A lively and optimistic alarm bell regarding the fractured state of the globe today.

MAYA'S STORY

SLIPPING BETWEEN TIME AND SPACE

This debut YA fantasy sees a teen prepare to battle the ills of the world and the sinister force responsible.

Seventeen-year-old Vida fled oppressive Russia for the more colorful San Francisco in 1962. There, she worked hard in school and started a family, hoping to keep alive the Sisterhood, a line of Druidic Priestesses begun in ancient Alexandria. Today, Vida is High Priestess of the Sisterhood and realizes that a planet ravaged by global warming, famine, and war must be saved immediately. She starts training Maya, her 15-year-old granddaughter, three years early for the Sisterhood. Their mystical enemy is the Dark Menace that “stokes the fires that cause the atrocities that are increasing around the globe.” Ready to help Maya are the constellations watching from above, including Draco (Latin for dragon) and Monoceros (Greek for unicorn). Under Vida’s tutelage, Maya begins utilizing her heritage as an Indigo Child, practicing telekinesis and harnessing her ability to communicate with and transform into animals. The pair trains in the nearby forest, but Maya also learns to slip through adjacent realms to access sacred sites like Stonehenge, the Royal Library of Alexandria, and the temple of Queen Hatshepsut. But will Maya learn enough in time to halt the Dark Menace? In this mystically inclined novel, Story casts as wide a net as possible to round up the world’s troubles—including war in Syria and bees suffering colony collapse—for presentation to young audiences. Vida even quotes the Spider-Man comics when she asserts, “With great power comes great responsibilities.” While the bulk of Maya’s adventures take place in her mind, Story’s vibrant prose indeed slips between time and space; opening a casket in Queen Hatshepsut’s chamber reveals that “crystals glow from within, and the radiating colors bounce off the walls and ceiling in a riot of color that is almost disorienting.” Readers may need patience during the heroine’s extensive training, but once true danger arrives, it is followed quickly by horrific consequences. And though a vital Manifesto is delivered universally, humanity’s imperfection will require more from the Sisterhood.

A lively and optimistic alarm bell regarding the fractured state of the globe today.

Pub Date: April 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5426-6055-6

Page Count: 354

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 7, 2017

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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