An up-to-date if not in-depth introduction to a topic that has certainly affected many people’s lives throughout the ages.

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TYING THE KNOT

A WORLD HISTORY OF MARRIAGE

Royal weddings, a campaign for toilets in India linked to marriage, and trash-the-dress photo shoots (a new U.S. custom) are introduced in this whirlwind tour of courtship, marriage, and divorce.

Using catchy chapter headings (“Control Freaks” focuses on the historical, political, and economic reasons for marriage), this slim volume offers a cursory glance at marriage in many religions, the ancient world, and some contemporary cultures, primarily the U.S. and Great Britain. China, Japan, and India are mentioned, while most European cultures are lumped together. The chapter on polygamy, “More Ways Than One,” starts off highlighting Zulu traditions with Jacob Zuma, the South African president with four current wives. Scant information about Latin America, the Middle East, and the Pacific region appears. Same-sex marriage and interfaith and interracial marriage are covered in “Forbidden Love,” which starts with celebrity couples such as David Bowie and Iman (white and black, Christian and Muslim) and Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka (two men). The legal struggles for interracial marriage (1967 Loving v. Virginia) and same-sex marriage (2015 Obergefell v. Hodges) are summarized, but the last sentence of the chapter again refers back to famous couples. This celebrity approach and such sections as “Over-the-Top Weddings,” along with references to YouTube and Vimeo, seem meant to ensure teen interest. Photographs (mostly in color) are clear and relevant. Readers can tease out interesting takes on feminism and women’s history. Some self-help sidebars on dating and relationships are generalized and superfluous.

An up-to-date if not in-depth introduction to a topic that has certainly affected many people’s lives throughout the ages. (source notes, glossary, selected bibliography, further information, index) (Nonfiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4677-9242-4

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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The proximity to pain makes for a choppy narrative but also vitally draws attention to a global crisis

HIDDEN GIRL

THE TRUE STORY OF A MODERN-DAY CHILD SLAVE

This memoir of modern domestic slavery ends with hope and determination, as young author Hall (born Shyima El-Sayed Hassan) is “one of the fortunate 2 percent” to be freed from servitude.

Shyima’s childhood in Egypt ends when her parents are blackmailed into turning over their 8-year-old daughter to a wealthy couple. Every day, Shyima cleans the five-story house and the 17-car garage, “standing on a stool doing the dishes” because she’s too tiny to reach the sink. When she’s 10, Shyima’s captors move to California, illegally trafficking her into the U.S. After two more years of hard labor and increasing ill health, a worried neighbor calls the police, and Shyima’s journey into freedom begins. A chain of Muslim and Christian foster parents (some protective, others exploitative) leads her to become an anti-slavery activist. Unsurprisingly, Hall’s representations of Arab and Muslim men are filtered through her appalling experiences. Though she acknowledges misogyny “is not what the Muslim faith is about,” readers should expect to find depictions that hew closely to negative stereotypes. Those readers prepared to brave a dense, adult tome could move from Hall’s memoir to John Bowe’s Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy (2007) for a deeper look.

The proximity to pain makes for a choppy narrative but also vitally draws attention to a global crisis . (Nonfiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-8168-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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From the cockamamie (extreme ironing) to daredevilry (rooftopping) to a fine day out (catacomb rambling), a taste of...

PLACE HACKING

VENTURING OFF LIMITS

A hodgepodge of adventuring activities designed for urban settings gathered under the rubric “hacking,” as in the old sense of “play[ing] a sophisticated practical joke on a community,” though considerably more inclusive here.

Place hacking, for author Rosen, comprises three categories of activities: urban exploration, urban adventure and urban infiltration. By its nature, hacking is an outlaw activity, often involving a measure of risk and some illegal acts. There is an unofficial place-hacker code of conduct and an admirable acceptance of personal responsibility for one’s behavior, plus much preparation for the hairier deeds. Still, there are some seriously dangerous exploits recorded in these pages, from entering buildings that may harbor toxic wastes, unstable flooring or creatures unhappy with your visit—skunks, snakes—to scaling the outsides of skyscrapers. But there are also a host of activities that are unlikely to hospitalize or incarcerate the participant, from exploring the urban underground to parkour, a kind of nimble, freestyle run-and-leap through an urban landscape. Despite the disclaimer, “This book...is not intended to be a how-to guide,” there is a segment on staging an illegal exploration—but Rosen emphasizes the pleasure of discovery and the joy of participating in a sport with style and a goal of mastery.

From the cockamamie (extreme ironing) to daredevilry (rooftopping) to a fine day out (catacomb rambling), a taste of unbridled adventure for everyone. (Nonfiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4677-2515-6

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 11, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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