109 Forgotten American Heroes

Chris Ying, Created by, Brian McMullen, Created by
Chris Ying, Created by, Brian McMullen, Created by . DK $19.99 (175p) ISBN 978-0-7566-5405-4
Reviewed on: 11/30/2009
Release date: 10/01/2009

In their children's debut, McSweeney's editors Ying and McMullen redefine the notion of the American hero with a montage of tributes to unsung figures. The stylish and colorful displays juxtapose photographs with drawings and digital images, producing a zine-like effect that is perfect for browsing. Minor celebrities like Edmund McIlhenny, inventor of Tabasco sauce; journalist Nellie Bly; and killer whale Shamu are given accolades, along with Victoria Woodhull (the first woman nominated for president), the hero sandwich, and the Navajo code talkers. There's a satisfying balance between tongue-in-cheek humor (on releasing nutria into the U.S.: “It's fine to make money, but don't set gigantic rats free in the process!”) and valuable historical insights. Ages 11–17. (Oct.)

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