Posted in 20th Century Children's Books Non-Fiction Reviews

review: The Secret Kingdom

The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India, and a Hidden World of Art by Barb Rosenstock, Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola This story follows a boy named Nek Chand as he grows up in the village of Barian Kalan in the Punjab region of what is now Pakistan. He had an ideal childhood, learning his people’s history and legends through the work and festivities of every season. When the Hindu people were expelled from the land, they traveled to India, where a disenchanted Nek hated the drab industrial landscape. Feeling nostalgic for his childhood dreams, he began building his own secret kingdom in the jungle outskirts. Years pass, and when his project is discovered, both the government and the people weigh in on the…

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Posted in 18th Century Children's Books Reviews

review: Mesmerized

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved the Mystery That Baffled All of France by Mara Rockliff, Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno During the American Revolution, an elderly Benjamin Franklin is recruited to journey across the Atlantic Ocean to meet with the King and Queen of France to request funds for the war against their mutual enemy, the British. Ben, a world renowned inventor, arrives to find Paris feverishly seeking out a man called Dr. Mesmer, who was said to be able to cure all ills with a magic wand. After their state business is completed, King Louis asks Ben to discover whether this newfangled alternative to medicine is genuine or the work of a charlatan. Determined to assuage his own curiosity, Ben uses his “Scientific Method” to…

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