March 15, 2017 Booklist 5 www.booklistonline.com
down hurdles that these boys, (her “rug rats,”
“rascals,” and “bad-news bears”) have been
dealing with for ages: unwarranted special-ed
designations, social promotion that left them
at sea, and an education thus
far that did not include the
history and gifts of their
black and brown ancestors.
Occasionally, the boys lure
“thug mama genie” from
her lamp, and Ms. P goes
off; other times, her sweet,
cool-headed alter ego, “Miss
Crabtree,” is in charge. Unwaveringly, Peterson
tries to reach and teach her young men, honor
their stories, and counteract the traumas that
have led them to her classroom. She has teacher’s pets and perpetual thorns in her side, but
there’s love all around. Peterson’s unique experience, care for her students, and quick-flowing
poet’s prose do justice to these young people
who’ve been let down, while addressing the
system that let it happen, and the only possible
way out: love plus compassion and education.
Compassionate Soldier: Remarkable True
Stories of Mercy, Heroism, and Honor
from the Battlefield.
By Jerry Borrowman.
May 2017. 208p. Shadow Mountain, $19.99
Readers looking for flashes of hope in a
turbulent world will be encouraged by this
book that demonstrates that even in the most
difficult of humanity’s environments there is
cause for hope. The author presents stories
of individual bravery and compassion from
all the major conflicts of the western world,
providing helpful historical background
that anchors each tale in its specific context.
The book attends to both sides of many of
these conflicts, as well. For instance, stories
from WWII include ones about people who
rescued Jews and the German officer who
may well have saved Paris from destruction.
Readers may find some stories of these extraordinary acts familiar (but more detailed
here), while others will be entirely new. The
book suffers somewhat from a lack of cohesion—broad themes that are similar could be
better connected—but overall, this is worthwhile for casual students of history and any
reader who needs a reminder that compassion
and bravery can be found in the most unlikely
places. —Christine Engel
Encyclopedia of Historical Warrior
Peoples & Modern Fighting Groups.
Ed. by Paul K. Davis and Allen Lee
2017. 800p. illus. Grey House, $165 (9781682170984).
This single-volume encyclopedia is ideal for
public and academic libraries in need of a general overview on the history of warrior peoples.
The first section consists of 145 alphabetically
organized entries that range from the Afghans
to the Zulus. Entries offer an introduction that
provides historical definitions as well as in-depth
readings on each subject. Each entry contains
illustrations such as maps and photographs and
a list of references and useful websites. Section
Two includes a chronological list of readings,
mostly primary-source documents, as well as
discussion topics about articles on each sub-
ject. The readings range from letters written by
Roman soldiers more than 1,800 years ago to
a 2004 article about the Middle Ages. Section
Three has a selection of detailed regional maps
that date from ancient times to the modern age
and illustrate each continent. The final section
is a timeline of entries with information rang-
ing from the Akkadian Empire of 2300 BCE
to ISIS in 2014. This expanded edition offers
expert knowledge and should be the first stop
for any researcher. —Harrison Wick
H. H. Holmes: The True History of
the White City Devil.
By Adam Selzer.
Apr. 2017. 460p. Skyhorse, $26.99 (9781510713437).
Selzer has made a career of fact-checking the
most sordid details of Chicago history, disseminating the weird and gritty true history of
the city and its most unsavory people through
popular mystery tours, a podcast, and books.
When the unprecedented
success of Erik Larson’s
Devil in The White City
(2003) stirred up renewed
interest in serial killer H.
H. Holmes, Selzer made it
his mission to painstakingly
research Holmes’ life, family,
and crimes with intense determination and doggedness. The result is this
comprehensive, compelling, and surprising
biography of Holmes, written in a conversational style, as if we are passengers on one of
Selzer’s tours. The book follows every move
Holmes ever made, dragging readers all over
the country, breathlessly following his trail of
deceit and lies. Using thousands of primary
sources to draw the most accurate picture yet
of this American villain, Selzer keeps the delicate balance of salacious (and mundane) details
maintained with solid facts. What emerges is a
picture of a terrible but intriguing man, one
who continues to capture our imagination
over a century later, and one whose story leaps
off the page in Selzer’s uniquely suited hands.
A must-read for fans of The Devil in The White
City, of course, but this biography will also
hold its own independently in true-crime collections. —Becky Spratford
How to Be Married: What I Learned from
Real Women on Five Continents about
Surviving My First (Really Hard) Year of
By Jo Piazza.
Apr. 2017. 304p. Harmony, $26 (9780451495556). 306.81.
Piazza (If Nuns Ruled the World, 2014) at 34
suddenly finds herself swept up in love and immediately facing the proposition of marriage.
Having been independent for so long, as well
as being the product of her parents’ unhappy
marriage, she’s afraid of her future married life.
What makes a marriage a good one, and how
does she become a good wife? Piazza and her
new husband, both travel writers, take it upon
themselves to investigate the only way they
know how: by traveling the world. Through
keenly questioning people from vastly different
cultures, Piazza seeks and finds marriage advice
from men and women throughout the world.
She then evaluates that advice, to both see how
she can use it to make her own marriage better
and make it more meaningful and applicable
to American readers. Whether she’s finding
hygge in Denmark or climbing Kilimanjaro,
Piazza writes with candid honesty, wit, and humor. This quick-paced and relatable book will
be immensely helpful for longtime and newly
married people alike. —Emily Brock
My Fellow Soldiers: General John
Pershing and the Americans Who Helped
Win the Great War.
By Andrew Carroll.
Apr. 2017. 400p. Penguin, $30 (9781594206481). 355.
This year marks the centennial of the formal entry of the U.S. into WWI. There are
no surviving American veterans of that conflict, but best-selling historian Carroll (Here Is
Where, 2013) utilizes his own commentaries
and the diaries and letters of combatants to
provide a vivid portrait of the wartime experiences of these soldiers. Central to this work is
General John “Black Jack” Pershing, the commander of all U.S. forces in Europe. Carroll
pays ample tribute to Pershing’s prewar career,
although his futile pursuit of Pancho Villa in
Mexico is usually deemed a failure. After the
U.S. entered WWI, Pershing’s molding of a
largely untrained and poorly organized force
into a potent fighting machine was remarkable. On a personal level, Carroll reveals a
more sensitive and passionate man behind
Pershing’s rather stiff, gruff public face. Other
voices include the famous and soon-to-be famous (Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt) and
more obscure men who describe the horror of
trench warfare and the novelty of aerial war.
This is a well-done and poignant tribute to
those who went “over there.” —Jay Freeman
Post Grad: Five Women and Their First
Year out of the Ivy League.
By Caroline Kitchener.
Apr. 2017. 320p. Ecco, $24.99 (9780062429490); e-book
Kitchener chronicles her own life and those
of four of her female classmates in the year
following their graduation from Princeton.
Denise applies to medical school while working in the child-psychology department at a
hospital and balancing a new relationship. Alex
grapples with a long-distance relationship with
her serious girlfriend while she and her brother
launch a business in Seattle. Michelle opts for
music school and romances an undergrad. Olivia becomes a “sugar baby,” dating wealthy
men for money, while she attempts to get fi-