The Almanac of American Education,
2014–2015. 8th ed.
Ed. by Deirdre A. Gaquin and
2015. 578p. illus. Bernan, paper, $79
(9781598887365); e-book, $77.99 (9781598887372).
The latest edition of this statistical reference compares American educational
opportunities at the national, state, and county level. Updated data (both historical and
current) includes school-enrollment figures;
unemployment rates by educational attainment level; and various analyses by county,
state, and region, including per-student expenditures and free-lunch eligibility statistics.
As most of the national data is no longer provided in print form from the Census Bureau,
this volume remains a core reference work
for academic libraries and special collections
in education. —Rebecca Vnuk
The Anime Encyclopedia: A Century of
Japanese Animation. 3rd ed.
By Jonathan Clements and Helen
2015. 1,200p. Stone Bridge, $120 (9781611720181).
The third edition of this guide to Japanese anime film contains more than 1,000
new entries, bringing the total to just over
4,000. Entries cover titles, studios, and writers as well as directors, but there are also
28 thematic entries on anime history and
culture. Title entries include information on
English-language releases, formats and running times, creative credits, plot outlines,
and critical commentary. There are content
advisories, making this a useful resource for
parents and librarians. Although there are
no illustrations in this edition, the publisher
notes it was a necessary choice made to
keep the guide to a single print volume. As
the previous edition is now woefully out of
date, libraries will want to replace with this
newer version. —Rebecca Vnuk
YA/S: A suitable choice for high-school
libraries where anime is popular. RV.
County and City Extra: Special
Ed. by Deirdre A. Gaquin and Mary
2015. 282p. Bernan, $125 (9781598888041). 917.3.
This classic reference annual compiles in-
From Small Screen to Vinyl: A Guide to
formation on key demographic and economic
data for all U.S. states, counties, and metro-
politan areas, and this new historical edition
covers 1790–2010. The tabular layout is simi-
lar to the regular editions, featuring a variety
of tables that give the user a snapshot of
statistical information on a wide variety of
topics, such as population changes through
the decades and information on census cov-
erage by state. Suitable for most reference
collections, and a good addition to libraries
owning previous volumes. —Rebecca Vnuk
Television Stars Who Made Records,
By Bob Leszczak.
2015. 494p. illus. Rowman & Littlefield, $75
This unique reference covers television
actors who also had success (to any degree) as recording artists. Radio-personality
Leszczak has interviewed dozens of these
celebrities, and nearly 200 are profiled in
this A–Z compilation, including Wayne Brady,
Lynda Carter, Regis Philbin, Telly Savalas,
and Tina Yothers. The brief entries contain
biographical information, trivia about the
stars’ TV show(s), and details about the
recording(s). Trivia hounds, television junkies, and music fans will get a kick out of this
quirky volume, which is suitable for public
and academic collections and could do well
in the circulating stacks. —Rebecca Vnuk
Historical Dictionary of the American
By Jay H. Buckley and Brenden W.
2015. 356p. illus. Rowman & Littlefield, $100
(9781442249585); e-book, $99.99 (9781442249592).
This useful guide covers early American exploration and frontier life, from the
late-fifteenth through the late-nineteenth
centuries. More than 300 cross-referenced
A–Z entries cover people, places, events,
and institutions. The preface provides
scope and methodology as well as a
chronology and four small black-and-white
maps. The entries are brief and concise.
121-page bibliography completes the volume. A good starting point to help users
learn more about the growth of the American West. It belongs in most public and
academic libraries. —Patricia Hogan
The Progressive Era.
By Francis J. Sicius.
2015. 308p. illus. ABC-CLIO, $58 (9781610694476).
This volume covers the Progressive era—
roughly defined as the period of societal
response to the Industrial Revolution—from
1890 through 1920. Chapters take a chronological look at important events; themes
(including the role of women in politics,
literature, religion); and people (including
Mary Harris “Mother” Jones and Eugene
Debs) of the time period, along with a
selection of primary documents. There are
a few black-and-white photographs, and
chapters are fully footnoted. An annotated
bibliography and an index round out the volume. With concise information presented in
an easy-to-read manner, this is a good starting place for high-school reports and casual
research, and it is recommended for school
and public libraries. —Rebecca Vnuk
The Sociology Book.
By Mitchell Hobbs and others.
2015. 352p. illus. DK, $25 (9781465436504). 301.
This attractive, illustrated volume is an
approachable introduction to the basics of
sociology. More than 80 theories and concepts from major figures are covered, giving
the reader an overview of topics including
social inequalities, culture and identity, and
family life. Articles begin with an “
InCon-text” section with key dates, and they also
include biographies of sociologists and
cross-referencing for easy navigation within
the book. Throughout, color photographs and
graphics are utilized to explain and illustrate
concepts, time lines, and data. This not only
supplements the articles but also makes the
articles, theories, and concepts less intimidating to the reader. A great resource for
those interested in or beginning the study of
sociology. —Kaela Casey
Voices of the Reformation:
Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life.
Ed. by John A. Wagner.
2015. 308p. Greenwood, $79 (9781610696791).
This latest Voices of an Era volume explores the Protestant Reformation through
60 primary source documents. Eight sections cover the time period chronologically,
from “Late Medieval Religion” to “Europe
Divided, 1570–1600.” Representative
documents come from religious tracts,
speeches, public records, and literary
works. Fact boxes define or explain unfamiliar terms appearing in the text, and
sidebars provide short biographies and
other related topics. Each section ends with
a list of printed readings and an assortment
of media resources. Appendixes include
biographical sketches of important people
of the era and a comparison of Catholic
and Protestant positions on key religious
doctrines. There is also a chronology, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index. Suitable
for most public libraries. —Rebecca Vnuk
REFERENCE BOOKS IN BRIEF