Reviews and Testimonials

Apprentice Shop Books has received numerous accolades for its biographical literature. Read these reviews and testimonials to see what your colleagues and other reviewers have to say about our titles.


When Rivers Burned: The Earth Day Story
Author, Linda Crotta Brennan - Designer/Illustrator, Lisa Greenleaf

"The comprehensive compilation of details in an interesting weave from introduction, through development to conclusion of the different players and themes is awe-inspiring. Thank you so much for the concept and the excellent product." -- Eugenia Marks, Environmental Advocate-Rhode Island Audubon Society
"What a wonderful job she [Linda Crotta Brennan] and Lisa Greenleaf did as well as whoever else was involved with the crafting of this book ... Wow! What a teaching tool this book could be! I felt compelled to write because I did not expect to have such a strong reaction to this book. The information, illustrations, and craftsmanship is really great." -- Beth Groleau, retired elementary principal and elementary/middle school teacher
"Crotta Brennan's earnest ... history of the creation of Earth Day situates the event in the environmental and political issues of twentieth-century America. Historical photographs of environmental conditions in industrial areas plus profiles of Gaylord Nelson, Denis Hayes, and other conservationists highlight the consequences of unregulated pollution and the belief that youth can change the world for the better." -- Horn Book Nonfiction Notes, recommended title March 2014
"... This CBC/NSTA outstanding science trade book explains the history of Earth Day to middle and secondary students with authentic photographs, historical facts, and ample scientific support. Recognizing the contributions of individuals can only excite and encourage the next generation of activists. The book contains timelines, a glossary, index, and enough detail for students to continue research and build their own projects. Make every day an Earth Day." -- Julianna Texley, Field Editor, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), February, 2014

The Zoot Suit Riots: Clothes, Culture, and Murder
Author, Barbara Turner - Illustrator, Lisa Greenleaf

"This book is quite appealing. When you first look at it, it seems to be a children's storybook. However when you open it, it is something much more than that. This book is a colorful alternative or addition to a textbook. It is jam packed with information and includes illustrations for easier comprehension. Vocabulary words are bolded throughout and defined in a glossary at the end that is helpful to readers. This book highlights a part of American history and thoroughly explains all aspects of it. As it is written, it is more encompassing than reading dry history. I believe this format will engage students in middle school or early high school." -- Teachermom, High School English Teacher

The Black Regiment of the Revolutionary War
Author, Linda Crotta Brennan - Illustrator, Cheryl Kirk Knoll

Grade 4-6 - Watercolor illustrations, maps, and reproductions assist in telling the story of the black slaves who fought in the Battle of Rhode Island during the American Revolution. Presented in a picture-book format, the narrative includes detailed descriptions of the events leading up to the formation of the Black Regiment and the role these soldiers played in the war. Relevant information about the history of slavery is also presented. Brennan concludes that the bravery of these men aided in the abolishment of slavery in America ("Their shining example proved that all men deserve to be free."). Large, action-packed paintings show the troops in action and provide a glimpse into the past. Sidebars support the text with additional information. A helpful glossary, a list of suggested reading, and places to visit are appended. -- Christine E. Carr, Lester C. Noecker Elementary School, Roseland, NJ
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.
All rights reserved.

Gr. 4-6. By now most Americans' mental image of Civil War battlefields has been revised to include black faces, but the same isn't yet true when it comes to the Revolutionary War. Brennan attempts to remedy this by introducing young readers to Rhode Island's "Black Regiment," made up primarily of slaves who fought not only for American independence but also for their own freedom -- as promised by a state legislature desperate to shore up exhausted troops... Maps and sidebars lend added clarity to the main narrative. -- Jennifer Mattson, American Library Association. All rights reserved.

To My Countrywomen: The Life of Sarah Josepha Hale
Author, Muriel L. Dubois - Illustrator, Lisa Greenleaf

Hale, the editor of such influential nineteenth-century women's magazines as American Ladies Magazine and Godey's Lady's Book, would probably be surprised to hear that she is best known today for writing "Mary Had a Little Lamb." Widowed as a young woman with four children, she supported her family by working as a shop owner, a writer, and finally a journal editor. Hale was active in many causes, from the completions of the Bunker Hill Monument to the establishment of a national day of Thanksgiving each November. -- ALA Booklist
Dubois provides a well-researched and clearly written account of the times of Sarah Hale, illustrated with black-and-white reproductions of period drawings, engravings, photos, and documents. Though there was no appended notes citing specific pages, the general sources of quotes are usually identified in the text. The book concludes with a detailed timeline, a list of library and historical collections consulted, and a selected bibliography. This sturdy paperback appears to be the only biography of Hale available for young people above the primary-grade level. -- Carolyn Phelan


An Illustator/Author's Life - From Sketching to Writing to Publishing
Presented by Lisa Greenleaf at St. Patrick School, Pelham, NH (3/16/2012)

"Ms. Greenleaf quickly captures and maintains the attention of her audience with her slide presentation and clear demonstration of how the art is created- from concept development, research, composition, to final publishing. Her presentation was engaging for students of all ages in our audience, evident from their intent gazes and enthusiastic questions for Ms. Greenleaf. After the presentation, more than one student was heard to say they found her presentation personally inspiring. We can strongly recommend Ms. Greenleaf’s school program as an enhancement to the curriculum, especially the areas of art, literature, history, and the creative process." -- Charles Curfman (Grades 4 and 5) and Lynne Stader (Grades 6-8)

John Greenleaf Whittier's The Barefoot Boy
Adapted and Illustrated by Lisa Greenleaf

"This is a good old-fashioned family-friendly book. The rich illustrations help translate the [19th century] language."
"What a charmer! Great revival of a classic. The artwork is stunning."
"A poignant reminder of the joys of nature and youthful freedom that still resonates today."
-- Jim Barnes, Managing Editor and Awards Director from the Jenkins Group

Women of the Bay State: 25 Massachusetts Women You Should Know
Author, Kathleen Walsh Deady and The Write Sisters - Illustrator, Lisa Greenleaf

"This collection of brief biographies of women with ties to the Bay State provides quick clear glimpses into the lives of famous -- and not so famous -- artists, scientists, athletes, and activists throughout the history of the Commonwealth... Students search for a subject for further research would be well served to begin here to find a woman they'd like to read more about..." -- Irmarie Jones, The Recorder, Greenfield, MA
"This book {Women of the Bay State:25 Women You Should Know] is very well written...there are women I never had met before. The glossaries are a nice touch... Excellent source for extra study by the students." -- Jane Buchanan, award-winning author of several books for young readers. Her most recent title is from the Wicked History series: Mary Tudor-Courageous Queen or Bloody Mary?

Women of Granite: 25 New Hampshire You Should Know
Author, Janet Buell and The Write Sisters - Illustrator, Lisa Greenleaf

[Women of Granite] "... shine(s) a spotlight on…women, and attempt(s) to take them from the back pages of history and put them into their proper places of prominence." -- Melanie Plenda, NH Sunday News, March 22, 2009
These women are all role models. The variety of their accomplishments says to young readers: Look at the possibilities for you. You, too, can achieve your dreams, whether you're a musician like Marian MacDowell, a pioneering pilot like Bernice Blake Perry, a photographer like Lotte Jacobi or a doll maker and business woman like Annalee Thorndike... women of Granite would be a great addition to any town or school library. It could be the book that hooks a youngster on history... -- Rebecca Rule, The Sunday Monitor, August 17, 2008
Guess what: There's more to New Hampshire history than John Stark and Daniel Webster. For kids ... needing summer reading material, Women of Granite is a good one. For grownups, it's a good book to surf through -- won't take long and you'll learn something... It lives up to its title: these are women you should know, and so the book tells you about them... It's just about the sheer accomplishments of women. -- Lisa Parsons, The Hippo Press, July 17, 2008

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