A persuasive examination of how books can enlighten and enrich—just like this one.


This sixth installment of a series discusses literature as a means of sharing stories to experience—and learn from—history.

Throughout her series, Clovis (Falling Bedrooms, 2019, etc.) has addressed the notion of synchronicity, which is akin to Jung’s collective unconscious. This entry centers on the written word as a way for the past to synchronize with readers in the present. First and foremost, the author explores the importance of imparting knowledge. She sees libraries as “places where truth hides and lives within the words of stories” as well as receptacles for the “voices of civilization.” Books help people think and remember, but the author argues that they can also offer encouragement. In one instance, Clovis writes that a shared story can turn “the captivity of slavery” into a message of freedom. But while the author stresses the power of words and information, her most striking assertion is how harmful the lack of both can be. For example, she cites the Trump administration’s silence after shutting down White House press conferences. She further notes a recent decline in history majors. Because Clovis links truth to history, a shortage of individuals writing about the past will ultimately deprive people of the crucial facts and contexts they need to understand important, present-day issues. As in preceding books, the author intelligently explores social concerns, such as racial discrimination, and includes her personal experiences. She openly discusses an aneurysm, which she incorporates thematically, that momentarily rendered her unable to speak (and, therefore, took away her words). Her easygoing, succinct prose makes occasional criticisms less severe but still profound; rectifying social media’s “fraudulent” news is merely a matter of researching and checking facts. Moreover, Clovis writes in brief, generally one-page chapters. These periodically give way to her striking, poetic reflections: “Night serves a function that illuminates fairy tale dust in the twinkle of a sparkle glitter. It is the color of baby’s breath blown from the cosmic shelves of time.” 

A persuasive examination of how books can enlighten and enrich—just like this one.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982238-89-6

Page Count: 76

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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



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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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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