A book that engagingly helps young Americans see what they share in common with French children.

READ REVIEW

If you were me and lived in... France...

Roman’s (Captain No Beard: Strangers on the High Seas, 2013, etc.) latest children’s book offers an introduction to French culture that highlights similarities in the lives of American and French children.

This second book in the author’s If You Were Me and Lived in… series focuses on France and its history, culture and language. The book is geared toward elementary school age children, and, as such, explores French life through a child’s eyes. Each page addresses the reader as “you,” aiming to create a connection between the reader and the narrator, a French child. The book begins with a map of France, pointing out its location in Western Europe, and then gives readers a tour of the country. Kids learn why Paris is called the “City of Light,” what they would call their parents in French, and what the French word for “school” is. The narrator also asks questions such as, “If your parents bought bread in a boulangerie, they would pay in euros. What else do you think they would have in a boulangerie?”—an ideal jumping-off point for a classroom unit on France. The book also covers French food, sports, holidays, toys and other aspects of the culture and helps American kids make comparisons and connections by, for example, likening hazelnut spread to peanut butter. Roman is also the author of the charming Captain No Beard series, and her approachable writing style succeeds here as well. Although the book’s premise is simple, the author ably explains cultural similarities and differences, and the colorful illustrations help keep things light. The book also includes a pronunciation guide to help kids sound out French names and nouns.

A book that engagingly helps young Americans see what they share in common with French children.

Pub Date: May 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-1481032001

Page Count: 26

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 11, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

COLUMBINE

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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THE ABOLITION OF MAN

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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