From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7–A collection of biographical sketches of famous 20th-century individuals, from Albert Einstein to Sammy Sosa. Although the group is eclectic, the individuals all have one thing in common: they became successful in the face of adversity and therefore are great candidates to become heroes for today's youth. In approximately four pages, Humphrey discusses each subject's childhood, education, and family life. Then the individual's adult life is discussed, as well as how that person's success may be attributed to hard work and courage. Each sketch ends with a quote from the subject. This book is good for reluctant readers as each biography can be read independently. However, information is brief, and major sections of each individual's life are omitted; e.g., Abraham Lincoln's entry jumps from his being elected to Congress to becoming President of the United States. Whether this title can inspire children to be courageous is uncertain, but it can introduce them to some very interesting people.–Lori Matthews, Loyola School, New York City
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Gr. 4-7. "They all had courage . . . they all had obstacles to overcome." Following a brief, inspirational introduction, the author presents 25 biographical sketches about individuals who made their dreams come true. Each four-page profile comprises one section on childhood, one on the hero's adult life, and a small black-and-white photo. The appeal is in the astonishing facts; the clear, direct style; and the diversity of individuals across history, race, class, and profession, including famous political leaders (Lincoln, King, and Eleanor Roosevelt) as well as athletes, artists, scientists, preachers, and writers. Astronaut Ellen Ochoa, NBA star Michael Jordan, and Heather Whitestone, profoundly deaf, who was crowned Miss America in 1995, are among the subjects. Forget documentation. Other than a lengthy bibliography, there are no sources, even for direct quotes. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved