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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Bootleg

Bootleg

Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition

by Karen Blumenthal

Flash Point

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It began with the best of intentions. Worried about the effects of alcohol on American families, mothers and civic leaders started a movement to outlaw drinking in public places. Over time, their protests, petitions, and activism paid off—when a Constitional Amendment banning the sale and consumption of alcohol was ratified, it was hailed as the end of public drunkenness, alcoholism, and a host of other social ills related to booze. Instead, it began a decade of lawlessness, when children smuggled (and drank) illegal alcohol, the most upright citizens casually broke the law, and a host of notorious gangsters entered the public eye. Filled with period art and photographs, anecdotes, and portraits of unique characters from the era, this fascinating book looks at the rise and fall of the disastrous social experiment known as Prohibition.

Bootleg is a 2011 Kirkus Best Teen Books of the Year title.
One of School Library Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of 2011.
YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist in 2012.

Capitol Choices Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens, American Library Association Notable Children's Books, ALA Notable Children's Books, Arizona Grand Canyon Young Readers Maste

BOOTLEG (Chapter 1)The Little Sheppard
LOOKING BACK on the childhood of Morris Sheppard, you can see glimmers of a budding statesman, the kind of earnest political leader who would want to make a big difference in the world.

Born in 1875,...

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MacKids Streaming Schoolhouse: Social Studies Class with Deborah Heiligman and Karen Blumenthal

Join award-winning non-fiction writers Deborah Heiligman (Torpedoed) and Karen Blumenthal (Bootleg and Jane Against the World) as they discuss lesser-known historical tales—from the rise and fall of prohibition to the WWII group of ordinary children turned heroes after a fateful event.

Praise for Bootleg

“The breadth of the well-researched material makes Bootleg a substantial resource for reports; a deep bibliography and copious source notes provide ample opportunities for further study…this book is also a lively read…” —School Library Journal

“While lively anecdotes and personal stories keep the reading brisk and often quite jovial, readers are never allowed to ignore the fact that so many "good" citizens became insidiously inured to casually breaking the law, and that acknowledging the realities of this moral lapse ultimately led to repeal.” —BCCB

“An informative, insightful account of a fascinating period of American history.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The scope is ambitious, but Blumenthal investigates various tangents with telling anecdotes, quotes, statistics, photographs, and illustrations without losing her focus on the bigger picture. Whether you consider ongoing problems with substance abuse or increasingly polarized political discourse, the book is startlingly relevant to modern times in many ways, marking Blumenthal as one of the more intellectually adventurous authors writing for young adults today.” —Horn Book Magazine

“…a highly readable, well-shaped look at the Eighteenth Amendment… Plenty of archival images lend to the book's pleasant design, and an ample bibliography and source notes close out this top-notch resource, which will also help spark discussion on the current War on Drugs.” —Booklist

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“The breadth of the well-researched material makes Bootleg a substantial resource for reports; a deep bibliography and copious source notes provide ample opportunities for further study…this book is also a lively read…” —School Library Journal

“While lively anecdotes and personal stories keep the reading brisk and often quite jovial, readers are never allowed to ignore the fact that so many "good" citizens became insidiously inured to casually breaking the law, and that acknowledging the realities of this moral lapse ultimately led to repeal.” —BCCB

“An informative, insightful account of a fascinating period of American history.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The scope is ambitious, but Blumenthal investigates various tangents with telling anecdotes, quotes, statistics, photographs, and illustrations without losing her focus on the bigger picture. Whether you consider ongoing problems with substance abuse or increasingly polarized political discourse, the book is startlingly relevant to modern times in many ways, marking Blumenthal as one of the more intellectually adventurous authors writing for young adults today.” —Horn Book Magazine

“…a highly readable, well-shaped look at the Eighteenth Amendment… Plenty of archival images lend to the book's pleasant design, and an ample bibliography and source notes close out this top-notch resource, which will also help spark discussion on the current War on Drugs.” —Booklist

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Reviews from Goodreads

by Karen Blumenthal

Karen Blumenthal (1959-2020) was a financial journalist and editor whose career included five years with The Dallas Morning News and twenty-five with The Wall Street Journal—where her work helped earn the paper a Pulitzer Prize for its breaking news coverage of the September 11, 2001 attacks—before becoming an award-winning children’s non-fiction book writer.

Three of her books, Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History, Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different, and Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition, were finalists for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award.

Karen was also the author of Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929 (named a Sibert Honor Book), Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX (winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award), Tommy: The Gun That Changed America, Bonnie and Clyde: The Making of a Legend, and Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights.

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