Posts from the ‘Biography’ Category

#ON THE BRINK…

Days of Miracle and Wonder: 25 of the Most Incredible Sporting Victories

Written by Dave Tomlinson

The author covers virtually every sport. Tomlinson explores stories of athletes who “choked” when at the brink of victory and others who succeeded in pulling themselves or their team out of the depths against improbable odds.

There have been many near victories in every sport. Jordan Spieth’s last-minute mishap in 2016 in Augusta or the Boston Bruin’s inability to pull off a win against Philadelphia in the final game of the NHL playoffs. On the other hand, some teams have been able to physically and emotionally overcome huge obstacles like the Buffalo Bills come back from a 21-0 score to defeat the New England Patriots football team in a 2011 Wild Card game. In tennis, the 1984 French Open was thought to be a no-brainer for John McEnroe who had won 39 straight matches. Ivan Lendl decided this would be his year. After two straight losses, McEnroe appeared to be on the path to victory. Then McEnroe let his temper get the best of him. That proved to be just enough to tip the balance. McEnroe’s concentration and physical game deteriorated, allowing Lendl to take control and eventually win the match.

Sports fans enjoy the physical game, but also appreciate the mental and emotional talents of the players. This book explores the motivations and personalities behind the sports. I recommend the book for sports aficionados from age eight to eighty-eight.

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CELEBRATION TIME!

Little Miss HISTORY is proud and happy to announce that three books in her book series have won recognition in the 2018 International Reader’s Favorite Book Award Contest.

 

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to FORD’S THEATER  won a GOLD MEDAL in the Children’s Nonfiction category.

 

 

 

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT VERNON  received a SILVER MEDAL in Children’s Educational Books.

 

 

Little Miss HISTORY Travels to LA BREA TAR PITS & MUSEUM  placed as a FINALIST in Children’s Books for 4th through 6th Grade.

 

The awards will be presented during the Miami Book Fair International Book Fair on November 17.

 

Congratulations to all the winners!

If you are looking for a good read in your favorite genres, may I suggest that you check out all the winning titles?

https://readersfavorite.com/2018-award-contest-winners

 

WALT DISNEY- THE STORY BEHIND THE MAN

Walt Disney- A Kids Book with Fun Facts About the History and Life of Walt Disney

Written by Jacob Smith

 

This is an informative book about the life and history of Walt Disney and his artistic career. It begins with his life as a child on a farm in Kansas and the struggles of Walt’s father, Elias, to provide for the family. At school, Walt tended to daydream and draw pictures. Walt also became enamored of trains, and the nascent motion picture industry. During his high school years in Chicago, Walt began drawing cartoons. After serving in World War II, Walt began his own animation business. Soon he made his way to Hollywood where he invented his Mickey Mouse character, for which he received an Academy Award in 1932. He then moved on to create longer features and new characters including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Three Pigs. Walt combined his fascination with trains with the concept of a theme park. Disneyland was born. That led to numerous spin-offs and merchandise. Walt’s legacy continues to evolve with new technological developments in the animation industry.

Smith has created an easy to read biography and history of Walt Disney’s life and career achievements. Pertinent photos are included. Recommended for children ages eight and older. The book is a fascinating read for adults as well.

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TURNING ON THE LIGHTS

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.

 

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A LIFELONG DILEMMA

Florence Nightingale: A Life Inspired

Written by Lynn M. Hamilton

This is an interesting biography that focuses on Nightingale’s personal struggles as well as her pioneering work in nursing. Florence was born into a wealthy English Victorian family. Throughout her life, Florence was torn between what was expected of woman born to a well-to-do nineteenth-century family and her strong ties to the Unitarian Church, which demanded community service to those less fortunate in society. Her family’s wide travels in Europe allowed her to meet powerful thinkers like Victor Hugo and Alexis De Tocqueville. While her family urged her to marry, Florence resisted. By the time she was thirty-two, Florence had asserted her independence by assuming a role as superintendent of a nursing home even though she received no salary. Her service in the Crimean War revealed the serious flaws in hospital care. More soldiers died from their illnesses than in battle. Nightingale demanded that abuses like poor lighting, sanitation, and ventilation be addressed. She urged proper training for nursing students and hospital sanitation, reflecting the germ theory of illness.

I was not aware of Florence’s work in India and the depth of personal struggle she experienced between her convictions and the demands of her family. The fact that she refused to sit on her laurels and accept praise for her accomplishments, but rather be self-critical about her own mistakes and failings impressed me. Her influence on modern healthcare practices cannot be underestimated.

I recommend the book for anyone interested in learning more about the evolution of nursing and modern healthcare or to learn about the life of a remarkable, Victorian woman willing to stand up and be counted. Recommended for ages ten and older.

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COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE

Tails of Sweetbrier

Written by Deanie Humphrys- Dunne

Illustrated by Holly Humphrys-Bajaj

tails-cover-front-w-seals

A warm and moving autobiography of a girl who had a dream of riding horses. That might not seem so tough to achieve until you discover that Deanie was afflicted with cerebral palsy. Deanie convinces her parents that she will work hard to achieve that dream, and her father opens up a riding school to support that dream.

Readers follow Deanie’s journey as she learns to walk, trot and canter on her pony, Little Man. As her confidence grows, she begins to dream of loftier goals. Despite a family tragedy with a barn fire that results in the loss of her horse, Chiefie, Deanie and her family persevere and rebuild. We follow their successes and failures as well as the physical hardships that Deanie endures.

The author teachers her young readers to reach for the stars. Work hard to achieve your dreams and use the challenges and failures that occur along the way as a ladder to climb to success. Beautifully written story written in less than one hundred pages that make it perfect for a middle grade and young adult audience. Deanie’s physical challenges and determination also provide inspiration for those with special needs and learning disabilities. The black and white illustrations draw the reader into the story and personalize the narrative enhancing its appeal. Highly recommended for readers age eight and older, especially those who love horses.

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KITCHEN CHIT-CHAT

Stories Around the Kitchen Table: A Collection of Women’s Memoirs

Edited by Anne Randolph

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The editor based this collection on her creation of the kitchen table writers’ concept, which encourages women to find their creative author’s voice. A small group of women gather around a kitchen table and begin writing their thoughts with pen in hand. No need to worry about grammar, spelling or second guessing. Weekly sessions begin and end with the inspiration of a poem. Each author writes about her thoughts and dreams. Following the time allotted for writing, each of the participants listens and shares taking turns to read aloud. At the end of this nearly one hundred page collection of stories, Randolph includes short biographies of each participating author.

Topics are diverse; emotions and writing reflect the natural setting and willingness of each participant to immerse herself in the writing process, and more importantly to lend a willing ear to each other’s work. In “Belly Flops” the reader is treated to a young girl’s first experience diving into a swimming pool. “When I was Ten” propels its readers back in time to a child’s visit to Manhattan during World War II. “Learning to Fly” transports us to an airfield for a first flying lesson. “A Slow Leaving” reflects the emotional roller coaster the writer experiences as her husband is about to leave the house because their divorce has become final.

This book is a good tool to preview many styles of writing and a good conversation starter for a woman’s group on many topics up for discussion on women’s issues in the modern world. Recommended for young adult and adult readers.

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