HALF AND HALF

WRITERS ON GROWING UP BIRACIAL AND BICULTURAL

paper 0-375-70011-0 A lively collection of essays on the theme of being biracial and bicultural in contemporary American society. Editor O’Hearn, herself born in Hong Kong and raised in Asia and Europe, has assembled a passionate medley of writings by 18 authors who share a bicultural or biracial identity. Despite vast differences in their social, economic, and racial backgrounds, a number of subtopics emerge. Among these is the sense of alienation experienced by them as children. The need to belong was in many cases intensified by prejudice as a pressure all too frequently encountered. Meri Nana-Ama Dunquah, a native of Ghana who grew up in Washington, D.C., faced her cruelest hostility from black American kids who taunted her with shouts of “You-you-you African! Go back to Africa!” Journalist Danzy Senna, the daughter of a WASP mother and a black-Mexican father, identifies herself as black, but passes for white often enough to hear whites—including well-meaning white liberals—speak in “smug disdain” about blacks. And the prejudice, of course, is not exclusive to childhood or to America. Francisco Goldman, the brown-skinned son of a Jewish father and a Guatemalan mother, encountered the worst display of prejudice when visiting Madrid, where taxis wouldn’t stop for him but police officers did. Still, it’s also apparent that many biracial and bicultural people have enjoyed an enviable edge. Though not totally at home in any one world, they seem better able to adapt to many, as Meri Nana-Ama Dunquah observes: “Like a chameleon I am ever-changing.— The essays make it plain, too, just how obsessed we Americans are with matters of race and identity. Replete with candid accounts and sensitive musings.

Pub Date: July 8, 1998

ISBN: 0-375-40031-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 1998

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A moving, deeply felt tribute to a courageous individual who sacrificed his life to save others.

THE RED BANDANNA

The inspirational story of a modern-day hero who escorted dozens to safety during the 9/11 attacks.

Longtime ESPN correspondent Rinaldi reconstructs the life of Welles Crowther, a fearless man responsible for saving the lives of dozens on 9/11. Already determined and passionate as a youth, Crowther grew up in a family of faith in Nyack, New York, raised by loving parents whose first date ironically occurred on Sept. 11, 1968. A competitive boy, he excelled in sports and joined his father in volunteering at the local firehouse. A lasting boyhood keepsake was a red bandanna given to him by his father; this “unexpected gift” became a prized possession and a “superhero” lucky charm to Crowther. He attended Boston College, excelled at lacrosse, and, after graduating, realized his dream of living in New York City and began working as an equities trader on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower, though he had future aspirations to formally become a firefighter. In the frantic minutes following the first plane’s impact on 9/11, Crowther took to the stairwells searching for survivors and encountered a crowd of injured people whom he managed to rescue, even carrying one on his back as he descended a stairway. Rinaldi incorporates many survivor accounts of those who later told the media of a mysterious man with his face covered with a red handkerchief who saved them only to ascend back into the building looking for others. Crowther perished as the tower collapsed after aiding the fire department as a civilian usher, yet his heroic legacy, lauded by President Barack Obama, is eternally memorialized at the 9/11 tribute site. With dramatic, only occasionally maudlin prose, Rinaldi captures the compelling urgency of the indelible event and fondly tips his hat to Crowther, an exemplary embodiment of human compassion and selflessness.

A moving, deeply felt tribute to a courageous individual who sacrificed his life to save others.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59420-677-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE

A GUIDE TO SURVIVING DIVORCE FOR PRETEENS AND THEIR FAMILIES

As in their previous collaborations (Colors of Freedom, Voices of Rape, not reviewed), Bode and Mack portray an issue through the voices of children and adults affected by it. Bode (recently deceased) interviewed preteens, their parents, and adult experts, and organized their responses into parts "For Girls and Boys" and "For Parents." In sections with titles like "Public Recognition" or "What's in Your Heart," her text, addressed directly to the reader, synthesizes many of the responses in a way that should comfort and challenge young and adult readers. At least half of the book is comprised of responses she gathered from her survey, some of which are illustrated in strips by Mack. The result is an engagingly designed book, with questions and topics in bold type so that readers can browse for the recognition they may be looking for. They will need to browse, as there is no index, and young readers will certainly be tempted by the "For Parents" section, and vice versa. A bibliography (with two Spanish titles) and list of Web resources (with mostly live links) will help them seek out more information. They may well have other questions—especially having to do with parents' sexuality—which they don't find answered here, but this is a fine and encouraging place to start. (print and on-line resources) (Non-fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-81945-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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