Provides a solid road map for dealing with life’s curveballs in a constructive way.



An author presents a straightforward system for coping with stress and crisis.

While readers might not be able to prevent life’s many upheavals, both big and small, they can control how they handle them, according to Drapeau (co-author: How Did You Do That!, 2009). After facing down several disasters, including his wife’s terminal illness, he developed a simple and accessible seven-step “Shatterproof System,” which he promises will help readers “navigate, manage and rise above any crisis.” Most people respond to events such as a job loss or illness with feelings of anxiety, vulnerability, and failure, the author explains in this compact, pointed volume. These reactions are normal, but they can become traps that negatively affect their lives and health. By embracing the clearly outlined Shatterproof principles and completing the useful exercises at the end of each chapter, individuals should be able to effectively surmount crises and push forward. The process begins with acknowledging the situation, followed by accepting and embracing the opportunities it presents even though such a move “requires a paradigm shift away from feelings of victimization and helplessness.” Additional steps include examining worst-case scenarios, freeing oneself from worry, and creating a robust plan to regain equilibrium. Readers are also encouraged to complete a “gratitude inventory” and embrace faith in a higher power in order to foster confidence. (That final step might alienate nonreligious readers.) Anecdotes from the author’s own life as well as examples from his friends and family successfully illustrate the principles in action. Several of these stories, particularly Drapeau’s reflections on his wife’s battle with cancer, are truly moving and inspiring. The tone throughout is positive and uplifting without straying into the realm of banal self-help clichés. Anyone who gets bogged down in decision-making or is overwhelmed by unexpected events stands to benefit from the author’s levelheaded advice and his persuasive suggestion that retreating from the chaos and developing mental focus are what are needed to take command and make wise choices.

Provides a solid road map for dealing with life’s curveballs in a constructive way.

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9976749-0-3

Page Count: 184

Publisher: Horizon Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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