Reviews

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Extreme Longevity: Discovering Earth’s Oldest Organisms. Twenty-First Century Books, Lerner Publishing, 2018

**Junior Library Guild selection**
“Immortality may still be the stuff of legend for humans, but it’s a real possibility for a jellyfish native to the Mediterranean Sea. Biologists are studying specimens of flora and fauna that live extraordinarily long lives. The longest living human on record is Jean Louise Calment, a Frenchwoman who lived 122 years and 164 days, but that’s nothing compared to the Greenland shark that may live over 500 years. In an accessible, informative text, Kenney (Healing Plants, 2018, etc.) introduces biologists and geneticists who study examples of extreme longevity in the plant and animal kingdoms, such as the possibly 80,000-year-old root system of a colony of male quaking aspens.  . . . Useful for reports or reading for pleasure, this is an engaging and informative volume. An intriguing look at some of world’s oldest organisms and the scientists who study them.” Kirkus, July 30, 2018

 

 

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Super Hummingbirds. Jump! 2018
**STARRED REVIEW** “This zippy book lives up to its series’ name, Nature’s Superheroes (4 titles), as Kenney presents a variety of awe-inspiring, “super” hummingbird facts. Hummingbirds’ abilities, such as flying backward, are presented as “powers,” which feels exciting but not hyperbolic, because facts carefully support each assertion. Some of the details, such as how these tiny creatures move their wings in a figure-eight pattern or use their feet only to perch, not walk, may surprise even adult readers. The facts are not only interesting but also well integrated. Short, simple sentences flow together easily to build larger ideas. Beautiful close-up photos on every spread add a sense of immediacy and focus, and a helpful diagram labels the bird’s main features. . . . This book makes learning about nature wondrous and engaging for both children and adults.” —Booklist, March 2018

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Exoplanets: Worlds Beyond Our Solar System. Twenty-First Century Books, Lerner Publishing, 2017

**Junior Library Guild selection**

“Perfect for outer space enthusiasts and out of this world for report writers.” School Library Journal, January 2017

“An enticing overview of tools, techniques, and discoveries in what the author rightly characterizes ‘a red-hot field in astronomy.’ Readers curious about how researchers could possibly detect such dinky, distant objects as planets belonging to other star systems will come away satisfied and intrigued.”Kirkus, March 1, 2017

“An excellent resource for Earth science teachers, Exoplanets addresses the history of our search for other planets, the amazing tools that scientists have developed to conduct that search, and some of the planetary discoveries made in recent years. . . The book provides an interesting and concise overview of our present knowledge of exoplanets and where scientists will focus their efforts in the future as they search for life in the universe.” National Science Teachers Association Recommends, September 2017

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Science in Action (six-book series). ABDO Publishing, 2016

“Exploring the physics behind things and phenomena that will be familiar to younger students, Kenney ratchets up the level of specific detail. In Color the text doesn’t just explain exactly why the sky is blue but discusses the electromagnetic spectrum, photons, how the eye works, and even why mixed paints darken rather than lighten . . . these are solid informative studies of select but important basic principles. VERDICT Excellent discussions of some of physics’ underlying principles, for serious younger students.School Library Journal, April 2016 Series Made Simple supplement

 

RourkebooksYou Have a Pet What?!: Rat and Sugar Glider. Rourke, 2015
STARRED REVIEW
: “After flipping through the utterly adorable full-color photos of cute creatures in the You Have a Pet What?! series, youngsters might want to ditch their doggies and rush to their nearest exotic-pets breeder. . . . Sugar Glider doesn’t soften the realities of owning these delicate creatures: they require several hours of active attention per night. . . . there are enough fascinating and informative facts to keep readers enthralled. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.”Booklist, August 2015

 

 

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You Have a Pet What?!: Miniature Donkey and Pygmy GoatRourke, 2017
“Young aspiring pet owners looking for something a little out of the ordinary will find plenty of inspiration and realistic guidance in these entries in the You Have A Pet What?! series. . . . The adorable photos of fuzzy-nosed creatures in Miniature Donkey might catapult them to the top of pet wish lists, but be prudent: these animals require companionship and lots of room, and they can live for decades. Pygmy Goat emphasizes the playfulness of these pets as well as their extensive hygiene and space requirements. A note about being a good neighbor—goats are loud and smelly, after all—is particularly helpful. . . . Packed with practical, accessible information and lots of engaging photos, these titles might (rightly) dissuade some eager odd-animal lovers, but readers will come away with plenty of knowledge about each unique creature.”—Booklist, April 2017

 

WWI

Everything World War I. National Geographic Kids, 2014
STARRED REVIEW: “Kenney, along with historian Edward G. Lengel, introduces middle grade students to the key events and major characters of the first modern war in the 20th century. Filled with color and b&w maps, infographics, and behind-the scene photos, the book covers the events that led to war, battlefields, the home front, major personalities, and a reflective afterword which includes an interactive glossary and websites for additional investigation. One of the highlights of this book is the sidebar panels that feature various medals of valor, headgear fashion, and animal soldiers. The panel graphics are so clear and concise, it almost looks as if the reader can touch them and feel the textures and depth. This volume can be read for enjoyment by war enthusiasts, by reluctant readers who prefer nonfiction, and in grade level curriculum. HIGHLY RECOMMENDEDSabrina Carnesi, Library Media Connection, March/April 2015

StyleSecrets

Hair Care Tips & Tricks and Skin Care & Makeup Tips & Tricks, Lerner Publishing, 2015

“It’s tricky to satisfy readers’ craving for beauty advice without appearing to endorse a particular standard of beauty or placing undue emphasis on appearance. These books incorporate a little science and a lot of good sense along with beauty tips and craft ideas. Skin emphasizes nutrition, sleep, and sunscreen while explaining what vitamin A does for skin and how ultraviolet rays harm it. . . . VERDICT These offerings promote a healthy glow.”–School Library Journal, November 2015

 

l_9781617836275_fcCanada. ABDO Publishing, 2013

“This well-written title provides a comprehensive introduction to Canada, its history, and present-day political challenges.” Tamara DePasquale, The Horn Book Guide, Fall 2013

 

 

KorematsuKorematsu v. the United States. ABDO Publishing, 2012

“Korematsu v. the United States looks at the historical impact of World War II and the internment of Japanese American citizens out of fear and hysteria following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Well written and engaging, the books include details of the case from the beginning to the end, explain how the social and political climate of the day impacted the court rulings, and introduce major participants and other important events happening at the time.”School Library Journal, Jan. 2013

 

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What’s Your Style? series. Lerner Publishing, 2014

“Whether kids need help defining their personal style, cultivating it, or both, the books in the What’s Your Style? series can help. … With hip images and current information, Kenney explores stars to turn to for style inspiration, as well as types of clothes, accessories, and hairstyles to fit the desired style bill. … The design of each title echoes the style presented (batik patterns for boho, for instance), and the information is accessible, helpful, and should inspire kids to express themselves.” —Ann Kelley, Booklist, February 15, 2014

“These books, nominally about exploring fashion identities, will fly off library shelves due to the superabundance of celebrity photos.”  —School Library Journal, April 2014

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Stephen Hawking: Extraordinary Theoretical Physicist
. ABDO Publishing, 2014

“Strong writing is peppered with dramatic details that will bring scientific discoveries to life.” Jess deCourcy Hinds, School Library Journal, November, 2014

 

 

9780756544874Shop Tech: The Science of Cars. Compass Point Books, 2011

“The titles in this very fine applied science series discuss the scientific principles behind what takes place in each situation, then discuss the how/why of scenarios, suggest science experiments, and identify real-life applications. … This series will be useful for both student research and for students interested in these topics. The science experiments will be useful for classroom instruction. Recommended.”—Library Media Connection, Mar./Apr. 2012, Douglas K. Dillon, Ph.D., Library/Media Specialist.

 

Cool Parties series. ABDO Publishing, 2011

“This colorful set of six books has a lot of child appeal. The vivid photos and well-organized and readable content provide great springboards for party ideas. While the basics of planning, preparation, and attention to detail are repeated almost verbatim in each volume, the development of the individual themes and clever ideas are what make the titles stand out. Step-by-step crafts, sample menus, and easy-to-replicate games and activities add to the fun. Solid additions that offer sound and practical advice.”School Library Journal, Dec. 2011, Elaine Charnow, Deasy/Landing Elementary Schools, Glen Cove, NY

“The basics of party planning for young hosts are covered, including choosing a theme; making invitations, decora tions, and favors; preparing food; and organizing activities for guests. The essentials of a festive occasion–the “who, what, when, and where of the party”–are engagingly explained, imparting useful information to ensure hosting success. Each book contains additional party theme ideas.” Paula M. Cairo, The Horn Book Guide, Spring 2012

Cool Hip-Hop Music and Cool Rock Music. ABDO Publishing, 2008

“…Cool Hip-Hop Music is a poetic and carefully crafted look at Hip-Hop culture, art, and music…Each book supplies a wealth of fascinating information to those who are new to the field. Reluctant readers will be attracted to these interesting reads. Recommended.”—Library Media Connection, Nov./Dec. 2008

 

 

Our Animal World Series. Amicus Publishers, 2011

“The Our Animal World series, part of the publisher’s Amicus Readers brand, gives early readers a few simple introductory ideas about different elements of animal life … Animal Tracks is perhaps the most evocative volume, using large, overhead photos to show the strange marks of snakes, turtles, deer, and more, while smaller pictures show the feet responsible for making the tracks. How Animals Hide gets the usual impressive mileage out of photos of stick bugs and katydids, as well as this less-common zebra fact: ‘The pattern of their stripes tricks lions. They cannot pick one zebra from the group.’ Spiny Animals focuses upon the always-photogenic sea urchins, puffer fish, and porcupines. Who Lays Eggs? begins with the “pretty blue eggs” of a robin but will cycle through spiders, crocodiles, and squids before all is said and done. … Also recommended from this series: Animal Homes and Tiny Animals.”—Booklist, Oct. 15, 2011

“These three books are part of the Our Animal World series, a set of six books that introduces young readers to the interesting and unusual world of animals. … The simple text could lead to discussion of questions that can help build a foundation for further learning: such as “Who doesn’t lay eggs?”—Science Books & Films, National Science Teacher’s Association, Robert M. Chute, Bates College, Lewiston, ME


Ellis Island_Ellis Island, Mount Rushmore,
and The White House. Our Nation’s Pride series. ABDO Publishing, 2011.

“Kenney explains the significance of these three sites as national monuments. In Ellis Island, the author describes how the existing island was built up and expanded to accommodate the station to process immigrants coming into the United States and the various buildings that were constructed. In Mount Rushmore, she tells of the sculptor who came to work on the carving, how men were lowered on special harnesses to do the work, and how dynamite specialists and drillers prepared the mountain. In The White House, the author describes how the land was chosen, how the White House was built, the fact that it burned in 1814 and was rebuilt in 1817, and that it takes 570 buckets of white paint to cover the outside. In all three titles, the full-color artwork not only explains the text but also gives almost photographic renderings of the topics. Excellent introductions.School Library Journal, July 2011

Buzz with the Bees. ABDO Publishing, 2011

The busy lives of a variety of common insects are explored in these colorful introductions. …  Younger readers will find Kenney’s simpler, beautifully illustrated titles appealing.”School Library Journal, Jan. 2011

 

 

Skiing & Snowboarding. Girls Play to Win series. Norwood House Press, 2010

**Editor’s Choice, Library Media Connection, 2011**

“Girls play sports too, and the books in this series are about female athletes. Each book starts with an introduction to the sport. Rules are explained, words are defined, and techniques are outlined. A historical chapter follows. It looks at the sport and the role of female athletes in the sport. Pioneers, such as … Gretchen Fraser in skiing, are discussed and their contributions acknowledged. Past, present, and rising stars are given the closing pages of each book, allowing readers to see the faces of the athletes who are making a difference. These books will make excellent resources for research purposes. … Any library seeking books about girls and sports need to look no further than this series. Recommended.”—Library Media Connection, Mar./Apr.  2011

“This book will encourage the reluctant reader to read about the history of snowboarding, famous female athletes of the sport, and the rules of snowboarding.  It would be a great supplement for the Health and Physical Education SOL for grades 6-12.”Richmond Public Schools, Oct. 2011

“Girls Play to Win is a wonderful series highlighting the courageous women who fought their way into the male-dominated world of sports.  Skiing and Snowboarding include how to get started, what to wear, and places to go to become a skier or snowboarder.  This book also includes the fascinating history of how skiing and snowboarding started and the women who have competed and won competitions in these winter sports.  A great series for young girls who are interested in competing or getting started in a sport. Highly Recommended.”Arlington Independent School District, June 2011

Harsh or Heroic: The Middle Ages. Scholastic Library Publishing, 2008

“This series combines exciting text with colorful illustrations and plenty of features to entice even reluctant readers. … Harsh or Heroic features richly illustrated sidebars that explain manor living, castle protection, chivalry, hunting, and medieval jobs. … With the emphasis on fascinating facts, these books would be an excellent resource for supplementary material. They will answer many questions that curious students have. Students will want to read them for fun, too. Recommended.”—Library Media Connection, Apr. 1, 2008

 

Illegal Immigration. Essential Library, ABDO Publishing, 2007

“This book is a desirable addition to the high school library. It is written in a straightforward matter, with bulleted significant details. History of the issue along with a multiplicity of viewpoints that are often presented in sidebar quotes, statistics or summary statements are included. The photos and illustrations are appropriate and help the reader understand the issue. The considerable timeline helps students understand the historical significance and how immigration has evolved in the United States. In addition the “Essential Facts” encapsulate the issue, the critical dates and the critical quotes that exemplify illegal immigration as a contemporary problem facing our country.”—Lincoln Public Schools Library Media Services Department, Mar. 2011

“Balanced overviews of complex, divisive issues. Though not exhaustive, these titles include the topic’s history and most salient points in an accessible and reader-friendly format. … Illegal Immigration‘s opening chapter begins with 2006 Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and closes with questions about how illegal immigration impacts the U.S. economy and culture. Subsequent chapters address the history of U.S. immigration, crime and drugs, costs, labor concerns, border security, and proposals for reform. … These impressive works are welcome alternatives to collection staples such as books in the “Current Controversies” and “Introducing Issues with Opposing Viewpoints” (both Gale) series (both geared to a slightly older audience).”School Library Journal, June 2008