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In the Most Recent Issue of SLJ

When I’m reviewing books for professional publications, I stay quiet about them on social media. I’m always really excited once a review comes out to be able to talk about the book, finally! Here’s one of my most recent reviews, which originally appeared in the March 2015 issue of School Library Journal.


Rockin’ the Boat: 50 Iconic Revolutionaries–From Joan of Arc to Malcolm X by Jeff Fleischer

ISBN-13: 9781936976744

Publisher: Zest

Publication date: 3/3/2015

Gr 9 Up—This collection of 50 revolutionaries spans continents and centuries. The profiles start with Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca and end with civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. Others include George Washington, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Geronimo, Malcolm X, and Cesar Chavez. As Fleischer mentions in his introduction, some figures are clearly heroes while others are obvious villains, but “most fall somewhere in between.” The entries are a few pages long, detailing major accomplishments and lasting influence, with photos and text boxes that add context or highlight interesting facts. Arranged chronologically, the book is heavy on male revolutionaries, particularly at the beginning, with only nine women featured. Though brief, the chapters are still dense and somewhat tedious. The pictures are accompanied by lively captions, such as “Boudica, mid-harangue” or “Emma Goldman is not interested in your nonsense.” Unfortunately, this same energetic spirit wasn’t injected into the text. VERDICT The concept is better than the content, but readers looking to research a specific person or movement will find this compilation suitable for their needs.

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