In December 2015, the Pentagon changed a rule to allow American women to serve for the first time ever in front-line ground combat troops. Women have fulfilled many military roles throughout history, including nursing; driving ambulances; handling administrative duties; working as mechanics; and serving in the WASPs, WACs, WAVES, and SPARS.
More recently women are flying jets, conducting surveillance, commanding naval ships, and now fighting on the front lines. Yet no matter their official title, they have faced devastating discriminationfrom lack of advancement, economic inequity, and inadequate veteran support, to sexual harassment and rape. Meet the women who have served their country courageously and who are standing up for fairness in the US military.
Read author interviews with a few of the many women serving our country today. For example, meet Navy Lieutenant Commander Karen Teague strongly believes the military is an excellent choice for young women. "You may always wonder what it would have been like if you didn't join the military," she says. "But if you do, you will have great and wonderful experiences in your life, and tough, challenging moments, just like you may come across in any job in the civilian sector. The difference is you'll have been at the leading edge of your country's operations dealing with world-wide issues with your brothers and sisters in arms. Opportunities are abundant if you seek them out."
How close are we to having another worldwide health crisis? Epidemiologists predict that another pandemic is coming—one that could kill hundreds of millions of people. Learn about factors that contribute to the spread of disease by examining past pandemics and epidemics. Examine case studies of potential pandemic diseases, and discover how scientists strive to contain and control the spread of disease both locally and globally. See how human activities such as global air travel and the disruption of animal habitats contribute to the risk of a new pandemic. And investigate the challenges we face with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and mutating viruses. Can scientists control the spread of disease and prevent the next pandemic?
School & Library Journal: Goldsmith explores pandemics and their origins, beginning with recent scares and outbreaks that have -dominated the news cycle such as the Zika virus and Ebola. The author then moves to the Black Death in the Middle Ages and the early 20th-century flu epidemic and outlines a history of pandemics over time while explaining the science. As a result, this is a scary book.
Readers are given detailed information on how climate change and other environmental factors are creating opportunities for superbugs and bacteria to cause an increase in the chances for a potentially contagious illness. The final chapter, "Preventing a Pandemic," gives readers an overview of which activities they can change in their lives to prevent a worldwide outbreak. Goldsmith's writing is accessible and explains scientific terminology throughout. Nearly every spread contains a full-color photograph or diagram. VERDICT Current and detailed, this is an ideal fit for middle and high school libraries.–
Judy, Mr. Bean, William Windsor, and Old Abe. Think they're people?
Think again! They're animals—a dog, mule, goat, and an eagle—that served faithfully in war. From crossing the Alps with elephants during the Second Punic War to training twenty-first century dolphins to find underwater mines, humans have relied on the intelligence and strength of animals to go into battle, undertake dangerous missions, and carry heavy loads.
The animals save lives by relaying vital messages, tracking down and capturing enemy soldiers, and locating stashes of weapons and improvised explosive devices. The bonds forged between these working animals and their human handlers are exceptional. Read about eagles that take down drones, and giant Gambian rats that find buried land mines.
You'll also learn about the animals whose lives were sacrificed so the military could understand more about the effects of poisonous chemicals and radiation. What is fair and right when calling animals to serve?
Read interviews about how dogs are selected and trained. Learn how military working dogs find explosives and enemy soldiers in war zones. And read first-hand accounts from soldiers who have adopted their dogs.
School and Library Journal says: ". . . immediately captures attention by opening with detailed stories of two military working dogs," and "School libraries serving upper elementary and middle school students will want to consider this for purchase, as it not only is appealing but also offers a unique focus on a less covered aspect of the military."
Kirkus says, "As readers will learn in this admirable introduction to the military's K-9 corps, they thrive and suffer as much as the women and men who serve," and "deserves a wide readership beyond dog lovers and military buffs."
Booklist says, "Detailed, info-packed chapters look at the ideal temperament and breeds for combat, training practices, and the various jobs a dog can hold in the military," and "happy-ending stories of handlers adopting their retired dogs abound, and the loyalty and respect soldiers have for their canine partners is undeniable."
See the trailer for Dogs at War:
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says that 85% of us will lose someone we care about to suicide during our lifetime. Suicide is among the top three causes of death for young people ages 15 to 24. In fact, it's a global epidemic, claiming 41,000 lives per year in the United States alone.
Suicide touches people of all ages—from those who consider and attempt suicide to those who lose a loved to suicide. Yet silence often surrounds these deaths and makes the suicide phenomenon difficult to understand. What drives people to take their lives? How can suicides be prevented?
Quotes from outstanding YA novelists shed light on suicide among young people.
"When you read about someone being bullied and committing suicide . . . it’s someone’s most absolute cared-for person. Suicide is a permanent end to what could have most likely been avoided.” —author and youth advocate e.E. Charlton-Trujillo
“Depression isn’t like being sad or blue or wistful. It is crippling. It is a constant whine in your head, making it hard to hear yourself think. . . . In this state, you can only think of how desperately you want this agony to end. You can only think of doing something, anything, to stop the feeling, to keep it from overwhelming you with shame, loneliness, guilt, and bleak gray hopelessness. Depression is the absence of hope.” author Libba Bray, who lives with depression.
“I would tell survivors to grieve, and I would use my training to get that process started. I would tell them to curse and cry and shake their fists until they felt they didn’t need to do it anymore. I would highlight over and over that the suicide was not their fault, that suicide is a decision made by the person who commits it." Author/therapist Chris Crutcher
What the reviewers say about Understanding Suicide:
Kirkus: "Facts counteract stigma and ignorance in this guide . . . an array of important facts and figures, made intimate with personal stories of people who have attempted suicide or been affected by suicide. Frequent boxed inserts provide tangential material without distracting from the overall flow. The inclusion of quotes from several authors for teens is a welcome touch. An effective, compassionate guide to a subject that needs one."
School Library Journal: "Edifying and thorough, this title will prove useful for students doing research or those interested in learning about this tragic phenomenon."
Booklist: "quotes from people who have lost a loved one or who have survived an attempt themselves provide a powerful alternative [to images]. The text is careful to stay blame- and judgment-free, making it a particularly successful resource.
“As soon as World War II ended, we located the one spot on Earth that hadn’t been touched by war and blew it to hell.” --Bob Hope, U.S. comedian and writer, 1946
In 1946, as part of the Cold War arms race, the U.S. military launched a program to test nuclear bombs in the Marshall Islands of the Pacific Ocean. From 1946 until 1958, the military detonated sixty-seven nuclear bombs over the region’s Bikini and Enewetak Atolls. The twelfth bomb, called Bravo, became the world’s first nuclear disaster. It sent a toxic cloud of radiation over Rongelap Atoll and other nearby inhabited islands.
The testing was intended to advance scientific knowledge about nuclear bombs and radiation. But it had much more far-reaching effects. Some of the islanders suffered burns, cancers, birth defects, and other medical tragedies as a result of radiation poisoning. Many of the Marshallese were resettled on other Pacific islands or the United States. They and their descendants cannot yet return to Bikini, which remains contaminated by radiation. And while the United States claims it is now safe to resettle Rongelap, only a few construction workers live there on a temporary basis.
For Bombs over Bikini, author Connie Goldsmith researched government documents, military film footage, and other primary source documents to tell the story of the world’s first nuclear disaster. You’ll meet the people who planned the test operations, the Marshall Islanders who lost their homes and suffered from radiation illnesses, and those who have worked to hold the U.S. government accountable for catastrophically poor planning. Was the new knowledge about nuclear bombs and radiation worth the cost in human suffering?
See what the experts say about supplements:
"The supplement industry is a booming business. Their powerful advertisements can easily convince athletes that vitamin and mineral pills will enhance sports performance. Yet, there is little scientific evidence to support those claims." Nancy Clark, registered dietitian and member of the American College of Sports Medicine
"There are quick ways to lose weight, and there are safe ways to lose weight. However, there are no ways to lose weight that are both quick AND safe. Success in long-term weight loss requires patience, persistence, and hard work to improve food choices and exercise habits." Diana Wright, registered dietitian and nutrition educator
“I’m convinced that many of the supplements on the market today contain illegal products. Since the FDA does not regulate the supplement industry, there is no way of knowing how widespread the contamination really is.” Trevor Gillum, PhD, Exercise Physiologist, California Baptist University
"A lot of consumers have a preconceived notion that if it’s a natural product, it must be safe. But that is not necessarily the case. Most of these products are not well-regulated and have very little oversight. Traces of heavy metals and prescription drugs have even been found in some herbal and dietary supplements." Herbert Bonkovsky, MD, American College of Gastroenterology
School & Library Journal: ". . . well-written and solidly researched . . . " and, "The design is colorful and eye-catching, and Goldsmith makes the subject compelling."
Kirkus: "These tales provide graphic evidence of the issues presented by a wide-ranging group of products that are either untested or tested only infrequently," and, "Information is straightforward and accurate, presented on eye-catching, blue-bordered pages . . . " and, "Excellent, detailed end matter."
Booklist 2014: With deft, well-researched precision, Goldsmith explores the ethical implications of nuclear testing, which rendered portions of the Marshall Islands unsafe for generations. A stirring addition to any classroom discussion about the environment.
National Science Teachers Association 2014: This account of the destruction of Bikini, the careless contamination of living organisms, and the extermination of homes, the consequences of irradiation, the shameful disregard of human values by the military testing the devastating lethality of both A–bombs and H–bombs, is a topic that should provoke thoughtful reflection for Grades 6–12 readers.
School Library Journal 2014: The black-and-white period photos are an excellent accompaniment to the text. A well-written book about a painful piece of history, this is an excellent addition.
Association of Children's Librarians of Northern California 2014: Outstanding. Clear, lively narrative paired with historic black and white photos. An excellent resource on a little-known subject.
The Society of School Librarians International named "Battling Malaria" as best science book for grades 7 to 12 for 2011.
“I became engrossed in this book as soon as I picked it up. I found the chapter describing the history of the disease, "Malaria Through the Ages," particularly fascinating. Tracing the record of the disease from ancient Egypt through the observations of George Washington and an apparent outbreak described in Little House on the Prairie, the author covers both medical and public health aspects.”
National Science Teachers Association
"Every day, thousands of mothers watch helplessly as their children die from a disease that we have known how to prevent for decades. The continuing toll of malaria is a moral outrage."
"Battling Malaria is a fantastic overview of one of the world's deadliest killers! From the trained scientist who simply wants a review of this global disease to the high school student who is just beginning to understand the life-cycle complexities of a single-celled parasitic organism, readers will appreciate this very nice overview of the challenges that malaria poses for mankind." --Science Books & Films
"The book could easily be used as supplemental material for units on microbiology, parasitism, or biomedical advances. Its depth of content makes it suitable for reading, research, and as a source of material for debates. Additional resources included in the book are a malaria timeline and sources of information for students." -- National Science Teachers Association