The acclaimed team that brought us 1968 turns to another year that shook the world with a collection of nonfiction writings by renowned young-adult authors.
“The Rights of Man.” What does that mean? In 1789 that question rippled all around the world. Do all men have rights—not just nobles and kings? What then of enslaved people, women, the original inhabitants of the Americas? In the new United States a bill of rights was passed, while in France the nation tumbled toward revolution. In the Caribbean preachers brought word of equality, while in the South Pacific sailors mutinied. New knowledge was exploding, with mathematicians and scientists rewriting the history of the planet and the digits of pi. Lauded anthology editors Marc Aronson and Susan Campbell Bartoletti, along with ten award-winning nonfiction authors, explore a tumultuous year when rights and freedoms collided with enslavement and domination, and the future of humanity seemed to be at stake.
Some events and actors are familiar: Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Marie Antoinette and the Marquis de Lafayette. Others may be less so: the eloquent former slave Olaudah Equiano, the Seneca memoirist Mary Jemison, the fishwives of Paris, the mathematician Jurij Vega, and the painter Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun. But every chapter brings fresh perspectives on the debates of the time, inviting readers to experience the passions of the past and ask new questions of today.
Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Cynthia and Sanford Levinson
Tanya Lee Stone
Sally M. Walker
About the Author
Marc Aronson is the author and editor of many titles for young people, including War Is . . . : Soldiers, Survivors, and Storytellers Talk About War, coedited by Patty Campbell; Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies; Sir Walter Raleigh and the Quest for El Dorado, winner of the Robert F. Sibert Medal; and 1968: Today's Authors Explore a Year of Rebellion, Revolution, and Change, co-edited by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. Marc Aronson teaches at Rutgers University and lives in Maplewood, New Jersey.
Susan Campbell Bartoletti is the author of numerous picture books, novels, and nonfiction books for young people. Her nonfiction work includes Growing Up in Coal Country; Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845–1850; Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow; and They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group. She is the recipient of a Newbery Honor, a Robert F. Sibert Medal and Honor, and an Orbis Pictus Award and Honor. The recipient of the Washington Post–Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work, she teaches in the MFA program at Spalding University in Kentucky.
Marc Aronson is living proof of the magic of the world of writing books for young readers. He did not expect this to be his career—he went to New York University, where he earned a doctorate in American history, and worked in adult reference publishing. But when he saw an advertisement for an editor of a series of books about the lands and peoples of the world (The Portraits of the Nations series, originally published by Lippencott)—books he had grown up reading and loving—he applied for and won the job. Working on books for young people—and then meeting other authors and artists, reviewers, librarians, teachers—he found he was in a world he loved. Editing books about different nations, peoples, and cultures, he came to realize he wanted to publish fiction and poetry, as well as nonfiction for young people. He created Edge—a place for books that explored all of the borders and boundaries in growing up, from immigration to coming-of-age. He then began to write his own books.
Marc’s older son once asked him why his first book, Art Attack, was so different from the others. It is the one book he has written about art; all the others in some way relate to history or current events. In a way he experienced in nonfiction what many novelists go through: his first book was the most autobiographical. Marc grew up learning about radical art, avant-garde art, from his father, who was a painter and innovative scenic designer. The book was a form of passing on what he had learned. While all of his books are nonfiction, they all also have a personal dimension—a way that person, subject, idea, spoke to him. Marc grew up in a school where many families had suffered from the Red Scare, a school devoted to racial integration when that was the law, but often not the practice. Master of Deceit is, in a way, Marc visiting his own childhood and looking at the conflicts he grew up hearing about with his trained adult eyes.
Marc now wears many hats, he is part of the graduate faculty in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University, where he trains librarians and teachers in using books with K–12 readers. He gives talks in schools to students, trains teachers and librarians—especially on the new Common Core standards, and he is exploring how nonfiction can flourish in the world of e-books and apps. For example, for Master of Deceit, he has found a film, You Can’t Get Away With It, that was crafted for J. Edgar Hoover and fits perfectly with chapter 7 (you can see the original poster for it on page 62). You can see the entire film for free by going to his website, www.marcaronson.com, where he also has a discussion guide for the book and other resources.
Tanya Lee Stone is the Robert F. Sibert Award–winning author of Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream. Her latest book, Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles was a 2014 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist.
I grew up on the beach on Long Island Sound, so tide pools and jetties were my playground. I always read a ton of books, and would take out more than I could carry from the library on the weekends. My dad is a professor and writer and my mom was an elementary-school librarian, so books were everywhere in our house. My dad built me a kid-size reading loft only I could climb up to—I spent hours up there! In high school, I studied music at a performing arts high school. In college I was an English major at Oberlin, which gave me the perfect excuse to spend all my time reading and writing. And after college I was an editor until I moved to Vermont in 1996 and became a writer.
I love to write stories about ordinary people who do extraordinary things and shine the light on their little-known stories. Change happens slowly, many times because people quietly push through barriers and move things forward until—bam!— someone else makes a big splash. But headline-makers often stand on the shoulders of those who first paved the way for them to follow. You can read about some of these trailblazers in my books Almost Astronauts and Courage Has No Color.
Three Things You Might Not Know About Me:
1. If I had to choose a different job, I would want to be on Broadway, singing in a musical!
2. I have climbed into a tank of harbor seals wearing thigh-high rubber boots in order to help a veterinarian give some friendly harbor seals an annual exam— all in the name of research.They are cute, but they will bite for food!
3. I have a mini-poodle named Barney who likes to climb in between my pillows when he naps during the day.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Age of Revolutions 1
"The Fishwives make the Rules" Tanya Lee Stone 9
The Contradictory King Karen Engelmann 20
Pi, Vega, and the Battle at Belgrade Amy Alznauer 32
The Queen's Chemise Susan Campbell Bartoletti 45
The Choice Marc Aronson 63
"All Men are Created Equal" Joyce Hansen 76
The Wesleyans in the West Indies Summer Edward 91
Who Counted in America? Cynthia Levinson Sanford Levinson 103
Mary Jemison and the Seneca Nation Christopher Turner 116
Challenging Time Sally M. Walker 129
Mutiny on the Bounty Steve Sheinkin 141
Author Notes 155
Source Notes 174