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Hero or Villain?

ANDREW THE GREAT: The Heroic Story of Andrew Jackson That “They Don’t Want You to Know” Written by MS King  

This book, as the title implies, is not a traditional retelling of the life and times of Andrew Jackson. The author is not a historian. He is an investigative journalist with a penchant for uncovering inaccuracies and misconceptions widely accepted by the public. King carefully traces the origins of the American Revolution as an important prelude to how the Republic came to be and the influencers behind its foundation. He names the major players in the Federalist Party like Alexander Hamilton and John Adams as well as the opposing, Democratic-Republicans like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who believed in limited government and states’ rights.

Andrew Jackson grew up as a self-educated orphan who would rail about the powerful interests like the Rothschild bank in Europe that would greatly influence the role of the central bank and its early failures in the United States.

The author is a firm believer that a person’s actions and role in history should not be judged by the standards and morals of the present. Consequently, King points out that though Jackson owned slaves and trapped Native Americans, he also recruited blacks and Native Americans to fight alongside him in The Battle of New Orleans and paid them equally.

Jackson also foresaw the importance of eliminating Spain and English control of Florida and the Mississippi River trade. King gives a fascinating account of Jackson’s struggles with the news media, his enemies and his personal struggle to maintain individual rights and avoid global entanglements.

The book contains lots of illustrations of contemporary reports, drawings, and speeches. I would recommend this book as a highly readable and informative account for students and the general public. While it does not qualify as an objective, unbiased resource, it certainly contributes to a healthy discussion of Andrew Jackson and the period in which he lived.

Barbara Ann Mojica

LittleMissHistory.com

Canine Super Sleuth

Hide and Panic Stations (Super Sleuth Sam Book 1)

Written by Monty J. McClaine

This is the first book in a nine-part series. The author uses the introduction to present the characters of the series. Jack is a mischievous six-year-old. His father likes to tinker in the garage with his Corvette, his mother is a devoted stay at home mom, his sister, Molly has just begun to crawl. Sam, the basset hound is always on red alert protecting the family and serving as Jack’s constant companion. But Sam is no ordinary dog, he has magical powers passed down to him from his ancestors. When Sam recites his chant, he develops super speed and the detective skills of a Sherlock HolmesadventureBook Reviewschapter bookchildren’s booksclassroom resourceselementary gradesfictionhomeschoolingmiddle gradesmysteryreluctant reader

One day Jack and Sam are playing hide and seek. Jack pushes the envelope by finding a hiding place in which no one discovers him. While Jack is comfortably ensconced reading his dad’s comic and enjoying a snack, the rest of the family is in panic mode. Readers will enjoy how Sam employs his super speed and detective smarts to solve the mystery of Sam’s disappearance. Sam’s parents are about to call the police. Will Sam be able to solve the mystery? Perhaps young readers will be able to help.

This book is a fun chapter book for beginning and middle-grade readers. It presents a typical family with some atypical characteristics, some humour, and a mystery for readers to ponder. Recommended especially for third to fifth graders. The length of approximately one hundred pages makes it a good choice for reluctant readers as well.

Barbara Ann Mojica

LittleMissHistory.com

Stewardship with Joy

The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear: The Blue Amber of
Sumatra

Written by Blanca Carranza and John Lee

This is the first book in a series of adventures featuring a bear named Joy. Set in the tropical rainforest of Sumatra, readers are rapidly propelled into a nonstop fantasy adventure. Joy will learn a lot about himself and teach his readers about courage, bravery, and standing up for themselves and others. Joy meets an assortment of magical characters, an exotic bird, a magical frog, orangutans, and a trickster fox to name a few.

Joy teaches readers the importance of family relationships, stewardship of Mother Earth, and respect for creatures of other cultures. Readers are exposed to the good and bad of humans as well as the inner struggles faced within oneself. The color illustrations move the story along for younger readers and help to illuminate the hidden storylines. The  chapter book runs close to two hundred pages so it might be a challenge for beginning readers who might want to approach it in several phases; it would make an excellent teacher read aloud book to discuss in the classroom.

Recommended audience is for ages six through ten, though I would classify it more as a middle-grade selection. I am looking forward to reading the next tale and following Joy’s growth journey.

Barbara Ann Mojica
LittleMIssHistory.com

Let’s Visit New York!

Hey Kids, Let’s Visit New York City

Written by Teresa Mills


Mills has written a travel guide that performs a dual purpose. Families who are planning a vacation or move to The Big Apple are provided a comprehensive introduction to the history, culture, and entertainment highlights that will appeal to young visitors and this just under one hundred page book can also serve as a reference for a classroom report on New York City.
Iconic architecture like the Empire State building, the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Flatiron Building are featured. Historical landmarks like The Statue of Liberty and Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum are explored and explained. The book features recent additions to the NYC landscape like the 911 Memorial and Museum. Who can forget the tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller City? Mills talks about Rockefeller Center and the Top of the Rock. She takes us on a walk through Central Park and Times Square and reminisces about the history of Broadway and some of its famous productions. The City is a big place and after a day of shopping along Canal Street, one will eventually need to jump on the New York subway and visit Grand Central Station. Visitors to New York City will want to take a tour or eat in one of the many ethnic neighborhoods like Little Italy or Chinatown. Perhaps a trip over the Brooklyn Bridge might entice visitors to try one of the famous Coney Island hot dogs.
Mills has it all covered, the culture, the entertainment, and the history wrapped up in an easy to read guide for middle-grade, young adult and adult members of the family. Highly recommended for any prospective visitor to the Big Apple.

To find out more about The State of Liberty and Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum, check out my Little Miss HISTORY book series at:

http://www.LittleMissHISTORY.com

Barbara Ann Mojica

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Poems for Kids of all Ages

It’s Crazy in Here!: Fun Poems for Fun Kids of all Ages

Written by Malia Ann Haberman

 

This is a fun book that will have even those children who would never read a poem change their minds. The author has chosen a wide variety of topics that will appeal to boys and girls. There are monsters, fleas, dragons, dogs, cats, and bedbugs. Situations, like eating leftovers, classroom pranks, and falling in love, are explored with finesse and humor.

Teachers might use this book to entice their students to explore poetry. While the book is recommended for ages five and up, I would especially recommend it to middle-grade students.

Barbara Ann Mojica
Author of the Little Miss HISTORY Book Series

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50 Events from World War I

World War I in 50 Events

Written by James Weber

The author has taken a chronological/event-based approach to narrating the events of World War I. This book is divided into four main sections. The introduction discusses the groundwork leading to the outbreak of work going back to the end of the Franco-Prussian War and the enmity between France and Germany. It continues to the Battle of Mons. The next section picks up with the Russians suffering defeat at Tannenberg and ends with the British initiating military conscription. Section Three shows the tide of war changing as the Allies become actively engaged in Caporetto and concludes with the Turkish losing at Megiddo. The last section covers events from the Central Powers collapse and surrender to the signing of The Treaty of Versailles. Unfortunately, the severe terms of the peace treaty lay the groundwork for simmering tensions, the rise of dictators, and the conflicts leading up to World War II.

Each event is discussed in a few pages. Weber singles out the most important issues, including photos of battle scenes and portraits of the important players. The text is set in large font, although the illustrations are rather small. While the information is not extensive on any one particular topic, the author manages to create a rather detailed, easy to read reference study. I would recommend the book to history buffs, middle and high school students and home school parents who wish to learn about the topic.

Barbara Ann Mojica
Author of the Little Miss HISTORY Book Series

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Facing Fears

Yuri And The Legend of the Seventh Sea

Written by Denis Boystov

Illustrated by Lana Khrapava

This is a sort of coming of age tale of a curious and brave fish named Yuri. Little Yuri lives in a lake where he is loved by his parents and big brother. Yuri is always questioning and never takes no for an answer from his parents and teachers. When he overhears his father tell of a hidden secret map that gives directions to the Seventh Sea, which is a paradise where fish live forever in peace without enemies or danger, Yuri immediately launches a search to find it. He is tired of dodging boats filled with humans, fish hooks, and larger sea creatures desiring to eat him.

After embarking on his journey, Yuri meets up with many dangers but also makes the acquaintance of another fish named Otto who looks out for him. Yuri and Otto eventually find themselves at the entrance to the Seventh Sea. Now they must get through without wakening the Sea Serpent who will destroy them. Will Yuri survive and if he does, will he find that the paradise truly does exist?

Yuri is an adorable character that children will love. He appears almost human with a personality much like a curious human. The dialogue among the characters is so realistic that readers will forget that Yuri is a fish. I found myself cheering for him to succeed. Children can see themselves in Yuri as he tests his limits, but also faces his fears. The illustrations are beautiful. While I did enjoy this book as an adult reader, I would especially recommend it to a middle-grade audience.

 

Barbara Ann Mojica

LittleMissHistory.com

See my latest release  here and on Goodreads

Electrifying America-From Thomas Edison to Climate Change

Electrifying America: From Thomas Edison to Climate Change

Written by I. David Rosenstein

The author is an engineer and lawyer who has spent more than forty years in the industry. Rosenstein begins his story in the mid-nineteenth century. He reminds readers that everyday tasks were time-consuming, back-breaking tasks before the advent of electricity. Soon electricity would transform life in the home, on the farm, in the office, in the factory, and on construction sites. Before that energy could be utilized, someone needed to invent the electric light bulb.

Thomas Edison already possessed a long list of inventions before tackling electricity. His work with the telegraph, telephone and phonograph had great potential. Unfortunately, Edison was a lot better at inventing than implementing his ideas in the business world. The fatal flaw in Edison’s direct current could be found in its limited ability to deliver electricity at any distance from a dynamo.

Nicholas Tesla had left his native Hungary to work with Edison in his lab. Edison’s insistence on using direct current led to a break when Tesla failed to convince him to consider using alternating current. Tesla left in 1885 to work independently. George Westinghouse had been experimenting with transformers to increase the voltage of alternating current over greater distances from dynamos. Westinghouse invited Tesla to use his facilities to develop a motor to use his system in factories and businesses. During the 1880’s and 1890’s, the two competing systems of AC and DC battled for supremacy in “The War of the Electric Current.”

After presenting the early history, Rosenstein moves on the powerful monopolies of the 1920’s, and the Golden Age of Electricity after World War II when the world turned back to business development on the home front. He talks about the failures of the industry in the Great Blackout in the Northeast in 1965 and traces the crises of the Oil Embargo of 1973 and the difficulties in California during the 90’s.

By the end of the 1900’s retail electric companies had begun to access electricity through a system of independent suppliers. Then the author discusses recent history and the issues leading up to climate control and the Paris accord. He ends the book by stating his opinion that a reconsideration of the concept of energy supply responding to public sentiments will likely lead to substantial changes in the future.

This story is an interesting study written by an expert in the field in layman’s terms. The concise book contains less than 150 pages and is easy to follow. Students who have an interest in history, electrical engineering and inventions would find this book a good resource. Recommended for anyone age ten or older.

Barbara Ann Mojica
LittleMissHistory.com