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Barbara Park

by Dennis Abrams

Through her character Junie B. Jones, Barbara Park established herself as one of America's leading children's book authors. Never one to shy away from addressing difficult issues, Park has written books that tackle topics such as being the new kid in school, divorce, the death of a sibling, and Alzheimer's disease. Learn more about this compelling author and the books that have made her famous.

Eminem (Hip-Hop Stars)

by Dennis Abrams

Explore the controversy surrounding this remarkable hip-hop talent. Born Marshall Mathers III, Eminem overcame a difficult childhood to become the most critically acclaimed white rapper of his time. His albums have sold in the millions. He's won MTV Video Music Awards, Grammy Awards, and even an Oscar. But fame and success have come with a price: His lyrics have been attacked for encouraging violence against women and others. His turbulent personal life has made countless headlines. Some people have called for his music to be banned; others have labeled him a genius. Eminem is a compelling full-color biography that examines the remarkable life of a controversial yet undeniably talented artist who pushed creative envelopes and broke racial boundaries to become one of hip-hop's greatest stars.

George Washington Carver: Scientist and Educator (Black Americans of Achievement--Legacy Edition)

by Dennis Abrams

George Washington Carver has long been revered for his contributions to improving the lives of poor Southern farmers. Carver studied to be a scientist at a time when many black Americans could not afford, or were turned away from, universities. He went on to teach and do research at the famed Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where he became one of the most popular instructors at the school. Carver's efforts have been mythologized, but there is much to learn about his work, which benefited many people. George Washington Carver: Scientist and Educator tells the true story of the man who became a legend in his field.

Hamid Karzai (Modern World Leaders)

by Dennis Abrams

Hamid Karzai made history on December 7, 2004, when he was officially sworn in as Afghanistan's first democratically elected president. The world applauded as he vowed to heal his wounded country. A nation with a long and tumultuous history, Afghanistan had endured much over the previous two decades. Invading Soviet troops, resistance by the Mujahideen, anarchy, the oppressive rule of the Taliban, and finally U. S. military action after 9/11 had left the country in ruins. Intelligent, calm, and diplomatic, Hamid Karzai still has a formidable task ahead of him. Will it be possible to restore hope to the Afghan people? Can he bring order and stability to his war-weary nation? This book tackles such tough questions head-on, while giving clear insights into the background and tactics of one of the world's most crucial decision-makers. Hamid Karzai is an excellent resource for students seeking to enhance their knowledge of contemporary world issues and the important figures behind them.

Nicolas Sarkozy (Modern World Leaders)

by Dennis Abrams

Nicolas Sarkozy was born an outsider. A child of immigrants who grew up outside the circles of the French political elite, Sarkozy beat the odds by slowly climbing the political mountain until he reached France's highest peak--the office of the presidency. How did this awkward child from a broken home grow up to become the president of France? In Nicolas Sarkozy, explore what Sarkozy did to make it to the top and the political and personal price he paid to achieve his dreams.

Rachael Ray: Food Entrepreneur

by Dennis Abrams

When one of her recipes calls for "EVOO," cooks knowingly reach for the extra-virgin olive oil. When she declares a dish "Yum-O," those who have tried her meals can nod in agreement. Rachael Ray grew up surrounded by great restaurant cooks, so cooking was a natural and integral part of her life. She first began cooking at home with her mother, moved on to performing cooking demonstrations at local food markets, and finally ended up making successful cooking shows for television. How did an untrained cook who grew up in small-town, upstate New York go on to become one of the Food Network's biggest stars? Perhaps most intriguingly, what role has she played in America's ongoing food revolution? Rachael Ray tells the story of a woman who has made a career of encouraging others to cook, eat, and love food as much as she does. From her catalog of cookbooks to her line of cookware, Ray has become a powerful force in food education.

Sandra Day O'Connor: U. S. Supreme Court Justice

by Dennis Abrams

From an early age, Sandra Day O'Connor challenged the traditional gender role assigned to women. Growing up on the Lazy B Ranch in the Southwest, she could mend a fence, ride a horse, shoot a rifle, and drive a tractor by the time she was eight years old. Though in the top 10 of her Stanford Law class--and only one of five women--O'Connor was unable to find a position at any law firm because of her sex. Undeterred, she opened her own law practice. After entering politics, she was the first female majority leader in the Arizona State Senate before becoming a justice on the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In 1981, she ascended to the U. S. Supreme Court as the first female associate justice, appointed by President Ronald Reagan. Sandra Day O'Connor: U. S. Supreme Court Justice examines her life and the decisions she made while serving on the nation's highest court.

Spike Lee (Black Americans of Achievement--Legacy Edition)

by Dennis Abrams

In his own words, Spike Lee is the man who single-handedly "broke the color barrier" in Hollywood in the mid 1980s. In a film career that spans more than 20 years, Lee has established himself as one of the United States' premier filmmakers, a director whose films explore the many aspects of the African-American experience. Never one to shy away from controversy--he has been accused of racism, anti-Semitism, and sexism--Lee uses film to raise tough questions and to provoke discussion. How was he able to break down the doors of Hollywood for himself and for other African-American directors, actors, and technicians? How has he continued to grow and develop as a filmmaker? Spike Lee presents a nuanced portrait of an artist who has become a symbol of contemporary American culture.

Thabo Mbeki (Modern World Leaders)

by Dennis Abrams

Thabo Mbeki has devoted his life to the people of South Africa, first as a courageous fighter against apartheid and currently as president of his beloved nation, helping to heal the wounds caused by decades of oppression. His success is even more astounding considering the seemingly insurmountable obstacles he encountered early in life: His activist father spent many years in prison because of his political beliefs. Close relatives disappeared, never to be seen or heard from again. And Mbeki himself was forced to live in exile for nearly 30 years. What gave him the strength and determination to continue his struggle? How did the little boy from a small village go on to become South Africa's president? This revealing new biography answers these questions and more, exploring the life and accomplishments of this remarkable world leader.

Ty Cobb

by Dennis Abrams

Ty Cobb was one of Major League Baseball's greatest players and fiercest competitors. For 23 straight seasons, from 1906 to 1928, he recorded a batting average of more than .300, including three seasons in which he hit better than .400. More impressively, his career batting average of .367 has never been topped. A member of the National Baseball Half of Fame's inaugural class of 1936, Cobb still holds the major league records for career steals of home (54) and career batting titles (11). Cobb, though, is remembered for more than his prowess as a ballplayer. His desire to win at all costs led to violent behavior on and off the field. On the diamond, he was accused of playing dirty. Off the field, he was notorious for his out-of-control temper, violent assaults, and public and private embarrassments. Cobb was a sports legend, but he was not a hero.

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