A charming tale of a resilient donkey and a community’s love.

RUNNING WITH SHERMAN

THE DONKEY WITH THE HEART OF A HERO

An abused animal gets a new life.

Raised in captivity by a man who could not care for the animals he hoarded, one donkey was left in shocking condition. When McDougall (Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance, 2015, etc.) first saw the animal, he could hardly believe his eyes: Penned in a cramped stall, mired knee-deep in manure, it had hooves so neglected and overgrown that it could hardly walk. “His muscles were withered,” writes the author, “his body was sagging and soft, his trust was severely damaged if not altogether lost.” McDougall agreed to take the donkey—renamed Sherman—to his home in rural Pennsylvania, but he had little hope that the animal would live. Equines need to walk in order for their intestines to digest food; if they are hobbled, McDougall learned, “waste matter blocks their guts until the animal is torn apart from the inside.” Fortunately for Sherman, the author was surrounded by caring neighbors who swooped in to help. One amateur horseman sawed off Sherman’s excess hooves; his wife, who raised donkeys, horses, a goat, and a pig, sheered away matted fur and gave the animal a thorough shampoo. She also advised that the donkey needed to have a job—a sense of purpose. For McDougall, that had to involve movement, which he believed was “big medicine; it’s the signal to every cell in our bodies that no matter what kind of damage we’ve suffered, we’re ready to rebuild and move away from death and back toward life.” Like humans, the author discovered, animals “are hungry for a challenge.” Against great odds, he decided to train Sherman to enter a world championship burro race. Sherman’s transformation from dying donkey to confident runner involved a circle of family, friends, neighbors, and a few feisty donkeys, each of whom McDougall portrays in affectionate, vivid detail. For several of them, suffering from their own emotional pain and trauma, Sherman proved a source of solace and support.

A charming tale of a resilient donkey and a community’s love.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5247-3236-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and...

THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS

A dense, absorbing investigation into the medical community's exploitation of a dying woman and her family's struggle to salvage truth and dignity decades later.

In a well-paced, vibrant narrative, Popular Science contributor and Culture Dish blogger Skloot (Creative Writing/Univ. of Memphis) demonstrates that for every human cell put under a microscope, a complex life story is inexorably attached, to which doctors, researchers and laboratories have often been woefully insensitive and unaccountable. In 1951, Henrietta Lacks, an African-American mother of five, was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal form of cervical cancer. At Johns Hopkins, the doctors harvested cells from her cervix without her permission and distributed them to labs around the globe, where they were multiplied and used for a diverse array of treatments. Known as HeLa cells, they became one of the world's most ubiquitous sources for medical research of everything from hormones, steroids and vitamins to gene mapping, in vitro fertilization, even the polio vaccine—all without the knowledge, must less consent, of the Lacks family. Skloot spent a decade interviewing every relative of Lacks she could find, excavating difficult memories and long-simmering outrage that had lay dormant since their loved one's sorrowful demise. Equal parts intimate biography and brutal clinical reportage, Skloot's graceful narrative adeptly navigates the wrenching Lack family recollections and the sobering, overarching realities of poverty and pre–civil-rights racism. The author's style is matched by a methodical scientific rigor and manifest expertise in the field.

Skloot's meticulous, riveting account strikes a humanistic balance between sociological history, venerable portraiture and Petri dish politics.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4000-5217-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 16

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

A collection of articulate, forceful speeches made from September 2018 to September 2019 by the Swedish climate activist who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking in such venues as the European and British Parliaments, the French National Assembly, the Austrian World Summit, and the U.N. General Assembly, Thunberg has always been refreshingly—and necessarily—blunt in her demands for action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change. With clarity and unbridled passion, she presents her message that climate change is an emergency that must be addressed immediately, and she fills her speeches with punchy sound bites delivered in her characteristic pull-no-punches style: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” In speech after speech, to persuade her listeners, she cites uncomfortable, even alarming statistics about global temperature rise and carbon dioxide emissions. Although this inevitably makes the text rather repetitive, the repetition itself has an impact, driving home her point so that no one can fail to understand its importance. Thunberg varies her style for different audiences. Sometimes it is the rousing “our house is on fire” approach; other times she speaks more quietly about herself and her hopes and her dreams. When addressing the U.S. Congress, she knowingly calls to mind the words and deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. The last speech in the book ends on a note that is both challenging and upbeat: “We are the change and change is coming.” The edition published in Britain earlier this year contained 11 speeches; this updated edition has 16, all worth reading.

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313356-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2019

Did you like this book?

more