2010 University Press Books


Selected for Public and Secondary School Libraries

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Outstanding-Rated Titles and Reviews

The following titles received ratings of "Outstanding" (O) by one or more members of the 2010 University Press Books Committee. "Outstanding" titles are defined as having exceptional editorial content and subject matter. They are essential editions to most library collections.


Coleman, Daniel

In Bed With the Word: Reading, Spirituality, and Cultural Politics

The University of Alberta Press

“Do we need more spiritual quiet times in our lives? In Bed With the Word explores how we need to do this deeply spiritual activity to help our lives improve. This is perfect for people who long to connect or reconnect with something deeper.” —Elizabeth Hope Willoughby (AASL)


Hrdy, Sarah Blaffer

Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding

The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press

“Hrdy has written a very comprehensible anthropological study about mothering, cooperative breeding, and childcare practices within ape, primate, and human hunter/gatherer societies. These evolving communal care practices (‘it takes a village to raise a child’) ultimately influenced human emotion and social skills.” —Karen Pangallo (AASL)


Browning, Don S. and Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore

Children and Childhood in American Religions: Primary Sources and Texts

Rutgers University Press

“This collection of essays by religious scholars shows how various religions use their traditions and teachings to help guide children and their parents in American life.”—Elizabeth Hope Willoughby (AASL)


Heck, Paul L.

Common Ground: Islam, Christianity, and Religious Pluralism

Georgetown University Press

“An engaging look at the similarities and differences in Christian and Muslim beliefs and practices. This book will create understanding and a dialogue between the two religions.” —Elizabeth Hope Willoughby (AASL)


Watt, Jeffrey R.

The Scourge of Demons: Possession, Lust, and Witchcraft in a Seventeenth-Century Italian Convent

The University of Rochester Press

“For two years in the 1630’s, one Italian convent suffered from strange symptoms among some of its residents. The drama of the book hinges on the fact that the male hierarchy of the church was divided among those who wished to acknowledge demon possessions and those who wished to ignore it. The book provides the wisdom which underscores the wisdom of the second course of action and the forces which mitigated against it.” —Sonja Plummer-Morgan (PLA)


Smith, Jane I.

Islam in America, Second Edition

Columbia University Press

“This general introduction to the practice of Islam in North America sheds light on the difficulties in practicing Islam in the west. The prejudices, the confrontations with secularism and the differences between Muslims themselves all create intricacies that non-Muslims might not understand. This book helps to open the way to discourse.”—Hilary Albert (PLA)

“This post 9/11 look at Islam in America introduces the beliefs in the Muslim faith, the history of Islam in North America and profiles the lives of Muslims in the United States. It also explains their raising and education of children, appropriate dress and behavior, and incidents of prejudice and unfair treatment.” —Elizabeth Hope Willoughby (AASL)


Sam, Canyon

Sky Train: Tibetan Women on the Edge of History

University of Washington Press

“This is a supremely moving account of the plight of the Tibetan people after the military occupation of their country by the People’s Republic of China. An empathetic observer returns to her spiritual roots to access the devastation of what had formerly been the apex of Buddhist monasticism.” —Sonja Plummer-Morgan (PLA)


Lewis, Catherine M. and J. Richard Lewis (Editors)

Jim Crow America: A Documentary History

The University of Arkansas Press

“This history takes an unflinching look at the sources and the results of the Jim Crow Laws appearance in Southern America prior to the turn of the 20th Century. The book includes multiple illustrations which, in our age, are simply unbelievable but just simply scratch the surface of the reality of that time.”—Sonja Plummer-Morgan (PLA)


Allen, Peggy Vonsherie

The Pecan Orchard: Journey of a Sharecropper’s Daughter

The University of Alabama Press

“This memoir of the granddaughter of slaves will make the reader laugh and cry, but in the end rejoice at her triumph in life.”—Hilary Albert (PLA)

“Absolutely riveting story of a sharecropper’s daughter’s rise from poverty to achieve the American dream of prosperity. The memoir details the traditional aspects of rural life and is just a fascinating read.”—Teri Maggio (PLA)


Matrana, Marc R.

Lost Plantations of the South

University Press of Mississippi

“Matrana’s book depicts the history of 63 “lost” plantation homes. The history of the plantations with floor plans and photographs will benefit those researching the forgotten history of these homes. This book is a welcome addition to libraries for the family and architectural histories of the plantations which give a glimpse into colonial and antebellum life.” —Mary Cosper LeBoeuf (PLA)


Sitiki/Griffin, Patricia C.

The Odyssey of an African Slave

University Press of Florida

“Built on the recently discovered personal narratives of an African enslaved in Africa when he was five years old, The Odyssey of an African Slave tells the story of ‘Sitiki’ who traveled as a cabin boy to the United States and was sold to a master in Savannah, Georgia. He was captured by the British in the War of 1812, was freed at the end of the Civil War and became the first black Methodist minister in St. Augustine, Florida. This is a riveting, revealing story of an American century and institution as well as an account of the experiences of a remarkable man.”—Sarah Prueter (PLA)


Davis, Jack E.

An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century

University of Georgia Press

“According to the author, ‘this book is two books in one: a biography of a woman and a biography of a place, both of surprising endurance, and the story of the mutually beneficial relationships they forged with one another.’ Douglas’ 1947 book The Everglades: River of Grass was instrumental in changing people’s perception of the Everglades from simply a swamp to a biological wonder and was the basis for early efforts to protect the area. She became most known for her environmental activism when she was in her 80s and 90s and lived to see the Everglades Forever Act passed in 1994. This book is a tribute to a remarkable woman who will be remembered as a major 20th century environmentalist.”—Christine Owens (PLA)

“More than a biography of one of the most influential environmental activists of her time, in this book Mrs. Douglas sets the stage for the current green movement. In this very thorough volume, the history of environmental awareness is personified in all of the works of Mrs. Douglas. Particular emphasis is given to her work preserving the Florida Everglades and protecting them from development.” —Karen Pangallo (AASL)


McCabe, Katie and Dovey Johnson Roundtree

Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree

University Press of Mississippi

Justice Older than the Law is the story of Dovey Johnson Roundtree, a retired lawyer, army veteran, and A.M.E. minister, who rose from the segregated environment in North Carolina to become a protégé of Mary McLeod Bethune and one of the first women to break the gender and race barriers in the United States military. As a lawyer she was also triumphant in winning a 1955 bus desegregation case, Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company, which abolished “separate but equal” within the realms of interstate transportation. This case laid the groundwork for Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to fight to aid the “Freedom Riders” campaign in 1961, the same year Mrs. Roundtree merged her law practice and ministry together to fight for family and children being destroyed by urban violence. Mrs. Roundtree currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.” —Sabrina Carnesi (AASL)


Hall, Kermit L., and James W. Ely (Editors)

The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions, Second Edition

Oxford University Press

“The second edition of The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions is an excellent source for quick and concise summaries of Supreme Court decisions. The book is rich in quickly accessible historical information through the many appendices. Timelines and chronologies for the nomination and succession of justices, appointments by Presidential terms, and the succession of justices provide a historical overview of the Supreme Court that is readily available. A bibliography for further reading by legal topics also contributes added value to this reference work suitable for public and academic libraries.” —Janice Krueger (AASL)


Walzer, Michael and Nicolaus Mills (Editors)

Getting Out: Historical Perspectives on Leaving Iraq

University of Pennsylvania Press

“This excellent book of essays looks at the issue of getting out of Iraq in both historical and current contexts. The historical section examines both right and wrong approaches while the second section examines how the United States got into Iraq and at various exit strategies.”—Hilary Albert (PLA)


Kilcullen, David

The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One

Oxford University Press

“Kilcullen is the advisor on counter insurgency to General Petraeus. He defines accidental guerillas as locals fighting because outsiders are intruding on their space both physically and culturally. The book is compelling and necessary to understanding the changes needed to move beyond a war of terror to peace.”—Hilary Albert (PLA)


Schwab, Stephen Irving Max

Guantánamo, USA: The Untold History of America’s Cuban Outpost

University Press of Kansas

“This history of Guantánamo Bay spans 100 years. Starting with Theodore Roosevelt, the Cold War and the Castro brothers to the infamous reputation it is now receiving. This is the United States’ oldest naval base and has a great deal to offer regarding naval history. Not lost in this excellent book is the antagonism between two nations that refuse to communicate anywhere but by the fence.” —Hilary Albert (PLA)


Seidl, Amy

Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World

Beacon Press

“An ecologist’s very personal view of the impact of global warming on her family and Vermont community will bring this current topic into sharp focus for young readers. Descriptions of the activities of her young children and how they have been impacted by climate change (e.g. canoeing rather than skating in December) are intertwined with scientific information from ecosystems as far away as Mexico and Japan.”—Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Rosner, Lisa

The Anatomy Murders: Being the True and Spectacular History of Edinburgh’s Notorious Burke and Hare and of the Man of Science Who Abetted Them in the Commission of Their Most Heinous Crimes

University of Pennsylvania Press

“In 1828 William Burke and William Hare of Edinburgh, Scotland were the first serial killers to gain media attention. They were accused of killing sixteen people over a twelve month period in order to sell the corpses for dissection at medical schools. The research into the murders raised more interests about the common practices used by the 19th-Century medical profession to get cadavers from the poor laborers in the Edinburgh back alley slums; the borderline sensationalism of print media; and the lack of police tools available for tracking such crimes in the 19th-Century.”—Sabrina Carnesi (AASL)


Robinson, Mildred Wigfall and Richard J. Bonnie (Editors)

Law Touched Our Hearts: A Generation Remembers Brown v. Board of Education

Vanderbilt University Press

“Forty essays by law professors from across the country describe their experiences in public school classrooms at the time of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision and the following decade. These personal essays describe the impact the decision had on their lives, schools and communities and reflect race relations during that period of time.” —Christine Owens (PLA)

“A moving compilation of forty stories from a wide variety of Americans, who describe how they were impacted by the 1954 Supreme Court ruling “Brown v. Board of Education”. All of the essayists eventually became law professors, who attributed the ruling on racial integration and its effects to experiences and changes in their own lives.”—Karen Pangallo (AASL)


Garner, Bryan A.

Garner’s Modern American Usage, Third Edition

Oxford University Press

“Language changes and with these changes comes new usages of old words as well as the invention of new terms. Not only does this volume list thousands of words, their meanings, and their usages, but it also gives the stages of the language change as well as brief essays on usage and longer essays on language change. This volume is a must for the reference collection.” —Janet Hilbun (AASL)


Bass, Karen (Editor)

Nature’s Great Events: The Most Amazing Natural Events on the Planet

The University of Chicago Press

“This complementary volume to the Discovery Channel series, Nature’s Most Amazing Events, features lavish, detailed photographs of six natural phenomena: the flooding of Botswana’s Okavango Delta; the annual pre-winter preparations on the Alaskan coast; the migrations on the Serengeti; the annual melts in the Arctic; the annual Canadian salmon run; and the migration of sardines along South Africa’s east coast. The equally compelling narrative and inserts on animals impacted by these events add to the value of this volume.” —Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Perrins, Christopher (Editor)

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds

Princeton University Press

“A repackaging of the 2003 Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds, this volume provides beautifully illustrated essays on almost 10,000 species of birds. Entries are written in an engaging style and photographs show the birds in action. Detailed line drawings of the birds and information on habitat add to the value of this title.” —Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Macdonald, David W.

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals

Princeton University Press

“This new edition of the Encyclopedia of Mammals includes information on all known mammals Essays on each of the eighteen orders of mammals precede individual accounts of each species which outline physical characteristics, distribution, evolutionary history, and diet and behavior. Stunning wildlife photography helps tell the stories of these creatures.” —Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Daubert, Stephen

The Shark and the Jellyfish: More Stories in Natural History

Vanderbilt University Press

“This second volume of stories in natural history provides details of the lives of twenty six creatures beyond that provided in reference titles. These stories effortlessly and artfully illustrate incidents in natural history in readable and compelling narratives.”—Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Underhill, Linda

The Way of the Woods: Journeys Through American Forests

Oregon State University Press

“Beautifully written and personally inspiring, The Way of the Woods explores North America’s forests blending science and storytelling. It is part natural history as well as part reminiscence.”—Sarah Prueter (PLA)


Murdin, Paul

Secrets of the Universe: How We Discovered the Cosmos

The University of Chicago Press

“This well-organized text invites the reader to follow the development of 65 major cosmic findings. Through 600 photographs and drawings with short concise text, the reader will survey astronomy’s past and present.”—Barbara Bahm (AASL)

“Good overview of astronomy from about 25,000 years ago to the present. Very readable and beautifully illustrated, Secrets of the Universe tells not only the facts but the stories of the discoveries of the universe. A useful glossary, and name and topic indexes are included.”—Sarah Prueter (PLA)


Williams, Jack

The AMS Weather Book: The Ultimate Guide to America’s Weather

The University of Chicago Press

“A wealth of vivid and detailed charts, diagrams, and photos complements the clearly written text that provides insight to the diversity of weather in the United States. This volume is appropriate for weather buffs or for individuals who just want to understand the science behind the weather impacting their lives.”—Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Welland, Michael

Sand: The Never-Ending Story

University of California Press

“Intriguing chapter titles draw the reader into this fascinating book on a pervasive substance in the life of the earth. The reader’s attention is sustained through the clever device of following a single grain of sand on its journey down the Susquehanna River into the depths of the sea. In addition, chapters on the artistic and practical uses of sand, as well as on sand on other planets, add to this title.”—Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Sampson, Scott D.

Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life

University of California Press

“The importance of complex ecosystems to the survival and extinction of dinosaurs throughout numerous eras of their existence is compellingly detailed in this title. Dinosaur fans are treated to recent discoveries on the importance of climate, vegetation, insect life, and other factors to the life of the dinosaur species. Younger readers may find the vocabulary challenging but will be aided by copious illustrations.” —Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Ruse, Michael and Joseph Travis (Editors)

Evolution: The First Four Billion Years

The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press

“A timely and exhaustive collection of essays and historical perspective on evolution. This volume includes a foreward by Edward O. Wilson.” —Susan Sexton-Cooley (PLA)


Bambaradeniya, Channa, et al.

The Illustrated Atlas of Wildlife

University of California Press

“This copiously illustrated volume introduces the wide variety of wildlife and their habitats found on planet earth. The content begins with information describing a variety of habitats and issues of conservation. Information on wildlife is arranged by geographic regions including the poles and the oceans. A wonderful title for reference, reports, and browsing!” —Jo Ann Carr (AASL)

“Covering the entire world, The Illustrated Atlas of Wildlife explores not only the habitats and animal life by geographic location but also a reference of facts by animal name. Up-to-date conservation and preservation data as well as evolution and adaptation information accompany the hundreds of color photographs and maps.” —Sarah Prueter (PLA)


Waldbauer, Gilbert

Fireflies, Honey, and Silk

University of California Press

“A fascinating account of the interactions between three insects and humans, this volume is both scientifically and historically rich. The contributions of these insects to the growth of civilization is well chronicled. Fans of the television show ‘Survivor’ will find fascinating tips on which insects are edible and which can be used in medical treatment.”—Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Sterry, Paul, and Brian E. Small

Birds of Eastern North America: A Photographic Guide

Princeton University Press


Sterry, Paul, and Brian E. Small

Birds of Western North America: A Photographic Guide

Princeton University Press

“Bright, crystal clear photos of birds and maps showing the range of each species are featured for each species. These visuals are supplemented by narratives that provide information on the plumage of adults and juveniles; voice, habitat, and observation tips. These titles provide great introductory information for the study of birds as well as serve as excellent guides to the beginning or advanced birder.” —Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Kays, Roland W. and Don E. Wilson

Mammals of North America: Second Edition

Princeton University Press

“Animal tracks and a quick mammal id chart introduce this copiously illustrated guide to mammals. Vivid photographs of the mammals are complemented by information on the range of the animal and brief descriptions. The arrangement of photographs of various subtypes of the same mammal support easy comparison for accurate identification of mammals.” —Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Ammann, Karl (Photography) and Dale Peterson (Text)

Elephant Reflections

University of California Press

“Captures the range of elephant behaviors in a collection of magnificent photographs and compelling text. A book for everyone who enjoys the wildlife of nature and the uniqueness of one of nature’s greatest and most original works.” —Barbara Bahm (AASL)


Hansen, Bert

Picturing Medical Progress from Pasteur to Polio: A History of Mass Media Images and Popular Attitudes in America

Rutgers University Press

“The work is an authoritative, well-written account that will not only be a significant contribution to the history of American medicine, but to the history of American popular culture. It is nostalgic, analytical, and just plain fun with remarkable insights and delightful illustrations from newspaper sketches, caricatures, comic books and Hollywood films.”—Teri Maggio (PLA)


Frankel, Felice C. and George Whitesides

No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale

The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press

“Through a series of photographs, this text introduces the reader to sixty things that we do not know about or take for granted. The reader will come to truly appreciate the wonders of the “small” world of science: from nanotubes to life as a jigsaw puzzle. Two page spreads cover each topic in wording for the everyday reader.” —Barbara Bahm (AASL)


Alexander, David E.

Why Don’t Jumbo Jets Flap Their Wings?: Flying Animals, Flying Machines, and How They Are Different

Rutgers University Press

“Flight, whether biological or mechanical, is a complicated process. Dr. Alexander’s book simplifies the elements of both biological and mechanical flight and explains the very different approaches of evolution and human engineering. Extremely readable science writing is rare—this is it.” —Sarah Prueter (PLA)


Gallentine, Jay

Ambassadors from Earth: Pioneering Explorations with Unmanned Spacecraft

University of Nebraska Press

“Chronicles of space flight often focus on manned missions but unmanned spacecraft have a longer history and provide a deeper story of space exploration. Jay Gallentine provides the history of unmanned space flight from the mid 1950’s to the 1970’s through interviews, primary source documents, and here-to-fore unseen photographs. His conversational style will resonate with young readers.” —Jo Ann Carr (AASL)


Stout, Lee

Ice Cream U: The Story of the Nation’s Most Successful Collegiate Creamery

Penn State University Libraries

“This is a lighthearted look at one of Penn States’ most popular features-—the Creamery and the ice cream it is famous for producing. The Creamery’s development documents from the university’s agricultural research in dairy productivity from its early beginnings to present day. Stories from Pennsylvania’s agricultural history are woven into the text for a more rounded view of the Creamery’s importance, not only to the agriculture department of Penn State, but to the development of agriculture throughout the state of Pennsylvania.” —Sabrina Carnesi (AASL)


Hailman, John

Thomas Jefferson on Wine

University Press of Mississippi

“Thomas Jefferson died without ever having grown the vineyards he dreamed of having at Monticello. He traveled through Europe tasting wines and determining what grapes would work well in Virginia. Through letters and diary entries we see another side of Jefferson proving that there is always something more to learn about this enigmatic figure.”—Hilary Albert (PLA)


DeAngelis, Jack D.

Living with Bugs: Least-Toxic Solutions to Everyday Bug Problems

Oregon State University Press

“Not many of us like bugs and most of us try to eliminate any that we find in our homes. This short, easily read volume gives a brief introduction to insects and pesticides. The book then identifies the bugs by the type of damage they cause—from bites and stings to damage and ‘home invasion’, gives a brief history of their infestations, and then identifies ways to rid dwellings of the pests in the least toxic manner. Both black and white and color illustrations help with identification of specific bugs.” —Janet Hilbun (AASL)


Lunde, Paul (Editor)

The Book of Codes: Understanding the World of Hidden Messages: An Illustrated Guide to Signs, Symbols, Ciphers, and Secret Languages

University of California Press

“Subtitled an ‘illustrated guide to signs, symbols, ciphers, and secret languages’, this volume will serve as a source of answers for those studying animal tracks, ancient writings, ciphers, Morse code, codes used in various wars, body language, street slang, and many other secret ways of communicating. Profuse and detailed illustrations are complemented by a brief text explaining each code and its historical or societal context.”—Jo Ann Carr (AASL)

“This book is a welcome addition to any type of library. It’s a very basic, yet well documented book, developing from reading the landscape to digital codes. This is a picture book with glossary and index, a first step for basic research explanations of coding.”—Mary Cosper LeBoeuf (PLA)

“A fascinating compilation of signs, symbols, ciphers, and secret languages, this beautifully illustrated guide is perfectly formatted for the modern library user. It is done in full color and the information is presented in small bites. Opening to any page will delight and inform you about some aspect of the codes that permeate our lives and our history.”—Sarah Prueter (PLA)

“You will not be able to keep this amazing volume on your shelves! Every page reveals the secrets of different codes, from those used in war time, to secret society codes to highway traffic signs. The book is visually stunning and the content is fascinating.” —Judi Repman (AASL)


Lerner, Loren (Editor)

Depicting Canada’s Children: Studies in Childhood and Family in Canada

Wilfrid Laurier University Press

“This book is a thoroughly well-researched collection of essays on Canadian childhood from the seventeenth century to the present. With accompanying images and extensive notes, researchers in childhood history, art history, photography, and Canadian studies will benefit from this book.” —Mary Cosper LeBoeuf (PLA)


Ausoni, Alberto

Music in Art

Getty Publications

“This Guide to Imagery Series volume will benefit art lovers, music enthusiasts, and students. With beautiful artwork and illustrations, this book will aid librarians in finding images and sources for those musical terms that students’ research. Depending on the entries sources, classifications, derivation of the name, and lexical correspondences are provided. This is an excellent addition for all libraries.” —Mary Cosper LeBoeuf (PLA)


Hockaday, Joan

Greenscapes: Olmsted’s Pacific Northwest

Washington State University Press

“This book is specific to the Pacific Northwest, but it’s an excellent book about John Olmsted and his landscape dreams and developments. Some of his projects began in 1903, yet his legacy is still vital and beautiful today. The book has many photographs and illustrations to compliment the text. Landscape architects, plant enthusiasts, and lovers of the Pacific Northwest will appreciate Olmsted’s vision and logic in beautifying this area of the country.” —Mary Cosper LeBoeuf (PLA)


Jean-Paul Gabilliet (Translated by Bart Beaty and Nick Nguyen)

Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books

University Press of Mississippi

“This cultural history of American comic books begins with works from the 1800s and sets the stage for the rise in today’s graphic novels. Gabilliet presents a thorough study of the history of all aspects of the art of comic books. The index makes it easy for readers to find their favorite comic, be it Archie, Spider Man or Mad Magazine.”—Karen Pangallo (AASL)


Cobb, Benjamin and Susan Linn

Kids Design Glass

University of Washington Press

Kids Design Glass is a beautiful concept, illustrated in an equally beautiful book. The Museum of Glass in Washington empowers children in a very unique program wherein, once a month a child’s drawing is selected to be re-created in glass by the Museum’s Hot Shop Team. With the guidance of the child, the Team creates two representations of the drawing—one for the child and one for the Museum’s collection. In addition to a foreword by glass artist Dale Chihuly, an enlightening analysis of children’s creativity by Susan Linn, and an essay from the glassmakers’ perspective, the beauty of the book is the art-—exquisite photographs of the original drawings and the final sculpture. The front pocket of the book includes a children’s book on the making of ‘Pip the Baby Monster’ and in the back pocket there is a DVD on the making of ‘Recycle Robot’.” —Karen Pangallo (AASL)


Chana, Leonard F., Susan Lobo, and Barbara Chana

The Sweet Smell of Home: The Life and Art of Leonard F. Chana

The University of Arizona Press

“This book is based largely on oral interviews with the artist Chana (d. 2004) whose paintings and stipple drawings depict the traditional culture and way of life of the Tohono O’odham people and the landscape of the Sonoran desert they inhabit. In talking about particular paintings and drawings, stories of Chana’s childhood, his life on and off the reservation and his development as an artist emerge. This book offers a portrait of a man whose love for his people was expressed through his art.”—Christine Owens (PLA)


Sampsell-Willmann, Kate (Foreword by Alan Trachtenberg)

Lewis Hine as Social Critic

University Press of Mississippi

“More than just reproductions of Hine’s photography, this book uses his photography as social documentary and commentary to examine and explore Hine’s pictorial study of the issues in immigration, labor, American values, and race relations between 1910 and the 1930s.” —Karen Pangallo (AASL)


McHaney, Pearl Amelia (With contributions by Sandra S. Phillips and Deborah Willis)

Eudora Welty as Photographer

University Press of Mississippi

“These 43 examples of photography by Eudora Welty are an exquisite complement to those who read and study her short stories. The three essays which accompany this volume, speak about Welty as an accomplished photographer and how her talents with a camera and a pen offer awareness of her subjects. A chronology and an index of photographs are included.” —Karen Pangallo (AASL)


Blanchard, Bonnie (With Cynthia Blanchard Acree)

Making Music and Having a Blast!

Indiana University Press

“This is an excellent book for any aspiring musician (and the parent). It contains practical advice, for practicing, preparing for a performance, and basic music theory. Part of the music for life series, this book can help anyone become hooked on music!” —Hilary Albert (PLA)


Seldes, Barry

Leonard Bernstein: The Political Life of an American Musician

University of California Press

“This book examines Bernstein the man, his thoughts, his life, beyond the music. It also shows how the thoughts influenced the music. By researching documents from the FBI and other overlooked materials, the author gives a glimpse beyond Bernstein the artist, into the political and cultural life of a man who lived through extraordinary times.”—Hilary Albert (PLA)


Rivera, Raquel Z., Wayne Marshall, and Deborah Pacini Hernandez (Editors)


Duke University Press

“This book gives an example of how a music genre appears suddenly, grows, develops and becomes a serious form of music. This is a fascinating study including life stories, cultural mores and gender relationships.”—Hilary Albert (PLA)


Abbott, Lynn and Doug Seroff

Out of Sight: The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895

University Press of Mississippi

“This is one of the first studies to really show how the rise of black music came about in context with the world. Using community newspapers, and other contemporary sources the authors examine the personalities, issues and events. Finally we are given an in-depth portrait of the musical activity of the black societies that would give rise to a whole future of music.” —Hilary Albert (PLA)


O’Neal, Hank

The Ghosts of Harlem: Sessions with Jazz Legends

Vanderbilt University Press

“This is a great record of interviews and portraits of 42 jazz legends of the 1930s and 1940s. O’Neal was able to capture views about the best places to play, the interaction of the races, and why the jazz scene in Harlem has faded. There is no other book that explores Harlem during this time as well. It includes a CD with songs from 17 of the musicians.” —Hilary Albert (PLA)

“Interviews of 42 jazz legends associated with the Harlem jazz scene from its heyday to its decline. The legends talked about the best performance spots, the interaction of the races, and why Harlem’s jazz scene has died. The book is packed with full page photos of both the jazz artists and the long gone jazz spots. A CD accompanies the book, which includes 16 of the legends performing at the end of their careers from 1972 to 1996. Included on the CD are Cab Calloway, Milt Hinton, Doc Cheatham, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Tate, Eddie Barefield, Earl Hines, and Illinois Jacquet.”—Sabrina Carnesi (AASL)


LaFaro-Fernandez, Helene

Jade Visions: The Life and Music of Scott LaFaro

University of North Texas Press

Jade Visions is the first ever biography of jazz bassist Scott LaFaro who died in a car crash at age 25. Scott is best known for his landmark recordings with Bill Evans, as well as his innovativeness on stage. This book, told by his sister, combines both family and professional insight into LaFaro’s young and much-too-soon ended short life.”—Sabrina Carnesi (AASL)


Vieira, Mark A.

Irving Thalberg: Boy Wonder to Producer Prince

University of California Press

“Irving Thalberg introduced us to the likes of Greta Garbo, Clark Gable and Lon Chaney. By 24 he was a cofounder of Metro Goldwyn Mayer, yet he died at 37. This book uses recorded conversations and his wife, Norma Shearer’s unpublished memoirs to bring to life a true genius.” —Hilary Albert (PLA)


Hess, Earl J. and Pratibha A. Dabholkar

Singin’ in the Rain: The Making of an American Masterpiece

University Press of Kansas

“This is a great book about a great movie. Anyone who loved the actors, the songs, and the dances has to read this book.” —Hilary Albert (PLA)

“The vast reputation of the movie Singin’ in the Rain has more than matched Hollywood’s original expectations. The American Film Institute ranks it number one of the Greatest Movie Musicals of All Time and number 5 of the Greatest American Films of All Time. This book provides for its readers the complete inside story on how this classic film was produced, marketed, and received. Based on exhaustive research, this book is packed with human interest, anecdotes and quotes about the film’s stars Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, and Cyd Charisse. It includes tidbits on censorship troubles, stunt and vocal dubbings, and in-depth analyses of each of the song-and-dance performances in the film.”—Sabrina Carnesi (AASL)


Brode, Douglas

Shooting Stars of the Small Screen: Encyclopedia of TV Western Actors, 1946-present

University of Texas Press

Shooting Stars of the Small Screen is an all inclusive encyclopedia of over 450 actors that were given star billing or played in recurring roles on a TV western series or made-for-TV western movies. The range of coverage in the publication is from the 1940s through 2008, with the most popular shows being from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s (including Gunsmoke, Rawhide, Daniel Boone, and Davy Crockett). Featured examples of the late-20th to early 21st-Century programs are the popular Lonesome Dove and Deadwood series. The encyclopedia also explores the lives of some characters that never had starring roles, including Native and African Americans, Latinos, and women.” —Sabrina Carnesi (AASL)


Hyman, Mark

Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and How It Harms Our Kids

Beacon Press

“This small volume serves as a powerful wake up call to students, teachers, educators and community members about America’s obsession with youth sports and pushing children beyond their limits.” —Judi Repman (AASL)


Lyons, Robert

On Any Given Sunday: A Life of Bert Bell

Temple University Press

“Published on the 50th anniversary of his death, this biography of Bert Bell is a great introduction to the life of the founder of the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL commissioner after World War II. He brought the league from second string to a more prominent, popular place. The only thing lacking in this book is his impact on the desegregation of the league in the 1950s.” —Hilary Albert (PLA)


Mapes, Jeff

Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities

Oregon State University Press

“Jeff Mapes puts together a vision of contemporary bike culture and politics along with its history. Now that there is so much concern over global warming, gas prices and lack of physical exercise, people are taking more of an interest in the bicycle as an urban mode of transport. Mapes looks at four cities and how they promote cycling along with the problems that can occur.” —Hilary Albert (PLA)


Hauser, Thomas

An Unforgiving Sport: An Inside Look at Another Year in Boxing

The University of Arkansas Press

“Thomas Hauser, a member of the Boxing Writers’ Association, columnist at ESPN.com and Secondcut.com has become one of the better known writers on boxing. This collection of columns is perhaps his finest yet. In this collection he takes on the somewhat seedy connection between cable television and fight promotion, individual fighters and promoters.” —Hilary Albert (PLA)


Stratton, W. K. and Anissa Zamarron

Boxing Shadows

University of Texas Press

“Author W. K. Stratton collaborates with boxer Anissa Zamarron to tell Zamarron’s story of rising to the top in women’s professional boxing. Due to family crisis, Zamarron developed very aggressive behavior as a child which led to her trying to self destruct. She eventually ended up in a mental hospital for eighteen months, and credits boxing as the means that taught her how to channel her anger and aggression. She not only became the first woman to fight in a professionally sanctioned fight in New York State, she is also credited with fighting more ten-round fights than any other woman in the history of the sport.” —Sabrina Carnesi (AASL)


Modern Language Association

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers

Modern Language Association

“The MLA Handbook not only gives students a guide to citing resources, it also provides step-by-step instructions on the writing process, selecting topics, evaluating sources, and formatting their papers. This edition also includes a code to access a fully searchable website that provides examples, sample papers and more on the research process. College-bound students will especially find this a valuable resource.”—Suzanne Metcalfe (AASL)


Dungy, Camille T.

Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry

University of Georgia Press

“This book includes 180 poems from 93 African American poets from slavery to today. It is divided into cycles including ‘Just Looking’, ‘Nature Be with Us’, ‘Talk of the Animals’, and ‘Growing Out of This Land.’ Each of these sections begins with an essay by one of the contributing poets such as Richard Wright, Alice Walker and Ravi Howard. Well-known poets mingle with new voices. The variety and quality of poets and poems makes this an important addition to any high school poetry collection.”—Suzanne Metcalfe (AASL)


MacLennan, Hugh

Return of the Sphinx

McGill-Queen’s University Press

“Hugh MacLennan created a gripping story about 2 generations who have different views on Canada. It brings to light some of the varying views on the French-English debate in Canada.” —Elizabeth Hope Willoughby (AASL)


Adler, Frances Payne, Debra Busman, and Diana García (Editors)

Fire and Ink: An Anthology of Social Action Writing

The University of Arizona Press

“This anthology of poems, essays, memoirs, interviews and short stories covers a range of social action topics including war, race, gender, prison, freedom of speech and education. The editors choose excellent poets, fiction writers, journalists and essayists such as Adrienne Rich, June Jordan and Carolyn Forché, Gary Soto, Alice Walker, Li-Young Lee and Sonia Sanchez. A fine anthology for the classroom as well as personal reading, this book is highly recommended for high school library and classroom collections.” —Suzanne Metcalfe (AASL)


Marcus, Greil and Werner Sollors (Editors)

A New Literary History of America

The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press

“This collection of essays ‘attempts’ to capture and does, what ‘America’ means to its many unique citizens. The selections are organized historically and begin with discourse from 1507. This compilation is a wonderful and unique treasury of singular voices in American writing and culture.” —Susan Sexton-Cooley (PLA)


Smith, James (Editor)

Don’t Leave Hungry: Fifty Years of Southern Poetry Review

The University of Arkansas Press

“From the 1950’s to the present, this anthology presents the best poems from this prestigious journal over the past 50 years. Although it does have some regional slant, the poets are from across the US. Editor James Smith has grouped the poems by decade beginning each section with an essay highlighting the context. Here we find some of America’s most important poets, William Stafford, Billy Collins, Carolyn Kizer, and Annie Dillard along with some more obscure, yet powerful voices. The variety of poems and poets makes this a collection that students and teachers will use.” —Suzanne Metcalfe (AASL)


Kaldas, Pauline and Khaled Mattawa (Editors)

Dinarzad’s Children: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Fiction, Second Edition

The University of Arkansas Press

“This is an example of Arab American fiction. These short fiction stories reveal adjustments Arab Americans make when they immigrate, and other challenges they face.”—Elizabeth Hope Willoughby (AASL)


Burns, Jennifer

Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right

Oxford University Press

“Ayn Rand has lived through many ups and downs from her struggle as a child in Russia to her success with her novel The Fountainhead. This book shows the controversy, scandal and Rand’s own thoughts. It is an eye opening look at the author’s life.”—Elizabeth Hope Willoughby (AASL)


Albert, Susan Wittig

Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place

University of Texas Press

“Susan Wettig Albert created a page turning book about women’s lives in the American Southwest using journal entries, stories and her own experiences. She weaves a powerful thought provoking story.” —Elizabeth Hope Willoughby (AASL)


Johnston, Tim

Irish Girl

University of North Texas Press

“The author uses various stories about women in Ireland to weave powerful stories and messages. The writing is gripping and it is a page turner.” —Elizabeth Hope Willoughby (AASL)


Martínez Pompa, Paul

My Kill Adore Him

University of Notre Dame Press

“Gripping poetry that shows the reality of men who struggle in life, are immigrants, factory workers and those who have not had a fair shake in life. The poems help us become more compassionate and understanding of the struggles other people face.”—Elizabeth Hope Willoughby (AASL)


Gabbin, Joanne Veal (Editor)

Shaping Memories: Reflections of African American Women Writers

University Press of Mississippi

This book of essays by African American women writers reads more like a short story collection than a collection of essays. Twenty-seven contributors write about “pivotal moments that strongly influenced their careers” in their unique and powerful voices. While many of the authors may not be familiar to teenagers, their essays are examples of the best of the genre as well as snapshots of what it means to find your voice despite societal barriers.” —Janet Hilbun (AASL)


Twain, Mark

Mark Twain’s Book of Animals

University of California Press

“Mark Twain enthusiasts and animal lovers will appreciate this volume of essays and writings that represent Twain’s use of animals. From the funny to the serious, this is the first book to compile the use of animals in Twain’s writing. An extensive “Afterword” and “Notes” will benefit researchers.”—Mary Cosper LeBoeuf (PLA)


Peterson, Nancy J. (Editor)

Conversations with Sherman Alexie

University Press of Mississippi

This collection of interviews from various sources with Sherman Alexie traces his path as a writer from his first published works through being a finalist for the National Book Award for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Gleaned from various sources, these interviews show how his life is mirrored in his writing as well as his growth as an artist. Since good biographical information is so often lacking for current writers, this volume is a real asset to high school libraries.” —Janet Hilbun (AASL)


Darnton, Robert

The Devil in the Holy Water, or the Art of Slander from Louis XIV to Napoleon

University of Pennsylvania Press

“Darnton presents an interesting and challenging look at the effects of media in the 1700’s France. Like today’s journalists, papers and books of that time, written for the masses, stirred emotions, upset politics, and turned governments and religious bodies on their heads.”—Karen Pangallo (AASL)


Brossard, Nicole and Louise H. Forsyth

Mobility of Light: The Poetry of Nicole Brossard

Wilfrid Laurier University Press

“’On strands of light I am hanging poetry like garlands.’ Four decades later Louise Forsyth has selected poems that reveal how closely language creates the light and the garlands that Nicole Brossard wants us to see, react to and feel. Each poem is densely packed with words that fill us with rhythm and sounds that bring us to the light that is Nicole Brossard.” —Hilary Albert (PLA)


Annerino, John

Dead in Their Tracks: Crossing America’s Desert Borderlands in the New Era

The University of Arizona Press

“Many migrants undertake a 50-mile journey across the Arizona desert in extreme temperatures to better their lives in the U.S. Some are successful, others are captured and returned home, and still others die trying. In the company of four Mexican immigrants, the author makes the journey and provides an eye-opening account of the hardships endured and lives lost. He then spends time with Border Patrol officers and sees the toll monitoring illegal crossings takes on them. This book puts a personal and often unseen face on a major political issue.”—Christine Owens (PLA)

“While the national debate over immigration has taken a back seat to discussions of health care and the economy, this book brings the issue home on a very personal level. Through words and pictures, the reader is drawn into the stories of people who sacrificed everything to try to get to the United States.”—Judi Repman (AASL)


Forsberg, Michael

Great Plains: America’s Lingering Wild

The University of Chicago Press

“One million square miles. That’s the estimated size of the great plains and their majesty is beautifully presented in this spectacular title. Photographer Michael Forsberg’s images are enhanced with text written by rancher and biologist Dan O’Brien and David Wishart, a geography professor. These photographs will draw students in, but they will quickly turn to the captions and text to learn about the history and ecology of the great plains.” —Judi Repman (AASL)

“This beautifully photographed book could easily be seen as a coffee table topper. But that would be a mistake. The photographs are indeed beautiful, but the natural history information of the great plains that is included makes it so much more.” —Susan Sexton-Cooley (PLA)


Jackson, Maurice

Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism

University of Pennsylvania Press

“The deeply researched biography of Anthony Benezet is a masterpiece that highlights his importance as the Quaker who launched the world’s first antislavery movement. It is a major contribution to understanding the origins of abolitionism in the Western word as well as being eminently readable.”—Teri Maggio (PLA)


Harrison, Thomas (Editor)

The Great Empires of the Ancient World

Getty Publications

“Noted scholars write about the history of ten imperial powers: New Kingdom Egypt, the Hittites, Assyria and Babylonia, Persia, Athens, Alexander the Great, the Parthians and Sasanians, the Romans, India, and Qin and Han China. These empires existed for two millennia—1650 BCE to 500 CE—but they have influenced civilization ever since. Each chapter provides a concise history, with profiles of political and military leaders. Extensive photographs show maps, art and artifacts, and what the countryside looks like today. The bibliography recommends recent books for further reading. This is an excellent addition to public libraries’ history collections.” —Nann Blaine Hilyard (PLA)


De Albentiis, Emidio

Secrets of Pompeii: Everyday Life in Ancient Rome

Getty Publications

“The catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in the year 79 buried the city of Pompeii. In so doing it preserved the art and architecture that tell the story of everyday Roman life. Hundreds of color photographs illustrate chapters on Roman politics and government, religion, sports, baths, theater, commerce, brothels, and domestic life.” —Nann Blaine Hilyard (PLA)


Stutterheim, John

The Diary of Prisoner 17326

Fordham University Press

“A moving memoir of a young Dutch boy imprisoned by the Japanese in World War II. His is a tale of ordinary, middle-class women and children surviving brutal treatment with courage, resourcefulness and dignity as they struggled to retain their dignity and their life.”—Teri Maggio (PLA)


Steinweis, Alan E.

Kristallnacht 1938

The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press

“While most students who study World War II and the Holocaust are familiar with Kristallnacht, the majority are not as familiar with the extent of the 1938 activities and their importance in the development of Hitler’s anti-Jewish policy. Alan Steinweis’s volume is immensely readable with its blend of political background, news reports, and stories of various individuals involved in the ‘November pogrom,’ both as victims and perpetrators.” —Janet Hilbun (AASL)


Rigg, Bryan Mark

Lives of Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: Untold Tales of Men of Jewish Descent Who Fought for the Third Reich

University Press of Kansas

“Being a Jew is not just a matter of religion but also a matter of Hakalah or rabbinical law. Many Germans who were considered Jewish by the Nazis were actually Mischlinges or only partly Jewish and many of these men chose to serve in Hitler’s armies for numerous reasons—because they did not know of their Jewish ancestry, because they considered themselves Germans whether or not they actually agreed with Hitler, because they hoped fighting for the their country would protect family members. The stories of the twenty-one men profiled in this volume give a new and fascinating picture of life in Hitler’s Germany.” —Janet Hilbun (AASL)


Mahlendorf, Ursula

The Shame of Survival: Working Through a Nazi Childhood

Penn State University Press

“In this compelling account, Ms. Mahlendorf shares both her history and her shame as to how a young German girl from a small provincial town became a local Hitler Youth leader. Her story opens doors as to how and why the Germans let the Nazi Party commit the atrocities that it did. The author also gives an honest account about the psychological consequences of her life after the age of 16. Extremely readable, this book begs readers to put themselves in the other person’s shoes.” —Karen Pangallo (AASL)


Hoffmann, Peter

Stauffenberg: A Family History, 1905-1944, Third Edition

McGill-Queen’s University Press

“A very readable story of the machinations of the Stauffenberg brothers, who were integral to the attempted assassination of Adolph Hitler in 1944. This book served as the inspiration for the movie ‘Valkyrie’.”—Karen Pangallo (AASL)


Macek, Ivana

Sarajevo Under Siege: Anthropology in Wartime

University of Pennsylvania Press

“Unlike anything published to date in English concerning the break up of the former Yugoslav Republic. The editorial staff attempted the impossible, that is, to include reputed scholars from all sides of that factious military debate that resulted in so many atrocities. Simply recruiting the voices was extremely difficult and keeping the group on task was a monumental undertaking. The editors and all the authors involved did a marvelous job and it should be critical reading for anyone with an interest in peace and the balance in Central Europe.”—Sonja Plummer-Morgan (PLA)


Fitzhugh, William, Morris Rossabi, and William Honeychurch (Editors)

Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire

University of Washington Press, distributed for Genghis Khan Exhibits, Inc.

“This work is well-written and beautifully illustrated which details Mongols’ culture, folklore and everyday life through their art. The text not only delineates the leader’s early life, but also his family, rise to power and the qualities that made him a successful ruler of the Mongolian empire.” —Teri Maggio (PLA)


Taylor, Jay

The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China

The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press

“This splendid, readable biography of Chiang Kai-shek that captures not only his life and times, but is interwoven with the story of modern China. Despite the loss of mainland China, the leader of Taiwan instituted land reform and converted the island into a model of prosperity.”—Teri Maggio (PLA)


Benedict, Helen

The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq

Beacon Press

“Following the lives of five women who served in Iraq between 2003 and 2006, author Helen Benedict challenges readers to reflect on what it means to be a woman in the United States military. This title would make a powerful choice for a reading group.”—Judi Repman (AASL)


Kazin, Michael

The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History

Princeton University Press

“A resource for anyone interested in U.S. history and politics. This text covers the major people and events that shaped American politics from the Founding Fathers to today. A must purchase for any high school library.”—Barbara Bahm (AASL)

“The editor explains that ‘political history’ aims ‘to understand the larger forces that propel changes in governments, laws, and campaigns....[exploring] the meaning and uses of power in the public sphere and the competition to gain that power.’ The contributors are historians at colleges and universities. The entries are 2,500-3,500 words and include cross references and suggestions for further reading. They are presented in alphabetical order (volume 1: abolitionism to local government; volume 2: Mexican-American War to World War II). Appendices include the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and amendments. There are charts of each presidential administration with a list of all the cabinet members, and a list of all the Supreme Court justices. This is an important and useful addition to any public library collection.”—Nann Blaine Hilyard (PLA)


Wood, Gordon

Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815

Oxford University Press

“This is the eighth volume in the Oxford History of the United States. It covers the early Republic from the signing of the Constitution in 1789 to the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in 1815 which ended the war of 1812. The first decades of the new nation were precarious. The lofty ideals of the Founding Fathers were unprecedented and untested. Federal institutions, from Congress to the judiciary to cabinet posts, were brand new. The economy was developing exponentially. The four million citizens, a fifth of whom were black slaves, lived between the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachians. To the west were incredible natural riches-and hostile Indians. Gordon Wood writes about the challenges, the missteps, the solutions, and the eventual triumph of the great experiment that was the new United States, in language that is accessible to the general reader as well as the specialist.”—Nann Blaine Hilyard (PLA)


Hayes, Derek

Historical Atlas of the American West: With Original Maps

University of California Press

“The history of the American West is visually depicted in these maps artfully arranged to illustrate the changing views and development of this vast space over time. Maps detailing the conceptions of European explorers of the Native West are complemented with photographs of related areas and artifacts. The arrangement of the maps by era demonstrates the changes to the American West from 1507 to the present day.”—Jo Ann Carr (AASL)

“More than 600 full color maps spanning the history of the American West from prehistory to present day visually present the development of the western portion of the country. The explanations for the maps provide mini doses of history as the book progresses. Accompanying text and photographs flesh out the lessons. Contains an extensive index and map catalog.” —Sarah Prueter (PLA)

While we may question the need for print atlases in our 21st century collections, a quick review of this title shows the power of print in revealing the history of the western United States. Organized chronologically, the maps and narrative tell the story of western expansion through key primary sources that are also works of art-maps.” —Judi Repman (AASL)


Mifflin, Margot

The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman

University of Nebraska Press

“Olive Oatman, a 13 year old pioneer girl from Illinois, was captured by the Yavapai Indians and was eventually traded to the Mohaves. Students will be fascinated with her life as a white Indian who ultimately re-entered white society as the wife of a wealthy banker in Texas. The cover picture alone will guarantee interest in this fascinating title.”—Judi Repman (AASL)

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