A solid guide, as far as it goes.




A practical and thorough primer for high school students preparing to attend college.

The authors, both of whom have taught at American University, help seniors master important life skills and adjust successfully to the first year of college. Topics covered include the expected—academics, health and wellness, time management, finances, internships—as well as ones that teens might not anticipate, such as imposter syndrome, fostering a successful mindset for being a college learner, and appropriate communication with professors. The volume is readable, well-organized, and explicitly claims to address universal needs and concerns. However, much of the advice assumes a middle-class, mainstream background, and first-generation college students, those living at home rather than in a dorm, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, nontraditional students, and students of color may feel overlooked or taken aback by some of the advice, such as to avoid talking about identity and diversity when you initially contact your new roommate. The all-too-brief section on sexual assault unfortunately addresses potential victims, missing an opportunity to educate potential perpetrators. Drug and alcohol abuse are, surprisingly, overlooked. College faculty and staff will appreciate the advice to parents about allowing young people to grow in responsibility. While not as universally applicable as the authors may have intended, this nevertheless contains information of value, particularly in addressing the differences between high school– and college-level academics.

A solid guide, as far as it goes. (notes, index) (Nonfiction. 16-19)

Pub Date: April 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-22518-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.


Comprehensive, myth-busting examination of the Colorado high-school massacre.

“We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened,” writes Cullen, a Denver-based journalist who has spent the past ten years investigating the 1999 attack. In fact, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conceived of their act not as a targeted school shooting but as an elaborate three-part act of terrorism. First, propane bombs planted in the cafeteria would erupt during lunchtime, indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds of students. The killers, positioned outside the school’s main entrance, would then mow down fleeing survivors. Finally, after the media and rescue workers had arrived, timed bombs in the killers’ cars would explode, wiping out hundreds more. It was only when the bombs in the cafeteria failed to detonate that the killers entered the high school with sawed-off shotguns blazing. Drawing on a wealth of journals, videotapes, police reports and personal interviews, Cullen sketches multifaceted portraits of the killers and the surviving community. He portrays Harris as a calculating, egocentric psychopath, someone who labeled his journal “The Book of God” and harbored fantasies of exterminating the entire human race. In contrast, Klebold was a suicidal depressive, prone to fits of rage and extreme self-loathing. Together they forged a combustible and unequal alliance, with Harris channeling Klebold’s frustration and anger into his sadistic plans. The unnerving narrative is too often undermined by the author’s distracting tendency to weave the killers’ expressions into his sentences—for example, “The boys were shooting off their pipe bombs by then, and, man, were those things badass.” Cullen is better at depicting the attack’s aftermath. Poignant sections devoted to the survivors probe the myriad ways that individuals cope with grief and struggle to interpret and make sense of tragedy.

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

Pub Date: April 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-54693-5

Page Count: 406

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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