MEET THE DANCERS

FROM BALLET, BROADWAY, AND BEYOND

In this companion to Meet the Musicians (2006), Nathan offers a chatty and informative look at 16 dancers, their childhoods, their training and their professional lives. Sidebars offer quick tips on taking class, summer activities, typical days and performance pointers. There’s also an entertaining “Sugar Plum Sightings,” revealing where each performed The Nutcracker and in what roles. The range of dance styles, from classical ballet to modern dance to Broadway, gives this a wide appeal, as does the pleasing diversity of the 16 men and women. Readers drawn to dancing won’t necessarily pore over the black-and-white photographs, but they will find value in reading about the winning combination of childhood and adult determination, hard work, perseverance, family support and help from teachers. Brief bios at the beginning of each chapter provide appealing personal tidbits. Recommended for those interested in the lives of dancers or a career in dance. (glossary, resources, index) (Collective biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8071-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2008

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THE BIG GAME OF EVERYTHING

Twelve-year-old Onion Jock’s grandfather made a fortune inventing a golf-course–cleaning contraption and now runs his own 13-hole course, his barber father rebels against the system by discouraging haircuts and his brother is a finance-obsessed pugilist. When well-monied individuals from Grampus’s past arrive, Jock realizes that his odd family relationships are more twisted than he thought. With little more than a brogue pronunciation as a clue, readers are left to guess at Jock’s geographical location, which creates a rarely bridged emotional gap. Jock’s narrative disposition is reminiscent of Christopher from Mark Haddon’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (2003), but Jock’s own behavioral discrepancies have no apparent underlying causes. Moments of genuine humor shine, but most of the tale’s message—of the burden of possessions—seems better suited for a younger audience than the one it apparently aims for. Andi Watson’s Clubbing (2007) blends oddball humor and golf much more successfully. This uneven mixture of relationships and sports is a bogey for the usually reliable Lynch. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-06-074034-4

Page Count: 288

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2008

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AMERICANS WHO TELL THE TRUTH

In tribute to this country’s proud tradition of protest, fine artist Shetterly has chosen 50 Americans who have stood up for what he calls “the promise of America,” presenting them in a series of accurately painted head-and-shoulder portraits with their names and a pithy quote scratched in. His selections, equally divided between men and women, range from such usual suspects as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Elizabeth Cady Stanton to the less-familiar likes of child peace activist Samantha Smith, political columnist Molly Ivins, authors Frances Moore Lappé (Diet for a Small Planet) and Jonathan Kozol, plus controversial figures such as Emma Goldman and Dwight Eisenhower. The telling quotes are reprinted in the margins to make them more legible. Opening with an eloquent general statement of purpose, and closing with biographical comments on each entry, this gallery of writers, politicians, rabble-rousers, troublemakers, scientists, celebrities and activists will have a stirring cumulative effect, even on children unacquainted with many of their causes or accomplishments. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: June 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-525-47429-3

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2005

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