VOYA - Kevin S. BeachEach volume in this attractive new Macmillan Profiles series includes just over 100 brief biographical sketches, 750 to 1,000 words in length. Every entry is accompanied by a photo or illustration, a time line of notable events in the subjects' lives, and famous quotes associated with them. The profiles were chosen by student recognition of the names and by the subject's overall impact on history and on their field of achievement. Coverage in each volume includes women and ethnic representation, not just "dead white males." Another nice feature is the highlighting of challenging words in the text with their definitions in the same page's margin. Each volume also includes a recommended reading list and inclusive index. The Scientists and Inventors entries are derived from some of Macmillan's larger and more technical encyclopedias, but are updated and rewritten for the upper elementary/young adult audience. Subjects cover the ancients (Archimedes and Ptolemy) to modern-day figures such as Linus Pauling and Richard Feynman, as well as notable women (Curie and Goodall) and the not so well-known (Barbara McClintock). Appendices of Nobel Prize winners and a scientific glossary are helpful additions. Villains and Outlaws covers a wide range of the notorious: western gunfighters, pirates, traitors, dictators, and assassins. Sure to spark the browser's interest are the sketches of Lizzie Borden, Typhoid Mary, and Jack the Ripper. Tycoons and Entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, the Rockefellers, and Sam Walton are examined in this volume. Some business leaders who loaned their names to products and stores such as Penney, Pillsbury, and Hershey should arouse interest. Oprah Winfrey and Madame C. J. Walker head the scant list of females. Civil rights leaders, humanitarians, explorers, and famous firsts comprise the Heroes and Pioneers publication. It is great that peace activists as well as war heroes are noted for their achievements here. Hopefully, the reader may find inspiration from a rescuer of Jews during the Holocaust or from the dignity maintained by Chief Joseph as he led his tribe into the twentieth century. The set as a whole is rather pricey, but all entries are written by noted scholars. The attractively-arranged layout resembles that of a textbook. Each title would be a valuable addition to the middle school library; public libraries already have so many biographical sources available. This set may cover some persons who were missed in other standard works, and gets high marks for readability. All four volumes are recommended for libraries serving the fifth- to ninth-grade reference patron. Glossary. Index. Photos. Further Reading. Chronology. Note: This review was written and published to address four titles-Heroes and Pioneers, Scientists and Inventors, Tycoons and Entrepreneurs, and Villians and Outlaws.
BooknewsProfiles about 125 notable heroes and pioneers including America's founding fathers, American and foreign national heroes, wartime heroes, crime fighters, peace activists, explorers and astronauts, pioneers, and reformers, humanitarians, and civil rights activists. Intended for a young adult audience, articles are alphabetically arranged and contain time lines, quotations, and many b&w illustrations. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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