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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Two inexperienced kayakers are trapped in the Alaskan wilderness by a freak of nature in a patchy but vivid survival adventure. Cody and her cousin, Derek, sneak out for a weekend of camping while their mothers are away in Juneau; when the Hubbard Glacier “surges,” blocking outflow from the Russell Fjord, a rapidly rising water level catches them by surprise, washing away Cody’s kayak and nearly all of their supplies. After an unsuccessful attempt to paddle back to their starting point leaves them wet, hungry, exhausted, and, in Cody’s case, snow blind, a mysterious, masked woodsman brings food before luring Derek away. Cody follows, attempting to save Derek from danger, only to learn that he’s gone along willingly with a reclusive ex-guide (and his wife) whose face was ravaged by frostbite on Denali; they feed the children and lead them to a point from which they can kayak to safety. The “abducting” of Derek (planned so Cody would follow) is never explained satisfactorily, and a heavily foreshadowed run-in with bears remains a tease. Still, the action is rapid and mostly realistic; Shahan describes the natural beauty, as well as the mud, mosquitoes, and other miseries her young people encounter, with authority. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-385-32303-4

Page Count: 151

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1998

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A serviceable biography of one of the US’s most extraordinary citizens, but not nearly in the class of Barbara Cooney’s Eleanor (1996) or Russell Freedman’s Eleanor: A Life of Discovery (1993). Westervelt has to sustain a breathless pace to fit the rich story of Eleanor Roosevelt’s life into these pages. She begins with the image of the golden-haired, painfully shy child, whose plainness was disdained by a beautiful mother, and whose adored, alcoholic father was mostly absent. She found refuge in study and in service to others from a very young age; when she married her cousin Franklin, she was given away by her uncle, President Theodore Roosevelt. That began decades of public life during which she supported her husband as he rose through public offices to the presidency, raised their children, fought off a domineering mother-in-law, and carved out her own life of tireless speaking, writing, and social action. Westervelt touches very lightly on the subject of Lucy Mercer and Eleanor’s possible liaisons, keeping the focus on the tremendous number of activities Eleanor undertook during WWII and beyond Franklin’s death. The lengthy biography unaccountably leaves off Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book; this is a useful biography, but not a magical one. (index) (Biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 1999

ISBN: 1-888105-33-X

Page Count: 142

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1998

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