SHADOW LIFE

A PORTRAIT OF ANNE FRANK AND HER FAMILY

A line taken out of context from Anne Frank’s diary (“in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart”) is too often used to turn Anne’s story into something uplifting. Denenberg provides a valuable resource that takes readers beyond the diary into the concentration camps, where Anne’s brief life ended horribly. The unusual, three-part structure of the volume includes an account of Anne’s early years, a fictional recreation of the diary kept by Margot, Anne’s older sister, and an oral history of the last months of the Frank family in the voices of the survivors of Westerbork, Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen, people who were there with Anne and her family members. The essence of Anne’s story is not in any uplifting sentiment, but in demonstrating how an ordinary girl can become the victim of hate and violence. If Anne’s story helps us see that each life is precious, “then the diary that Anne was given can be a gift to us, too.” (introduction, chronology, source notes, bibliographical essay, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-439-41678-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2005

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A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing.

THE AMAZING BOOK IS NOT ON FIRE

THE WORLD OF DAN AND PHIL

A couple more YouTube stars write a book.

Howell, who goes by "danisnotonfire," and "AmazingPhil" Lester are the latest YouTube stars hoping to cross over to the world of books. Instead of crafting a memoir or adapting their videos into a fictional series, the duo have filled these 225 pages with bold graphics, scatological humor, and quirky how tos that may entice their fan base but will leave everyone else out in the cold. It contains a wide variety of nonsense, ranging from Phil's chat logs to information on breeding hamsters. There's an emoji-only interview and some Dan/Phil fanfiction (by Howell rather than a fan) and even a full double-page spread of the pair's unsuccessful selfies. All this miscellany is shoveled in without much rhyme or reason following introductory pages that clearly introduce the pair as children, leaving readers who aren't in on the joke completely out of the loop. The authors make no attempt to bring in those on the outside, but in all honesty, why should they? The only people buying this book are kids who already love everything Dan and Phil do or clueless relatives in desperate search of a gift for the awkward teens in their lives. The book's biggest fault is its apparent laziness. It feels like something slapped together over a weekend, with no heart or soul.   

A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-93984-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2015

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SATCHEL PAIGE

``I always had to listen to that same old sentence: `If you were only white, so you could play in the majors.''' Another look at pro baseball's most durable pitcher, a walking and (especially) talking refutation of the idea that skin color (or, for that matter, age) is a measure of ability. Paige finally did break into the majors at age 42, by far its oldest rookie; the six years he spent there are little more than a footnote to his illustrious career. He's been the subject of many biographies; this one isn't a significant improvement over Macht's, issued by the same publisher in 1991. The two share many photos and quotes, aim at roughly the same audience, and append (differently) abbreviated stats, but Macht offers a more animated style and a clearer sense of Paige's personality. Bibliography; index. (Biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: April 15, 1993

ISBN: 0-7910-1880-6

Page Count: 102

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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