Neither a tell-all nor an exercise in self-aggrandizement, this is an inspirational, engaging story from a straight shooter.

WHERE TOMORROWS AREN'T PROMISED

A MEMOIR OF SURVIVAL AND HOPE

The coming-of-age story of a future NBA Hall of Famer who has conquered numerous challenges on his journey.

Anthony is recognizable even if you’re not a fan of the game. A consensus All-American and NCAA champion at Syracuse, three-time Olympian, and 10-time All-Star, he’s had a remarkable run. For those looking for a deep dive into his profession or notes on the mechanics of his game, this isn’t it; but it’s more than that. Many sports memoirs start with an origin story, but this one is more thought-provoking than one might expect. Kudos to Watkins, who shapes the narrative and rhythm without stepping on Anthony’s voice. The book begins at Madison Square Garden at the 2003 NBA draft; Anthony was the third pick after LeBron James and Darko Miličić. “Am I excited?” he remembers. “I’m a Black kid from the bottom. I had to fight through some of the toughest housing projects in America. I’m standing here tonight as a potential top five, top three, maybe even top two NBA draft pick….My mom had worked two jobs for as long as I could remember. Now I would be able to take care of her, buy her a house, a car, a mink—whatever she wanted—and that was exciting.” The primary story is the author’s impressive life trajectory, from the projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn, to the mean streets of Baltimore to Syracuse and, eventually, NBA superstardom and sports icon. Throughout, the losses are palpable, including the death of his stepfather to diabetes and the murder of his older cousin. Through it all, Anthony has stayed true to his core beliefs. “I’m loyal to everybody, because I believe in humanity,” he writes. “But I’m especially loyal to my family and the people I love, even if I know they wouldn’t do the same for me. That’s just how I am, no questions asked.”

Neither a tell-all nor an exercise in self-aggrandizement, this is an inspirational, engaging story from a straight shooter.

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982160-59-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

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I'M GLAD MY MOM DIED

The former iCarly star reflects on her difficult childhood.

In her debut memoir, titled after her 2020 one-woman show, singer and actor McCurdy (b. 1992) reveals the raw details of what she describes as years of emotional abuse at the hands of her demanding, emotionally unstable stage mom, Debra. Born in Los Angeles, the author, along with three older brothers, grew up in a home controlled by her mother. When McCurdy was 3, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she initially survived, the disease’s recurrence would ultimately take her life when the author was 21. McCurdy candidly reconstructs those in-between years, showing how “my mom emotionally, mentally, and physically abused me in ways that will forever impact me.” Insistent on molding her only daughter into “Mommy’s little actress,” Debra shuffled her to auditions beginning at age 6. As she matured and starting booking acting gigs, McCurdy remained “desperate to impress Mom,” while Debra became increasingly obsessive about her daughter’s physical appearance. She tinted her daughter’s eyelashes, whitened her teeth, enforced a tightly monitored regimen of “calorie restriction,” and performed regular genital exams on her as a teenager. Eventually, the author grew understandably resentful and tried to distance herself from her mother. As a young celebrity, however, McCurdy became vulnerable to eating disorders, alcohol addiction, self-loathing, and unstable relationships. Throughout the book, she honestly portrays Debra’s cruel perfectionist personality and abusive behavior patterns, showing a woman who could get enraged by everything from crooked eyeliner to spilled milk. At the same time, McCurdy exhibits compassion for her deeply flawed mother. Late in the book, she shares a crushing secret her father revealed to her as an adult. While McCurdy didn’t emerge from her childhood unscathed, she’s managed to spin her harrowing experience into a sold-out stage act and achieve a form of catharsis that puts her mind, body, and acting career at peace.

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982185-82-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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