THE WALLS AROUND US

THE THINKING PERSON'S GUIDE TO HOW A HOUSE WORKS

``Most...men,'' says New Yorker staff-writer Owen (The Man Who Invented Saturday Morning, 1988, etc.), ``feel a paralyzing fear...at a lumberyard or hardware store.'' Fortunately for the jack-of-few-trades man (or woman), courage—and the knowledge it's based on—can now be gleaned from the author's literate, lucid, and witty guide to home building and repair. Owen's own house, a Connecticut Colonial built around 1790, serves as his model. Needing to repaint the house, for instance, he sets off to find the ultimate paint, winding up at the firm of Keeler & Long, which makes paint for nuclear power plants (``It would probably be expensive,'' muses Owen, ``but it would last practically forever. Using it might even turn out to be a pretty good move, in the event of nuclear war''). There, he learns much about paint—including that the firm's epoxy-based product won't do for him (``epoxies [tend] to deteriorate in sunlight,'' warns proprietor Henry Long)—and passes that information on here, along with his own know-how on the history, nature, and uses and abuses of paints: We learn, for example, the pros and cons of latex paint, the best ways to keep paint from peeling off a house, and, in the sort of unexpected detail that livens every page, the trouble with letting a cow near a freshly oil-painted house—it will lick the paint, which contains flaxseed. Fascinating explorations of walls, roofs, kitchens, bathrooms, electricity, lumber (and its enemies: the stethoscope from a kid's toy medical bag is useful, Owen tells us, for detecting the munching of carpenter ants) follow, and come together in a detailed description of how, using power-tools, he adapted an extra bedroom into a custom-built study. Owen transforms even the repair of a leaking hot-water pipe into an enticing adventure: his congenial guidance will likely enthrall those who enjoy home repair—and, marvelously, many who don't. (Thirty-five line drawings—not seen.)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 1991

ISBN: 0-394-57824-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1991

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

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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