A compilation of 20 college commencement speeches, some very recent (Florence Griffith Joyner in 1994, Ken Burns in 1993) and some relatively old (Dr. Seuss in 1977, Ralph Nader in 1981), arranged in alphabetical order by the speakers' last names. There are no common themes or revelations, just an unrelated group of speeches by a varied group of speakers, among them Colin Powell, Ben Cohen (of Ben & Jerry's), Cathy Guisewite, Carl Sagan, Marian Wright Edelman, Wilma Mankiller, Robert Fulghum, and Billy Joel. Many of the pieces are not very inspiring and some don't translate well from oratory to the printed page, as when Jimmy Carter tells his audience at Rice University, ``We make our living writing books. My wife's only request was to announce to you that our books are still on sale.'' The final selection is Gloria Steinem's, who says in her 1987 address, ``I conducted a small survey in preparation for today. Half of my sample could not remember who their commencement speaker was.'' Colen (Peas and Honey, not reviewed, 1995, etc.) and Boyko provide an introduction and brief biographies for each speaker. (b&w photos) (Anthology. 16+)

Pub Date: May 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-590-50956-X

Page Count: 230

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


The Cool Counting Books go to the Lone Star State, the numerical tour of which starts, of course, with one star. Each clean spread depicts the numeral in question and a corresponding number of objects to count: two longhorns, three basket-, foot- and baseballs, four astronauts (in an especially snazzy white-on-black spread) all the way up to cowboy hats. Thumbnails in the back identify the objects specifically, in both English and Spanish. (Non-Texans mystified by the eight cars sticking up out of the horizon line will be particularly grateful to understand that this represents Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo.) 123 Chicago (ISBN: 978-0-9796213-5-2) applies the same treatment to the Windy City, but with somewhat less success. (6-18 mos.)

Pub Date: April 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-7976213-6-9

Page Count: 22

Publisher: Duo Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2009

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Most of Card’s fans will agree with writer John Brown’s assertion that trying to winkle out a literary work’s “true meaning”...



A chorus of writers and military experts weigh in on why Card’s Ender’s Game (1985) is a work of genius.

They make cogent arguments. Strategist John F. Schmitt provides an account of the novel’s significant role as a model for the Marine Corps’ “Maneuver Warfare” battle approach, and there’s a perceptive discussion between writer David Lubar and his daughter, a high school teacher, about how Ender’s situation and responses speak to teens. Songwriter Janis Ian meditates on how Ender (and others) are underestimated because they’re short, and Card’s frequent co-author Aaron Johnston agrees, dubbing Ender a “short Clint Eastwood” (but with compassion). Other contributors recall with awe their first encounters with the story, offer detailed analyses of Ender’s psyche and Card’s writerly technical chops, demonstrate that Ender is a classic mythic hero, or mull over the nature and costs of victory. Card provides an introduction (not seen) and, between each essay, answers to frequently asked questions about the story and its characters.

Most of Card’s fans will agree with writer John Brown’s assertion that trying to winkle out a literary work’s “true meaning” kills it, but this tribute may have some appeal to readers with an analytical bent. (thumbnail author bios) (Literary criticism. 16 & up)

Pub Date: April 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-937856-21-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Smart Pop/BenBella

Review Posted Online: Feb. 27, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet