A fine example of taking the dismal science and making it everyday-usable and giving it a little vroom.

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ECONOMIC INEQUALITY

THE AMERICAN DREAM UNDER SIEGE

The wheres, whys, and hows of economic inequality in the United States.

This exemplary piece of introductory economics deserves a place in every middle and high school library across the land. Frazer has a bell-clear writing style, and the design is intriguing but not frenetic, with clear graphics and intuitive sidebar placement. After a brief but complete look at the roots of economic inequality—from the early American Colonial period through the Gilded Age and then unionization (one bright spot) to outsourcing and automation—Frazer proceeds to demonstrate the changes in wages and accumulation over the last half-century. Two chapters that cover the costs of inequality and limits to opportunities give Frazer a chance to explore the gender and racial aspects of wealth accumulation, especially how money makes money. Frazer keeps an even attitude but can’t help but point a finger here and there. On trickle down, she writes, “The wealthy tend to invest a relatively small percentage of their money in projects that hire American workers.” The importance of schooling and the burden of college debt lead to a sharp but balanced look at money and power—specifically government. The book concludes with points taken on redistribution, regulation, tax relief, reunionization, citizen action, and voting with your dollars.

A fine example of taking the dismal science and making it everyday-usable and giving it a little vroom. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: April 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-3107-0

Page Count: 132

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.

MAYA LIN

THINKING WITH HER HANDS

One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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ENDANGERED

From the Ape Quartet series , Vol. 1

Congolese-American Sophie makes a harrowing trek through a war-torn jungle to protect a young bonobo.

On her way to spend the summer at the bonobo sanctuary her mother runs, 14-year-old Sophie rescues a sickly baby bonobo from a trafficker. Though her Congolese mother is not pleased Sophie paid for the ape, she is proud that Sophie works to bond with Otto, the baby. A week before Sophie's to return home to her father in Miami, her mother must take advantage
of a charter flight to relocate some apes, and she leaves Sophie with Otto and the sanctuary workers. War breaks out, and after missing a U.N. flight out, Sophie must hide herself and Otto from violent militants and starving villagers. Unable to take Otto out of the country, she decides finding her mother hundreds of miles to the north is her only choice. Schrefer jumps from his usual teen suspense to craft this well-researched tale of jungle survival set during a fictional conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Realistic characters (ape and human) deal with disturbing situations described in graphic, but never gratuitous detail. The lessons Sophie learns about her childhood home, love and what it means to be endangered will resonate with readers.

Even if some hairbreadth escapes test credulity, this is a great next read for fans of our nearest ape cousins or survival adventure. (map, author's note, author Q&A) (Adventure. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-16576-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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