

"A great addition to any high school Social Science collection, Ellis provides a balanced, readable account not only of the pledge's 19th century beginnings, but also of its recent use as a political tool. A must read for political junkies of any age!" —Clark E. Heath (AASL)
"This is the most meticulously researched book on this subject I have seen to date. The author gracefully describes the history of the Pledge of Allegiance and how the lives of its writers were affected by the social atmosphere of the time. Ellis seamlessly weaves the Pledge of Allegiance, since its inception in the late nineteenth century, with the current controversies surrounding the Pledge, explaining all of the various changes and adaptations and interpretations along the way."—Christina Maria Beaird (PLA)


Mara, Melina

Changing the Face of Power: Women in the U.S. Senate

University of Texas Press

"A black and white photo-essay in an oversize hardcover format, Changing the Face of Power documents the increasing visibility and influence of women in the U.S. Senate through text and image. Mara includes interviews with the featured Senators conducted by noted journalist, Helen Thomas. This book would benefit both high school and junior high school collections with its inspirational tone."—Clark E. Heath (AASL)


Murphy, Priscilla Coit

What a Book Can Do: The Publication and Reception of Silent Spring

University of Massachusetts Press

"This is an excellent book for students enrolled in communication media course. The history of Rachel Carson's learning experience in broadcasting and as author is described in a vivid and often painful manner. The author has made the life of this woman come alive. This is an outstanding book."—Dr. Gayles Evans (AASL)
"Most people do not realize the impact that a book can have on society. Priscilla Murphy details the debate that the best selling book, Silent Spring had with the public and chemical industry on the issue of pesticides. It's a fast paced compelling story. This is an excellent book for a new generation of book lovers, journalist, investigators, and historians."—Mary Cosper-LeBoeuf (PLA)


Babbitt, Bruce

Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in America

Island Press/Shearwater Books

"A slim, extremely readable volume which puts forth a federal plan for development and conservation at the same time. Written by former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, the book provides specific suggestions for actions by the federal government to protect our lands."—Karen Perry (AASL)


Knapp, Bevil and Mike Dunne

America's Wetland: Louisiana's Vanishing Coast

Louisiana State University Press

"In an eerie prophesy of the flooding to come in New Orleans, this book discusses the job of wetlands in keeping storm surges and waves out of the low-lying areas. Superb color photographs detail fishing, the oil industry, and marine life in the wetlands areas of Louisiana."—Karen Perry (AASL)


Galanter, Marc

Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture

The University of Wisconsin Press

"This comprehensive collection of lawyer jokes, which draws on hundreds of years of jokes from Mark Twain's era to the present, includes illustrations from earlier centuries and cartoons from today's New Yorker. This thorough and thoughtful book examines our highly legalized society and the current climate of political correctness that may have turned our humor of anxiety away from ethnic, and other protected groups, towards lawyers creating a new plethora of lawyer jokes. Galanter also points out that today's lawyer may pursue an individual clients case without a concern for justice or the public welfare. A friendly book of general interest, yet scholarly."—Kathleen Riley (AASL)


Litowitz, Douglas

The Destruction of Young Lawyers: Beyond One L

The University of Akron Press

"Many young lawyers spend a big part of their day fantasizing about ways to leave the profession. Six causes for unhappy lawyers are discussed along with specific suggestions to reform the system. Very readable. This book almost makes one empathetic toward lawyers!"—Therese M. Feicht (PLA)


Klemens, Ben

Math You Can't Use: Patents, Copyright, and Software

Brookings Institution Press

"Math You Can't Use is a play on words. At first glance, the book could present a case for people who do not want to study math in high school and junior high. In reality, it is a book about coveted mathematics, the mathematics of the internet, and software producers. Klemens demonstrates that the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office will stymie the progress of internet development if it continues to issue patents on algorithms and The Federal Court of Appeals continues its strict enforcement of these patents. Algorithm and pure math are the same and cannot be owned by anyone. A funny, readable book on a topic of twenty-first-century general interest."—Kathleen Riley (AASL)


McFarland, Keith D. and David L. Roll

Louis Johnson and the Arming of America: The Roosevelt and Truman Years

Indiana University Press

"Louis Johnson was responsible for both arming the United States in preparation for entering World War II, under President Roosevelt, and for deeply slashing the defense budget under President Truman. To be given such diametrically opposed orders under two different presidents was a recipe for failure, but not of Johnson's own making. This biography not only gives insight to Johnson and his career, but also incorporates the effects and influences of two of America's most well-known chief executives. It also shows how history repeats itself by drawing many parallels to the Presidential administration of today. Heavily researched, the book is also easy to read and should be purchased by public libraries with strong history collections."—-Trisha Burns (PLA)


Weddle, Kevin J.

Lincoln's Tragic Admiral: The Life of Samuel Francis Du Pont

The University of Virginia Press

"Well-written and well-researched, the story of Civil War Admiral DuPont is given a fair representation. Author Kevin Weddle vindicates DuPont by exposing an historical misunderstanding that unfairly characterized DuPont as a man unwilling to change with technology. Essential purchase for those collections having a deep naval history section."—Trisha Burns (PLA)


Nielsen, Kim E.

Helen Keller: Selected Writings

New York University Press

"Helen Keller: Selected Writings, a first-time publication of Keller's personal letters, political writings, speeches, and excerpts of her published materials from 1887 to 1968. The book also includes an introductory essay Kim E. Nielsen, with notes to each document, and a selected bibliography of work by and about Keller. This collection will be valuable to a varied audience, not to exclude school libraries. Helen Keller: Selected Writings is especially valuable to the companion work The Radical Lives of Helen Keller, written by Nielsen. The majority of the letters and some prints, all drawn from the Helen Keller Archives at the American Foundation for the Blind in New York, are being published for the first time. Insights into her life as a literary scholar, educator, speaker, writer, and world traveler are reflected in her enlivened narrative genre. The timely publication of this collection celebrates the 125th anniversary of this fascinating and exceptional woman's birthday."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)


Benecke, Mark

Murderous Methods: Using Forensic Science to Solve Lethal Crimes

Columbia University Press

"The author, Mark Benecke, is a forensic scientist who has been called upon to help solve crimes around the world. This book explains the real world investigations of gruesome and surreal crimes as told by a scientist. In a culture fascinated with forensic television programs, this book is a must for any public library collection."—Susan Cooley (PLA)


McKnight, Gerald D.

Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why

University Press of Kansas

"The author uses declassified government documents and concludes that it wasn't Oswald who murdered President Kennedy, but rogue elements of the CIA and anti-Castro Cubans."-Mary D. Lankford (AASL)
"This is a perpetually popular subject at many public libraries. This particular book is a well-researched addition to the growing number of books that investigate or question the Warren Commission's findings and modus operandi. Mr. McKnight's research included hundreds of thousands of documents from the Commission and the various agencies that were called upon to provide information to it. He concludes that the Commission had information at hand to make informed decisions but instead chose not to."—Susan Cooley (PLA)


Tabbert, Mark A.

American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities

New York University Press

"Published in conjunction with the National Heritage Museum, this beautifully illustrated work offers an historical overview of Freemasonry's origins in 17th-century Scotland and England before exploring appearance in American history. The historical examination begins with the Revolution moving through the labor and civil rights movements, and finally appearing in the 21st century historical scene. American Freemasons explores some of the causes for the rise and fall of membership in the exclusive fraternity, as well as reasons for attracting such large numbers of men throughout the last three centuries. Tabbert's examination of the relationship between the privacy of a Masonic lodge and the public environment of the American community is clearly defined in this work. American Freemasons with its rich profusion of color plates and photographs is the perfect introduction to understanding a society that, while shrouded in mystery, has played an integral role in the lives and communities of millions of Americans."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)


Douglas, Davison

Jim Crow Moves North: The Battle of Northern School Desegregation, 1865-1954

Cambridge University Press

"A well-documented and readable review of the issue of school segregation in the North post Civil War to the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement of the late 50's/60's. A piece of American History that needs our review and reflection, especially in the North."—Richard A. Hulsey (PLA)


Matteson, George

Tugboats of New York: An Illustrated History

New York University Press

"Although tugboats may be seen in most American ports, their critical development took place in New York. The historical importance of these boats is shown through readable text and excellent b&w photographs."—Mary D. Lankford (AASL)


McWilliams, James

A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America

Columbia University Press

"This book explores what we eat and why from the very beginnings of colonial settlements in the New World. Why is American food a separate cuisine unto itself? This book attempts to explain why with chapters like: adaptability; traditionalism; negotiation; wilderness; diversity; consumption, intoxication and revolution. Any public library with a section on the origins of food will want to include this book in its collection."—Susan Cooley (PLA)


Charny, Geoffroi de

A Knight's Own Book of Chivalry

University of Pennsylvania Press

"This is a modern translation of a manual of chivalry written in the 14th century by a practicing French knight of some renown. He lived to fight "and one can suspect that he thinks God is inclined in the same martial direction." The thoughtful historical introduction insists that chivalry "based on Victorian values will ...distort our sense of the broad place of chivalry in medieval society." The manual goes far afield from the rules of battle to comment on the tales of those who have traveled to foreign lands and seen "strange marvels and unusual things," the qualities of good men-at-arms, appropriate roles and behaviors of women (who should wear lots of jewelry), clergy, crusaders, etc. A primary source for AP History and AP English this might also appeal to readers of historical romance novels and Dungeons and Dragons players."—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Gessner, David

The Prophet of Dry Hill: Lessons From a Life in Nature

Beacon Press

"This book is a reverential tribute to naturalist John Hays and the cause for "living deeply". It is a treat to read about the developing friendship of the author and Hays and the language used is simple and elegant. It is a bit like reading Thoreau, finding the beauty in nature around you, yet it is a much more comfortable tone."—Trisha Burns (PLA)


Chaisson, Eric

Epic of Evolution: Seven Ages of the Cosmos

Columbia University Press

"This book is an extensive re-write of the classic, Cosmic Dawn: The Origin of Matter and Life and is just as important as its predecessor. By presenting complex topics with care and consideration, the author offers even the lay reader an accessible look at topics like universal heritage and the nature of matter and life."—Carla Bauman Franks (PLA)


Pope, Ralph

Lichens Above Treeline: A Hiker's Guide to Alpine Zone Lichens of the Northeastern United States

University Press of New England

"Full of excellent photographs for identification, this guide is very user-friendly. Not only does it offer a wealth of scientific information, it also includes anecdotal information about lichens, such as information on the reindeer that eat them, and the natural attributes that lichens possess that make them excellent monitors for pollution."—Trisha Burns (PLA)


Naskrecki, Piotr

The Smaller Majority: The Hidden World of the Animals that Dominate the Tropics

Harvard University/Belknap Press

"Ninety per cent of animals are smaller than a human finger. The 400 spectacular color photographs by author/biologists Piotr Naskrecki capture many of these creatures for us before they are forced out of existence by man. The book is divided into three sections: tropical humid forests, savannas, and deserts."—Karen Perry (AASL)


Eisner, Thomas

Secret Weapons: Defenses of Insects, Spiders, Scorpions, and Other Many-Legged Creatures

Harvard University Press/Belknap Press

"Also written by Thomas Eisner (whose title For Love of Insects has an outstanding review elsewhere in the bibliography) this title covers the defense mechanisms of a wide variety of insects, spiders, and other many-legged creatures in North America. Not to be used as a comprehensive guide, the book tells stories of the mechanisms and illustrates them with great pictures. The variety of defenses used by these creatures is astonishing, as is the patience and exacting nature of the author. This title will intrigue teens and adults alike."—Trisha Burns (PLA)


Eisner, Thomas

For Love of Insects

Harvard University Press/Belknap Press

"A reprint in paperback of an award-winning book by naturalist Thomas Eisner, this title features discussion of many field experiments and fantastic photographs of insects taken by the author."—Karen Perry (AASL)
"A fantastic collection of insect information compiled by an authority in the field, Thomas Eisner. Ranging from a caterpillar who feeds on flowers while disguising as one by affixing petals to his back, to a beetle who can resist a pull 200 times his own weight, the book is full of little known information about how insects feed, fight, and reproduce. Recommended for larger public libraries."—Trisha Burns (PLA)


Compagno, Leonard, Marc Dando, and Sarah Fowler

Sharks of the World

Princeton University Press

"Three authoritative figures in the field of marine biology, with an emphasis on shark research, provide a comprehensive guide to all known species of sharks. The illustrations are detailed, often featuring male, female and juvenile reproductions of the species. Recommended for all larger public library collections."—Trisha Burns (PLA)


O'Shea, Mark

Venomous Snakes of the World

Princeton University Press

"This oversized volume prefaces its contents with an explicit explanation (with photographs) of what happens when a venomous snake bites a human. Divided into continents of the world, the snakes are presented within their habitats. Fascinating photographs and descriptions will make this title a favorite."—Karen Perry (AASL)


Gibbons, Whit and Mike Dorcas

Snakes of the Southeast

University of Georgia Press

"Rather than the traditional groupings of field guides, this title is organized by "species accounts" using five categories: small, mid-sized, large terrestrial, aquatic, and venomous. The goal is to teach people, particularly young people, about snakes and their valuable part in our ecosystem. Snakes of the Southeast features excellent photographs and very readable text in a winning softbound format."—Karen Perry (AASL)
"Even though this title is restricted to snakes of the southeast, the chapters on feeding, predators, defense, reproduction, locomotion, and activity can be generally useful. Excellent pictures and distribution maps accompany the description of each snake and a very helpful identification table detailing scales, anal plate, body shape, body patterns, and color is also included for each snake."—Trisha Burns (PLA)


Forsberg, Michael

On Ancient Wings: The Sandhill Canes of North America

University of Nebraska Press

"A personal five-year project of the author/photographer Michael Forsberg, this book explores every aspect of the life of the sandhilll crane. From migratory flights photographed from above in an airplane, to a series of Audubon reserves on the Platte River, to Florida and Cuba where the sandhills reside in winter, the photographs record the habitat of these elegant birds. The interesting and readable text is dotted with anecdotes from people who live along the path of the cranes journey."—Karen Perry (AASL)


Caldecott, Julian and Lera Miles

World Atlas of Great Apes and Their Conservation

University of California Press

"A record of the range of the great apes of the world, which includes excellent color photographs and comments on the conservation efforts needed for each. The Atlas is divided into two main sections: an organized roll call by species and a summary by continent and country. Royalties from the sale of the book will support the Great Apes Survival Project."—Karen Perry (AASL)
"The threats to the survival of great apes are numerous and this book does an effective job of both identifying these threats and alerting the reader to current conservation efforts. Each great ape specie is given a separate chapter that contains information on behavior and ecology, communication and tool use, threats and conservation, and exceptionally detailed distribution maps. What sets this book apart is the section that details each country in which apes are found and exactly what conservation efforts are underway."—Trisha Burns (PLA)


Brown, Thomas E., Ph.D.

Attention Deficit Disorder: The Unfocused Mind in Children and Adults

Yale University Press

"This is the first book to address the perplexing question about ADD: How can individuals, some very bright, be chronically unable to "pay attention," yet be able to focus very well on specific tasks that strongly interest them? Dr. Brown disputes the "willpower" explanation and explains how inherited malfunctions of the brain's management system prevent some people from being able to deal adequately with challenging tasks of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. His book is an authoritative and practical guide for physicians and psychologists, parents and teachers, and the 7 to 9 percent of persons who suffer from ADD/ADHD."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)
"This book does a very good job of describing ADD and delineating its impact on individuals and their families. Brown discusses how ADD affects individuals at various stages of their lives. The book is especially good at exploring ADD in adults. There is an excellent list of web sites for those who wish to explore further."—Saul J. Amdursky (PLA)


Hicks, James Whitney, M.D.

50 Signs of Mental Illness: A Guide to Understanding Mental Health

Yale University Press

"This well-written book introduces a variety of psychiatric symptoms and their treatments, opening each chapter with a good story or character study. The volume is arranged alphabetically including everything from anger to suicidal thoughts, delusions to sloppiness. Statistics help present concise descriptions of various psychiatric maladies. Resources at the end of the book are extensive and include recommended books."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)
"The subtitle of this book "a user-friendly alphabetical guide to psychiatric symptoms and what you should know about them" describes why this book should be in most public libraries. The book is highly accessible. It contains chapters on anti social behavior, anger, euphoria, grief, paranoia and many more. While there is no bibliography at the end of each chapter there is a helpful chapter of recommended resources at the end of the book. The writing is straightforward and blunt."—Saul J. Amdursky (PLA)


Grobstein, Ruth H., M.D., Ph.D.

The Breast Cancer Book: What You Need to Know to Make Informed Decisions

Yale University Press

"While there is no shortage of books on this topic Grobstein's volume is written in a highly accessible fashion and is very up to date. The most valuable part of the book is the "Decision Trees." Women should find these valuable in making their next move if they receive a positive diagnosis. This book has many useful answers to questions women ask about breast cancer."—Saul J. Amdursky (PLA)


Dagget, Dan

Gardeners of Eden: Rediscovering Our Importance to Nature

University of Nevada Press

"An exciting publication that reflects on the importance of human interaction with Nature, and challenges our 'hands off' assumptions. Well presented, with real life examples and success stories - including projects in the works." —Richard A. Hulsey (PLA)


Ferris, Marcie Cohen

Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South

The University of North Carolina Press

"An interesting mix of Southern and Jewish tradition. Photographs and illustrations receive credit at the beginning of the book and at that point you have an idea about where in the South this book was conceived. The results of this new cuisine are simply fabulous and interspersed with personal stories surrounding the food's origination. Did you know that both Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Piggly Wiggly Grocery stores in the South specifically catered to the Jewish community? Facts like these are presented along with a history of the Jewish South. A great history of a culture's cooking."—-Susan Cooley (PLA)


American Institute for Cancer Research

The New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life

University of California Press

"This book in conjunction with the American Cancer Institute for Cancer Research premiers the new American plate which, unlike the traditional plate, is full of color and variety, making it easier to maintain a healthy weight while protecting against disease. The New American Plate includes 200 mouthwatering recipes, with foods easily available in the local supermarket. The offering of easy-to-prepare recipes and bounteous colorful photographs will entice readers to take a sensible approach to the art of food preparation. Excellent for libraries needing materials that stress state-of-the-art nutrition information, with finished entrees' displayed in rich colorful photographs."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)
"This fabulous cookbook was compiled by a team from the American Institute for Cancer Research. This book suggests healthy ingredients for healthy meals that may fight against cancer. This is a very classy cookbook whose recipes are delicious-sounding and whose photographs are very well done. This cookbook has been cited quite recently in a number of articles by chefs and it deserves to be so. This cookbook is recommended for any public library cookbook collection."—Susan Cooley (PLA)


Chandonnet, Ann

Gold Rush Grub: From Turpentine Stew to Hoochinoo

University of Alaska Press

"Recipes and history in one volume might seem too much but the author incorporates anecdotes, photographs, and primary source materials to create a unique historical source organized around food. Students will be able to relive the times from Alaska's gold rush of the late 1800's and the early 1900's by using this single book."—Karen Perry (AASL)


Council, Mildred

Mama Dip's Family Cookbook

The University of North Carolina Press

"Mama Dip shares her second volume of recipes for down home cooking. Included is an introduction to her work and restaurant in Chapel Hill and many of her adventures since the publication of her first cookbook."—Karen Perry (AASL)
"Home-style Southern cooking is chronicled in this second book by Mildred Council aka Mama Dip. Ms. Council has plenty of experience with Southern cooking because she is the founder of Mama Dip's Kitchen in Chapel Hill, NC. She reminiscences about her life in Chapel Hill, her upbringing and the success of her first book. Her recipes are down-to-earth treasures that would enhance any public library cookbook collection."—Susan Cooley (PLA)


Schwartzenberg, Susan

Becoming Citizens: Family Life and the Politics of Disability

University of Washington Press

"This book is a collection of narratives from a group of families in Seattle who came together to become advocates for their children who were born with various developmental disabilities. This book is an important testament to those in all of our communities who choose to live with and not institutionalize disabled children that it can be done with grace and dignity. The photographs are very well done and it has a sort of personal photographic album feel about it. I would recommend this book for any public library."—Susan Cooley (PLA)


Lash, Stephen

America and the Sea: Treasures from the Collections of Mystic Seaport

Yale University Press

"From the collections of Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum, these brilliant paintings, photographs and essays capture the rich history of American Maritime history. This unique work is sure to appeal to the seasoned hobbyist and beginning researcher alike."—Carla Bauman Franks (PLA)


Prideaux, Sue

Edvard Munch: Behind the Scream

Yale University Press

"Abundant photographs and replications of Munch's work help trace the stormy life of the artist best known today for his painting, "The Scream." Prideaux, with unfettered access to the artist's personal writing, has succeeded in completing the most comprehensive English-language biography of Munch."—Carla Bauman Franks (PLA)


Ringgold, Faith

We Flew Over the Bridge: The Memoirs of Faith Ringgold

Duke University Press

"Ringgold, author of the adored Caldecott-Honor book Tar Beach, chronicles her life from childhood, to activist, to artist and storyteller. Beautiful photographs and illustrations are weaved throughout her telling of a lively and colorful story."—Carla Bauman Franks (PLA)


Greiff, Glory-June

Remembrance, Faith, and Fancy: Outdoor Public Sculpture in Indiana

Indiana Historical Society Press

"County-by-county location guides provide detailed information on outdoor sculptures in Indiana that is not easily found in other reference books. While by no means comprehensive, over 200 photographs help capture the spirit and history of some of Indiana's most significant outdoor landmarks."—Carla Bauman Franks (PLA)


Carlin, John, Paul Karasik, and Brian Walker (Editors)

Masters of American Comics

Yale University Press

"In one colorful, oversized book fans of comics will delight in reading about, (and seeing) the progression of comics from the past 100 years. Fifteen artists, from Winsor McCay to Chris Ware, are featured to help illustrate the history of this medium with plenty of examples of drawings, newspaper pages graphic novels and comics. This work is the result of the combined effort of the Hammer Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles from an exhibit entitled, "Masters of American Comics'."—Carla Bauman Franks (PLA)


Lynn, Martha Drexler

Sculpture, Glass, and American Museums

University of Pennsylvania Press

"Glass as part of American museums permanent collections is a significant new trend in contemporary art collecting documented by Martha Drexler Lynn in Sculpture, Glass and American Museums. The collections of 26 museums are presented with a lively explanation of the process that lead to the inclusion of this new sculpture medium in America's institutions. Outstanding full page illustrations draw the reader to the text. Artists and collectors can see what museums prize while anyone teaching art history will find this informative as they create the newest part of their syllabus."—Kathleen Riley (AASL)


Greenough, Sarah, Robert Gurbo, and Sarah Kennel

André Kertész

Princeton University Press

"This book, written by Sarah Greenough and Robert Gurbo, seems to encapsulate the essence of 19th and 20th century photographer André Kertész. This book describes the photographer's life through text and the photographs that he took during his life. The photos begin in 1912 and follow through until the late 1980s and give an historical perspective of one man's life and the places he chose to live and photograph. The quality of the reproduced photographs is outstanding. I would recommend this book as a great addition to any public library's photography collection."—Susan Cooley (PLA)


O'Donnell, Joe

Japan 1945: A U.S. Marine's Photographs from Ground Zero

Vanderbilt University Press

"His assignment as a twenty-three-year-old Marine sergeant in Japan was to photograph the aftermath of the US atomic bombing raids. For seven months Joe O'Donnell toured and photographed images that were to be etched on his heart and his negatives. This book is a reprint and revised edition of a 1995 book published in Japan by Shogagukan. Twenty new images were added and there is revised text."—Karen Perry (AASL)
"Mr. O'Donnell was twenty-three when deployed to Japan in September 1945 as a Marine Corps photographer. He had formed a somewhat negative opinion about the Japanese before leaving and upon arriving he found all of his expectations shattered. The atomic bombs had just been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Mr. O'Donnell was sent to document the devastation. These personal photographs show a man immersed in the culture of the Far East and a man who came to respect the resilience of the people."—Susan Cooley (PLA)


Perlis, Vivian and Libby Van Cleve

Composer's Voices from Ives to Ellington: An Oral History of American Music

Yale University Press

"This performing arts reference based on the oral history of American music during the first decade of the twentieth century brings alive what it would be like to be a musician and composer during this era. The two CDs with the book are the actual voices of artists, which have been obtained from the Yale oral history archives. Abundant black and white photographs, sidebars, quotes, an extensive index, resource list, CD track listing and supplemental interviews included in this music book make it a unique and outstanding resource for those interested in twentieth century music."—Gay Ann Loesch (AASL) "Oral history has obvious drawbacks, it is totally subjective. However it also provides a unique perspective on people's lives. In this instance oral history is used to amplify the biographies of 14 American composers. This volume offers the reader a unique perspective on the composers who created ragtime, 'new' music, and early jazz. A very enjoyable read supplemented by 2 compact discs that contain excerpts of interviews."—Saul J. Amdursky (PLA)


Gedutis, Susan

See You at The Hall: Boston's Golden Era of Irish Music and Dance

University Press of New England

"Be it an echo of tunes played at a Galway crossroad in the nineteenth century or the latest from U2 or the Pogues, one doesn't have to go very far in almost any city in the world to find live Irish music. After World War II, new immigrants, musicians, and economic prosperity combined in Boston {and also New York} to nurture a rich dance hall scene that lasted until major demographic changes brought it to an end. In a foreword, musicologist Mick Moloney points out that one of the many roles the music halls played were as a place "whereby young people could select their own life partners" outside the old rules. Readers whose parents or grandparents met at one of the dance halls will especially enjoy this, but it is really for anyone who enjoys Irish music. Well done! "—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Wesley, Fred Jr.

Hit Me, Fred: Recollections of a Sideman

Duke University Press

"Fred Wesley is a legendary funk and soul musician who is probably best known as a trombonist and later a leader of James Brown's band. This autobiography is a compelling account of Wesley's life in music and his battle with drugs. Wesley is very frank in his opinions of other musicians, the music business, and his own personal foibles. This book is written in a conversational style that is very accessible. This is an excellent addition to the most elementary music collections."—Saul J. Amdursky (PLA)


Cullen, Jim

Born in the U.S.A.: Bruce Springsteen and the American Tradition

Wesleyan University Press

"This is a serious looking back on the meaning and message of Bruce Springsteen's music as American art with themes of demise of the American dream and addresses on social issues and causes from his first recordings to his last, The Rising. The author contemplates what will endure for the century and beyond of Springsteen's music and lyrics that value the ordinary man and woman and how he has influenced how many have lived their lives. It is about how he helped people use his music to make sense over complicated issues of our time."—Gay Ann Loesch (AASL)


Whalen, Thomas J.

Dynasty's End: Bill Russell and the 1968-69 World Championship Boston Celtics

University Press of New England

"Russell epitomized the role of a tough intelligent athlete when he played. He was a key component on a team that won an incredible 11 world championships. This book deals with Russell's last season when he was a player coach. Russell changed the basketball world by teaching how to win with style, commitment, fortitude and dignity. This is an excellent addition to any sports collection."—Saul J. Amdursky (PLA)


Kelner, Stephen P. Jr.

Motivate Your Writing!

University Press of New England

"This is an easy reading book on using motivational psychology to energize both a student and teacher's writing style. The book provides a solution to writer's block and self -image."—Dr. Gayles Evans (AASL)


Kooser, Ted

The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets

University of Nebraska Press

"This is a nuts 'n bolts book for the beginning poet, but will also help English teachers and students with the study of poetry. Ted Kooser's advice is basic, factual and comes from experience. This book belongs in public library poetry collections."—Mary Cosper-LeBoeuf (PLA)


Westfahl, Gary (Editor)

Science Fiction Quotations: From the Inner Mind to the Outer Limits

Yale University

"This unique literary work selects quotations culled from a large number of science fiction writers. The author in the introduction states "Working on this project made him humbling, enlightening, and exhilarating. Humbling because I have become more aware than ever of just how vast the field of science fiction is, or just how many books, stories films, and television programs people should be familiar with before daring to call themselves experts in the field."—Dr. Gayles Evans (AASL)


Barrett, Faith and Cristanne Miller

Words for the Hour: A New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry

University of Massachusetts Press

"This selection of poems generated during the American Civil War is expressed in a powerful display of man's quest for freedom. This is an excellent addition to a history curriculum."—Dr. Gayles Evans (AASL)
"This anthology of American Civil War poetry is excellent for a public library poetry collection. The editors include a Civil War timeline, a detailed introduction on Civil War poetry, brief biography of the poets, and a glossary. The collection includes published and non-published poems."—Mary Cosper-LeBoeuf (PLA)


Welty, Eudora (edited by Patti Carr Black)

Early Escapades

University Press of Mississippi

"Early Escapades is a show and tell of the wonderful wit of Eudora Welty. The poetry, caricatures, sketches, and satires will make you laugh out loud. This book made me wish that I had been friends with such a witty ingenious person."—Mary Cosper-LeBoeuf (PLA)


Engels, John

Recounting the Seasons: Poems 1958-2005

University of Notre Dame Press

"This beautiful literary work can be integrated into an English class because of the astonishing range of long, short, easy, philosophical, casual, and uplifting poems. Teachers can also use this book in a writing class. The book reads like a sonnet. This will be an excellent addition to the high school classroom and library."—Dr. Gayles Evans (AASL)
"This book is a beautiful collection of poems by John Engels. A wonderful book to cuddle with on a rainy afternoon or sitting on a park bench in the morning sun, this book is a great addition to a public library poetry collection."—Mary Cosper-LeBoeuf (PLA)


Boutelle, Annie

Becoming Bone: Poems on the Life of Celia Thaxter (1836-1894)

The University of Arkansas Press

"This is an excellent book for an English class. To expose students to the poems on the life of Celia Thaxter brings a new element of literary excellence."—Dr. Gayles Evans (AASL)


Immel, Mary Blair

Captured! A Boy Trapped in the Civil War

Indiana Historical Society Press

"This historical novel tells the story of Johnny Ables from Kentucky, his imprisonment in a camp for Civil War soldiers in Indiana, and speculates why he might have been the subject of a petition for release. The historical photographs and drawings throughout the book will make the story come alive for students and ground the story in historical research. This would be an ideal novel (from middle schools through high schools) to use across the curriculum, linking English/language arts and social studies/history classes with a boy's adventure story."—Terri Lent (AASL


Goodman Susan and Carl Dawson

William Dean Howells: A Writer's Life

University of California Press

"Literary biography may not be the most compelling medium but it has been several decades since there has been an examination of Howells, who was a giant of his time. He was a life long friend of both Samuel Clemens and Henry James, closely involved with the Cambridge group that included Hawthorne and Emerson, and supported the creative life of women and African American authors. This book provides a great deal of insight into Howells' motivations for his writings and the volume of his output."—Saul J. Amdursky (PLA)


Bell, Bernard W.

The Contemporary African American Novel: Its Folk Roots and Modern Literary Branches

University of Massachusetts Press

"This book should be required reading in the study of African American novels. Bernard Bell writes an in-depth study of African American novels and authors from 1983 to 2001."—Mary Cosper-LeBoeuf (PLA)


Cofer, Judith Ortiz

The Meaning of Consuelo: A Novel

Beacon Press

"Consuelo is the good older daughter; studious, quiet, and obedient. Mili, her younger sister, is quite the opposite, lively, sunny and unpredictable. Consuelo narrates this coming of age novel set in Puerto Rico. As her family struggles with Mili's erratic behavior, Consuelo is left to find love and attention on her own, first from her gay male cousin, then in the arms of her first boyfriend and finally from a teacher at her school. When Consuelo's parents decide to move to New York City, tragedy strikes the family once more which moves Consuelo firmly into adulthood. This novel has many words and phrases in Spanish which are defined in a glossary at the end of the book. This novel should find a place in most high schools throughout the country and has been awarded the Americas Award."—Terri Lent (AASL)


Gilchrist, Ellen

The Writing Life

University Press of Mississippi

"Well-known fiction author, Eileen Gilchrist, has compiled essays autobiographical in nature to explore the rules of her writing. She discusses the forces that pushed her to write about her life and the excitement and challenge of working with students in the classroom. This book will appeal to not only fans of Ms. Gilchrist but also to those who love to read about writers and their writing. This is recommended for all public library collections."—Susan Cooley (PLA)


Myung-Ok Lee, Marie

Somebody's Daughter: A Novel

Beacon Press

"Marie Myung-Ok Lee has written a unique and powerful novel about a Korean born young woman who was adopted by an American family while very young. Sarah grows up in blond-haired, blue-eyed Minnesota ignoring her Korean heritage and picturing herself as the "all-American girl." During her freshman year in college, Sarah drops out and decides to study in Korea. There, she meets two young men, a Korean hoping to meet Americans, and a Korean American struggling to come to terms with his mixed heritage. With their help, Sarah sets out to find her birth mother and learns about herself and the country of her birth. Interwoven throughout Sarah's story is the story of Sarah's birth mother, Kyung-sook, and the circumstances that led up to Sarah's adoption. This is a wonderful novel that covers a unique topic and should be considered for most high schools."—Terri Lent (AASL)


Petry, Elisabeth (Editor)

Can Anything Beat White? A Black Family's Letters

University Press of Mississippi

"Elisabeth Petry has allowed us a fascinating glimpse into African American lives after the Civil War. Through letters saved from three generations of the editor's family are put into context by her explanations of family history and used to shed light on larger historical events. Highly readable, this title would be a great companion to Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball."—Terri Lent (AASL)


Bosco, Ronald A. (Editor)

Nature's Panorama: Thoreau on the Seasons

University of Massachusetts Press

"This book is written as a journal. Thoreau's first entry is March 23, 1856. The words are beautiful and poetic. This is an excellent book to use in a writing class and English class. The text is very warm and invites you to turn to the next page."—Dr. Gayles Evans (AASL)


Grant, Steve (Editor)

Daily Observations: Thoreau on the Days of the Year

University of Massachusetts Press

"This is written from the prospective of Henry David Thoreau's Journal. This a wonderful book to learn about the life of Henry David Thoreau and his writings. This is an excellent book to use in a junior high school and high school English and writing class."—Dr. Gayles Evans (AASL)


Shakespeare, William (introductions by Burton Raffel)

The Annotated Shakespeare Series: Macbeth, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew

Yale University Press

"The volumes in this series will enrich any library that stocks editions of individual Shakespearean plays. For these three, Professor Raffel again contributes two introductory essays and on-page annotations that aid the reader in vocabulary, usage of Elizabethan English, pronunciation, alternative readings of phrases and lines, and prosody, i.e. metric structure or accents. Harold Bloom contributes an essay that is specific to the play in each volume. Especially helpful are definitions of common words that have changed meanings over the past four hundred years. It's fun to learn from notes that statements that are obscure today were, on the stage of the Globe, really quite bawdy. The series thus far includes six plays: Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Othello, Romeo and Juliet and Taming of the Shrew."—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Butler, Colin

Practical Shakespeare: The Plays in Practice and on the Page

Ohio University Press

"Students of theater, students of Shakespeare, teachers and general playgoers will enrich their experience and skills with this book. Notes on staging, acting behaviors, scenes not shown, entrances, exits, characterizations, prologues, choruses, and staging are each featured in the text. References to specific scenes in the plays are used to illustrate and support the material. Any group preparing a production of one of the plays should find this a useful reference. "—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Lenz, Millicent and Carole Scott (Editors)

His Dark Materials Illuminated: Critical Essays on Philip Pullman's Trilogy

Wayne State University Press

"This challenging anthology of scholarly interpretations of Philip Pullman's trilogy might convince non-fantasy readers that more attention should be given to the genre. One essay defining the characteristics of 'high fantasy' would improve the professional understanding of librarians whose population includes readers twelve and over. The fifteen essays fit into three broad themes: "Reading Fantasy, Figuring Human Nature", "Intertextuality and Revamping Traditions" (including comparisons with Tolkien and C.S. Lewis), and "Pullman and Theology, Pullman and Science Fiction." Of course, AP English students should also grab this one. "—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Andersen, Hans Christian (translated by Diane Crone Frank and Jeffrey Frank)

The Stories of Hans Christian Andersen: A New Translation from the Danish

Duke University Press.

"Hans Christian Andersen was once a houseguest of Charles Dickens who overstayed his welcome. He "suffered torment" at criticism by Kierkegaard, was mistakenly plagiarized by the Brothers Grimm, was compared unfavorably to writers whose names have long ago faded into oblivion, had a curious sex-life, and may have lived and died a virgin. A long but interesting biographical essay and a new, smooth translation of 22 of his more familiar tales are presented herein. This is for older readers and students of children's literature. The Princess on (not and) the Pea had only 347 words in the original Danish version!"—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Verne, Jules (translated by Stanford L. Luce)

The Begum's Millions

Wesleyan University Press

"Jules Verne is considered the "Father of Science Fiction." Even his less important work—this being an example—are arguably superior to the pulp science fiction that followed him in the twentieth century. "The Begum's Millions involves technology falling into the hands of an evil leader, echoing Rabelais' maxim "Science without conscience leads to the ruin of ones soul." This edition, the first modern English translation, is accompanied by a thorough introductory essay, extensive notes, and a comprehensive bibliography. Part of the Wesleyan Early Classics of Science Fiction series, it belongs on the shelves of libraries where science fiction is respected. The series as a whole allows readers to look back on 'yesterday's tomorrows.'"—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Gombrich, E.H. (translated by Caroline Mustill)

A Little History of the World

Yale University Press

"Translated only recently into English from the original German, Gombrich's historical review is a conversational, sometimes humorous text for young people that never condescends. This charmingly illustrated history has a place at both the middle school and high school levels for students who would benefit more from a concept-centered approach to world history rather than a strict chronological one."—Clark E. Heath (AASL)


Whitfield, Peter

Cities of the World: A History in Maps

University of California Press

"This exquisite coffee table-sized book offers a well-researched glimpse into the history of 67 cities both real and imagined. All the maps are in full color and beautifully reproduced. Suitable for a high school reference collection, this book would make a fine supplement to most Social Studies curriculum. Whitfield's introduction entitled, The City in History, is a concise essay worthy of advance placement courses in World History."—Clark E. Heath (AASL)
"I love maps and I love this book! A neat history of "the city", specific cities of the world, and dream cities never built. Over 60 famous cities such as London, Paris and Vienna and not as famous cities such as Calais, Goa, and Lhasa are included with at least one historical map as well as informative text about the history of each city."—Therese M. Feicht (PLA)


Nisbet, Jack

The Mapmaker's Eye: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau

Washington State University Press

"More than a biography on the frontier cartographer of the Canadian Northwest, this soft-cover book provides context through excerpts from Thompson's journal entries. This book has regional appeal, however the sidebars explaining topics such as native tribes, frontier surveying, and northwest fauna help to broaden the audience to those interested in frontier life in general. The maps and illustrations, some of which are in color or sepia tone, give great visual appeal. Recommended for high school level."—Clark E. Heath (AASL) "This is a fascinating account of how one curious fellow shaped the history of North America. The first accurate maps of the Columbia River were drawn by Canadian explorer and surveyor David Thompson based on his 5 year journey beginning in 1807. The author shares a marvelous adventure using Thompson's daybooks, reports, letters, and autobiographical Travels, the first written records that accurately describe the Inland Northwest north of the Snake River, along with the oral traditions of the Plateau people, and artwork of those who followed his trail."—Therese M. Feicht (PLA)


Ambrose, Holly

30 EcoTrips in Florida: The Best Nature Excursions (and How to Leave Only Your Footprints)

University Press of Florida

"Logically and consistently organized, with plenty of details to dream and plot the perfect nature trip for a day or a week in any part of Florida. The Wildlife Calendar in the appendices is especially welcome for travel planners as it provides a monthly list of unique wildlife activities such as when pitcher plant bogs are in bloom (April) and when manatees begin to concentrate in rivers, bays and near power plants (September). Use this guide with a state roadmap or other relevant maps as there are no maps included. This is the Florida I want to experience!"—Therese M. Feicht (PLA)


Curtis, J.E. and N. Tallis (Editors)

Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia

University of California Press

"The exhibit mounted in the British Museum in London is documented in this invitingly illustrated oversized volume. Persia, or Iran, in the third through the fifth centuries is examined here at the height of its splendor. In addition to the art objects a discussion of transportation, commerce and the Graeco-Persian Wars is presented without the classical bias created by Herodotus. A new yet classical look at Iran."—Kathleen Riley (AASL)


Allan, Tony

Life, Myth, and Art in Ancient Rome

Getty Publications

"Exquisitely chosen art and photographs to depict chapter topics. Succinct chapters full of daily living facts about the Romans. Fans of the Marcus Didius Falco mysteries by Lindsey Davis would enjoy this book."—-Therese M. Feicht (PLA)


Holt, Frank L.

Into the Land of Bones: Alexander the Great in Afghanistan

University of California Press

"Recipe for the Ruin of a Superpower Invading Afghanistan: All goes well at first. Then 1) estimate the time and resources necessary to conquer and control the region; 2) double the estimates; 3) repeat as needed. This is only the beginning of the recipe and there does not seem to be an end to it. The British and the Soviets cut their huge losses by retreating while Alexander left a large army of occupation who settled in the area. What path will the United States take? This very readable history helps one understand the broader context of today's war in Afghanistan."—Therese M. Feicht (PLA)


Barton, Peter, Peter Doyle, and Johan Vandewalle

Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers' War 1914-18

McGill-Queen's University Press

"A thoroughly researched presentation-complete with maps and illustrations-of the incredible work of the Tunnellers' during World War I. This item will be well received by history fans, and its size and illustrations make for great 'coffee table' review and discussion."—Richard A. Hulsey (PLA)


Barnouw, Dagmar

The War in the Empty Air: Victims, Perpetrators, and Postwar Germans

Indiana University Press

"Unlike many popular books today, this unique study of WWII Germany focuses on the suffering of non-Jewish Germans during and after WWII. Special attention is paid to the reasons behind the silence that many Germans continued to keep until recently."—Carla Bauman Franks (PLA)


Weiss, Jack

Memories, Dreams, Nightmares: Memoirs of a Holocaust Survivor

University of Calgary Press

"Erno Weisz (now Jack Weiss), was fourteen when he was shipped to Auschwitz. He remembers that his happy childhood ended eleven years before when his mother died. Physical survival was the result of luck, courage, stubbornness and tenacity. On a death march an SS guard forced two prisoners to carry him such that he appeared to be still marching. Why? He can only wonder. His moral and emotional life is strong and healthy - a rarer miracle still as he wonders, "Why?" He was pleased to get the numbers on his arm because on tattoo day he had outrun a soldier who'd slated him for a truck headed for extermination. "You don't brand an animal you are going to slaughter." In a writing style that is gripping and very readable he tells of having had a good life. One might intend reading just a short vignette but this complex man is habit forming."—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Arn, Edward C. (edited by Jerome Mushkat)

Arn's War: Memoirs of a World War II Infantryman, 1940-1946

The University of Akron Press

"To review the events of World War through the eyes of an infantryman is looking at history from a personal view. This is a well-written book and should be used in history courses."—Dr. Gayles Evans (AASL)


Kernan, Alvin

The Unknown Battle of Midway: The Destruction of the American Torpedo Squadrons

Yale University Press

"Alvin Kernan was an 18-year-old enlisted man on the aircraft carrier Enterprise during the Battle of Midway. Superbly more than a misty-eyed reminiscence, this is a detailed, scholarly, history and analysis of how the United States won the battle that began to turn the tide against Japan despite defective torpedoes purchased through politically based defense spending, obsolete planes with severely limited range, faulty leadership, poor planning and no live ammunition flight training whatsoever for most of the torpedo crews. 128 pilots and crew went out but only 29 came back; torpedo plane losses numbered 44 of 51. The work is "Dedicated to the memory of John C. Waldron, Lieutenant Commander, USN-killed in action commanding Torpedo Squadron Eight at the Battle of Midway, June 4, 1942.' Professor Kernan reminds us that "no one ever dies, as long as they are remembered."—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Murphy, David E.

What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa

Yale University Press

"Intelligence warns of impending attack, the leader ignores the warnings, choosing to believe only information that echoes his preconceived conclusions. Invasion begins, brutal battles follow. America in 2000-2001? No, the Soviet Union in 1940-41. David E. Murphy was chief of Soviet operations at CIA headquarters in the United States during the 60s. He researched and wrote this book in an effort to understand why Stalin did not react to multiple intelligence warnings about an impending German invasion. Barbarossa was the German code name for Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. The battle line formed in the invasion became the Eastern Front and was characterized by brutal battles, terrible loss of life, and miserable conditions for both sides. AP history students might welcome this careful analysis."—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Rosenberg, Emily S.

A Date Which Will Live: Pearl Harbor in American Memory

Duke University Press

' "Remember the Alamo!" "Custer's Last Stand," "Remember the Maine," and "9/11" have become more symbols used as rallying cries by American leaders, journalists, and assorted scoundrels than concrete historical events. With Pearl Harbor as her focal point, Emily Rosenberg discusses how historical reality is blended by media (books, film, radio, television, blogs, etc.) to produce the realities of popular culture. This is a thoughtful, insightful, serious book that details Pearl Harbor's various meanings and uses over the six decades since 1941. A final chapter compares 9/11 and December 7th and cites many of the comparisons that have been made. Ideal for an AP class in journalism where media and/or propaganda will be studied."—Judith McGowan (AASL)


Skiba, Katherine M.

Sister in the Band of Brothers: Embedded with the 101st Airborne in Iraq

University Press of Kansas

"Katherine Skiba, a reporter, was the only woman embedded with the 101st Airborne when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. She has written a fascinating and compelling memoir of her time within the training with other reporters, waiting to invade Iraq and spending the first few months of the war with soldiers in Iraq. With humor and frank language, she relays the courage and strength of character found in the members of the 101st Airborne. This memoir will interest high school students and put a real face on today's military, many of whom are not much older than those students."—Terri Lent (AASL)


Wittes, Tamara Cofman

How Israelis and Palestinians Negotiate

United States Institute of Peace Press

"Five essays by leading scholars focus on the concept of culture and the role it plays in the success and failure of the Middle East peace process. Both Israeli and Palestinian cultures are assessed and explained as a context to understand snags and successes from Oslo II to the Camp David accords. This small volume is very accessible to high school readers and should generate interest in understanding the larger issues which continue to add to the instability of the region."—Terri Lent (AASL)


Hall, Anthony J.

The American Empire and the Fourth World: The Bowl With One Spoon, Part One

McGill-Queen's University Press

"The world views the United States as the greatest superpower in terms of their military, commercial, and cultural endowments. The American Empire and the Fourth World, winner of the 2004 Wilfred Eggleston Award for Nonfiction, presents comparative accounts of policies toward Aboriginals that have done much to shape the interconnected histories of the United States, Canada, Latin America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The volume introduces a larger literary project entitled The Bowl with One Spoon, and introduces a variety of views on the US and its globalization that have prevailed since conquests began in 1492."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)


St-Denis, Guy

Tecumseh's Bones

McGill-Queen's University Press

"Part detective story, part historical inquiry, this book will peak the interest of even the most reluctant history student. The book gives an in depth look at the Shawnee chief with vivid descriptions of regional life in the nineteenth century and the countless attempts to locate the chief's grave. Tecumseh's Bones examines attitudes towards Natives and their relations with early Euro-Canadian settlers as well as highlights the role of women in shaping the folklore traditions associated with the Shawnee chief."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)


Babun, Teo A. Jr. and Victor A. Triay

The Cuban Revolution: Years of Promise

University Press of Florida

"Phenomenal photographic essay of the daily workings of the Cuban Revolution using private collection images never before published. Photos depicting chaplains using tire chains on jeeps to get through the mud to minister to the rebels; executions and abandoned bodies; and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy charming the refugees at the Miami Orange Bowl provide a vivid portrayal of Fidel Castro's coup."—Therese M. Feicht (PLA)


Meagher, Timothy J.

The Columbia Guide to Irish American History

Columbia University Press

"Intended for "readers coming to the study of Irish Americans for the first time" this book will be of interest and use to anyone interested in Irish America, even those of us who think we are fairly knowledgeable in the field. Professor Meagher includes a history of Irish America from the 18th century to the 21st century, plus thoughtful discussions of issues and themes such as gender and family, politics, nationalism, and racism. Included is a chronology of significant events both in Irish and Irish-American history. "—Judith McGowan (AASL)
"Timothy J. Meagher fuses an overview of Irish American history with an analysis of historians' debates, an annotated bibliography, a chronology of critical events, and a glossary discussing crucial individuals, organizations, and dates. He examines Irish American history from the first Irish settlements in the seventeenth century through the famine years in the nineteenth century to the unpredictability of 1960s America and beyond to the twentieth century. Teachers and students interested in the history of Irish America will welcome this book."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)
"Outlined in 5 parts this concise and clearly written history offers a wealth of information including immigration history from colonial times to the present; issues in Irish American history such as politics; notable people, events and organizations; and a very useful chronology and annotated bibliography."—Therese M. Feicht (PLA)


White, Shane and Graham White

The Sounds of Slavery: Discover African American History through Songs, Sermons, and Speech

Beacon Press

"Shane White and Graham White, two historians unrelated to each other except in their effort to research American slavery , tell the story of slavery's two-and-a-half centuries and several million African and African-American slave oral traditions filled with dynamic, unruly story-telling that was meant to be heard, not read. In The Sounds of Slavery, accompanied by an 18-track CD of vocal performances, White and White reconstruct the aural world of bonded blacks. Excellent for today's student."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)


Lemay, J. A. Leo

The Life Of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 1: Journalist, 1706-1730

University of Pennsylvania Press

"Volume 1 is the first of a seven-volume biography, written by veteran scholar J.A. Leo Lemay, it stands to become an important library resource for understanding Benjamin Franklin's character and place in American history. This first volume chronicles the early years of Franklin, from his birth to his marriage in 1730. Lemay brilliantly focuses his attention on Franklin's literary works rather than a mere chronicle of his life as many biographers have done. Volume I demonstrates how Franklin became more than just a renown journalist in Colonial America but perhaps the most important writer and publisher of any genre. Lemay manages to appeal to the scholarly researcher as well as the general reader by being accessible and interesting. This masterfully written biography is indispensable and must be counted as highly recommended on any list."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)


Lemay, J. A. Leo

The Life of Benjamin Franklin, Vol. 2: Printer and Publisher, 1730-1747

University of Pennsylvania Press

"Volume 2, the second of a seven-volume set, takes Franklin from his marriage in 1730 to his retirement as a printer at the beginning of 1748, examining the mysteries of the illegitimate William Franklin's birth and mother and Franklin's increasing civic activities. Representing a lifetime of research, this seven-volume biography will give readers an unmatched resource for understanding Benjamin Franklin's character and place in American history. This second volume chronicles the years of Franklin's success in printing and publishing, including his interest in technology and science. Volume 2 must be counted, as with Lemay's first volume, highly recommended on any list."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)


Talbott, Page (Editor)

Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World

Yale University Press

"This book, designed to accompany the traveling Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary exhibition celebrating Franklin's 300th birthday, includes essays by ten prominent scholars that offer an overview of Franklin's life and cover the full range of his interests and achievements, lavish color images numbering 265+ include portraits, manuscripts, drawings, maps, paintings, engravings, and a plethora of Franklin's possessions, from teacups to printing equipment."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)
"A beautiful book published to celebrate the 300th birthday of Benjamin Franklin. It is packed with interesting information that kept drawing me further into it (I don't often read the text in coffee-table books). Franklin's legacy is profound—-he was a scientist, printer, politician, diplomat, and civic improver and it is all shared in this comprehensive guide including new scholarship and unique images, many published here for the first time."—Therese M. Feicht (PLA)


Goodrich, Thomas

The Darkest Dawn: Lincoln, Booth, and the Great American Tragedy

Indiana University Press

"Goodrich's The Darkest Dawn, an excellent choice for Civil War and US History study, brings to his narrative the intriguing lure of fiction laced with tragedy while maintaining historical accuracy. The story of Lincoln's assassination is a gripping account of an American president's legacy left undone."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)
"Stirring and detailed account of Lincoln's assassination and its aftereffects. Reads like action-packed fiction yet studded with detail from primary sources."—Therese M. Feicht (PLA)


Humez, Jean M.

Harriet Tubman: The Life and the Life Stories

The University of Wisconsin Press

"Author Jean M. Humez a professor of women's studies, attempts to reconstruct Tubman's life through previous biographies of both black and white writers including transcribed interviews of Tubman. The work includes a discussion of Tubman's work as a public performer of her own life history during the nearly sixty years she lived in the North. This scholarly work draws upon slave narrative literature to illustrate a more concise portrait of Tubman and the dynamic culture in which she lived and worked. Humez illustrates how Tubman, though unable to write, made major unrecognized contributions to the shaping of her own larger-than-life persona."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)
"A wealth of information in one volume that will be enjoyed by general readers and treasured by scholars and historians. Comprehensive research, including the complete text of the stories that Harriet Tubman told about her life."—Therese M. Feicht (PLA)


Swanson, Mark (illustrated by Jacqueline D. Langley)

Atlas of the Civil War Month by Month: Major Battles and Troop Movements

University of Georgia Press

"Painstakingly researched and collected, this is the first Civil War atlas to depict multiple aspects of the war's action in a month-by-month sequence from April 1861 to June 1865. More than 50 crisply rendered maps show the broad sweep of military campaigns and naval operations in chronological order. Color-coded highlights on each map feature major troop and fleet movements, key engagements and skirmishes, cavalry raids and partisan actions, among other significant information. A separate series of maps displays political and social trends during the six months preceding the outbreak of hostilities. A comparison of free and slave state populations, results of the 1860 census and the presidential election of that year are covered in detail. An absolute must for Civil War studies."—Barbara Bertoldo (AASL)
"This oversize book is an excellent monthly progress of the Civil War. The maps are excellent with details of the site activity on the opposite page. A must have for public libraries."—Mary Cosper-LeBoeuf (PLA)


Feintuch, Burt and David H. Watters (Editors)

The Encyclopedia of New England

Yale University Press

"Examines what is meaningful, distinctive, or characteristic about life in this region. Organized thematically in 22 sections ranging from Agriculture, to Tourism."—Mary D. Lankford (AASL)


Boomhower, Ray E.

The Sword and The Pen: A Life of Lew Wallace

Indiana Historical Society Press

"Exceptionally well-crafted biographical account of Indiana-born Civil War soldier, Lew Wallace. A thorough index and biographical references are included. With photographs and illustrations vividly depicting a life dramatically lived, The Sword and The Pen is an excellent addition to any school or public library."—Sonja Plummer-Morgan (PLA)


Fienup-Riordan, Ann

Yup'ik Elders at the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin

University of Washington Press

"In light of the modern interest in prehistoric immigrations to the Americas, Yupik Elders is vital to a public library or secondary school library because it details not only tools and utensils of a stone-age culture, but also explicates the usage of these items by tapping oral traditions and old written records of the culture."—Sonja Plummer-Morgan (PLA)


Starn, Orin, Carlos Ivan Degregori, and Robin Kirk (Editors).

The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics

Duke University Press

"Provides the reader with a deeper understanding of the complex country that lies behind claims of richest treasures, bloodiest conquests, most poignant ballads, most violent revolutionaries. Covers Peru's history from its extraordinary pre-Columbian civilizations to its 21st century struggles to achieve dignity and justice in a multicultural nation."—Mary D. Lankford (AASL)

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