A great idea has been turned into a great little book. Poets House and the New York Public Library sponsored a series of poetry workshops for teenagers in various branch libraries. These young people not only read, listened to, and talked about poetry, they made some themselves. This collection is the fruit of their efforts. We recognize these voices: Laura Bierstedt’s gentle musing on a long-haired, fourth-grade friend on the first day of seventh grade, when her hair is short and there is pain between them; or Ben Zeitlin’s “tales of the world” written in his old shoes. Connie Leung writes a villanelle in “Alter Ego” a complex form that she bends to her will to write an achingly familiar song of loneliness. Lia-taré Brown limns the awkwardness of a body that only seems like one’s own in “The Man Hands I Wear.” Poignant introspection, sly observations, lovely images, and droll commentary on life, school, love, and sports are all here for reflection. Raschka’s calligraphic, gestural drolleries enliven the pages, in apt synchronicity with these young writers’ view of themselves and their world. Winning indeed. (Poetry. 12-15)

Pub Date: March 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-531-30258-X

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Orchard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2000

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A busy page design—artily superimposed text and photos, tinted portraits, and break-out boxes—and occasionally infelicitous writing (“Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie became . . . bandleader of the quintet at the Onyx Club, from which bebop got its name”) give this quick history of jazz a slapdash air, but Lee delves relatively deeply into the music’s direct and indirect African roots, then goes beyond the usual tedious tally of names to present a coherent picture of specific influences and innovations associated with the biggest names in jazz. A highly selective discography will give readers who want to become listeners a jump start; those seeking more background will want to follow this up with James Lincoln Collier’s Jazz (1997). (glossary, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-8239-1852-1

Page Count: 64

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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



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 Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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