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Children's LiteratureThe Cliffords, mother and daughter, are a two-woman cheering squad for all things related to the history of lighthouses. Their latest effort is a condensed version for younger readers of their earlier, Women Who Kept the Lights: An Illustrated History of Female Lighthouse Keepers. That book was fairly monumental in its inclusiveness, but the Cliffords have chosen well for the stories they excerpted to pique their new audience's curiosity. Using a chronological approach, they begin with the tale of Hannah Thomas of Massachusetts, who kept the light while her husband went off to fight in the American Revolution. Succeeding women keepers who took over from fathers or husbands to finally secure the title and salary of a "Lighthouse Keeper" fill these pages. There are letters and logs; descriptions of amazing bravery while lifesaving; portraits of incredible pluck (pounding a warning bell with a hammer for twenty straight hours when a fog bell broke). And then there was Juliet Nichols holding down the light on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay in 1906, watching through field glasses as the Great Earthquake destroyed the city. Period photographs dot the pages of this no-nonsense book, and an excellent glossary is appended. But the marvelous true stories are what will enthrall any reader lucky enough to pick it up. 2006, Cypress Communications, Ages 10 up.