Books by Catherine Reef

Released: Oct. 23, 2012

"A solid and captivating look at these remarkable pioneers of modern fiction. (notes and a comprehensive bibliography) (Biography. 12-16)"
The wild freedom of the imagination and the heart, and the tragedy of lives ended just as success is within view—such a powerful story is that of the Brontë children. Read full book review >
JANE AUSTEN by Catherine Reef
BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 18, 2011

"Perhaps this work will lead readers to Jane Austen and imaginatively apply the facts of the author's life to the novels—or vice-versa. (afterword, family trees, notes, selected bibliography, index) (Biography. 12 & up)"
It is either daring or foolish—or both—to use the subtitle, "A Life Revealed," when the biographer states that little is known about the biographee. Read full book review >
ERNEST HEMINGWAY by Catherine Reef
BIOGRAPHY
Released: July 1, 2009

"Accessible to young readers but most useful to teens as they begin to read Hemingway's greatest works. (source notes, bibliography, list of major works, picture credits) (Biography. 10 & up)"
Opening with a vivid description of bullfights in Pamplona, which Hemingway saw as "death struggle raised to an art," and concluding with Hemingway's own death struggle in 1961, Reef creates a memorable portrait of the writer and his times, and even readers too young for most of Hemingway's oeuvre will enjoy armchair traveling to the bullfights in Spain, fishing expeditions to the Dry Tortugas and the Marquesas Keys, big-game hunting on the Serengeti and covering the Spanish Civil War. Read full book review >
E.E. CUMMINGS by Catherine Reef
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Nov. 13, 2006

"It would have been made even stronger with fuller contextualization of Cummings's work among his contemporaries; as it is, it represents a solid introduction to one of the early 20th-century's more provocative American poets. (notes, bibliography, glossary, index) (Biography. YA)"
A cogent biography weaves life and poetry together for an appreciative look at the unconventional and exacting artist. Read full book review >
ALONE IN THE WORLD by Catherine Reef
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 18, 2005

"A crying shame. (afterword, picture credits) (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
A solid, but not stellar, volume surveys the development of orphanages in the United States from the beginning of the 19th century to their decline in the 20th. Read full book review >
THIS OUR DARK COUNTRY by Catherine Reef
FRIENDS AND SCHOOL
Released: Nov. 25, 2002

"Despite its flaws, this offering stands as a valuable addition to children's literature both of African-American history and of American imperialism, and deserves recognition for its attempt to tell the story behind the footnote. (index, endnotes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10+)"
What usually appears in textbooks as a footnote to a footnote of history is given a fuller treatment in an uneven yet laudable accounting. Read full book review >
JOHN STEINBECK by Catherine Reef
BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 22, 1996

"Mexican- Americans and hoboes'' will certainly kindle an interest in one who is, to too many readers, just another piece of homework. (b&w photos, bibliography, index) (Biography. 12-15)"
 In this captivating portrait of the restless, versatile Steinbeck, Reef follows up her stellar Walt Whitman (1995) by illuminating the life and work of another wayward icon of the American cultural scene. Read full book review >
WALT WHITMAN by Catherine Reef
BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 24, 1995

"On top of all this, the photographs provide as rich a documentation as anyone could wish for of the growth and graying of Whitman's beard. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9+)"
 A handsome and affectionate biography, full of quotes from Whitman's poetry and prose, b&w photographs of him and his contemporaries, paintings and etchings of their world, and reproductions of Whitman's handwriting. Read full book review >
BLACK FIGHTING MEN by Catherine Reef
BIOGRAPHY
Released: May 1, 1994

"Scattered b&w photos; bibliography; index. (Biography. 10-13)"
 Reminding us that African-Americans have fought in all of our country's wars, Reef (Buffalo Soldiers, 1993) recounts the heroic acts of 14 men from Crispus Attucks to Lonnie Davis, one of the 113,000 black soldiers who fought in the Persian Gulf War. Read full book review >
EAT THE RIGHT STUFF by Catherine Reef
HEALTH
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Bibliography; index. (Nonfiction. 9-12)"
 In the new Good Health Guidelines series, a sensible, middle-of-the-road approach to nutrition. Read full book review >
BUFFALO SOLDIERS by Catherine Reef
BIOGRAPHY
Released: May 1, 1993

"Chronology; bibliography; index. (Nonfiction. 10-13)"
 Reluctantly conceding that African-Americans were capable of being soldiers, the US Army formed the first permanent black units after the Civil War, sending them first to the western frontier, then to Cuba in the Spanish-American War, and later to Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa. Read full book review >
COLIN POWELL by Catherine Reef
BIOGRAPHY
Released: July 1, 1992

"Selection of b&w publicity photos; bibliography; index. (Biography. 11-13)"
 An uncritical portrait of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who once reported, ``Mr. President, the world is at peace.'' Reef traces Powell's career path from mediocre South Bronx student to top soldier, devoting some attention to his private life but, except for noting his opposition to Operation Desert Storm, discussing his abilities and philosophy only in vague, conventional terms. Read full book review >