Succeeds as a personal history rather than as religious testimony.

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MIRACLES IN MY LIFE

REASONS TO BELIEVE

The many trials in a woman’s life reveal God’s plan for humanity, according to this Christian autobiography.

Snyder’s (Define Crazy, 2009) travails began right after she was born, when her mother, Edna, faced a 1940s court to answer for having had a second child, a daughter, out of wedlock. She refused to reveal the name of the children’s father, a member of the Cherokee Nation who had abandoned her. Her son, Wayne, had been given to a cousin in Indiana. The court took Snyder from the hospital and told Edna: “You have six months to get married…or this baby girl will be put up for adoption.” Edna set out to find a husband by the court’s deadline. Just in time, she married Emmett Donnell, a polite and gentle sanitarium orderly, whom Snyder called “my guardian angel.” Their life together was loving and supportive but never easy, as health problems ran in the author’s maternal line, and the family faced hardship and poverty. After Emmett moved the clan several times to find work, 14-year-old Snyder finally lied about her age to secure a job and help out. Following Edna’s death when the author was 16, she was raped and impregnated by a seemingly friendly 51-year-old neighbor. This being 1964, no police were called, and Edna’s estranged siblings rejected Snyder, so she married her rapist, who subsequently abused her and even helped put her in jail. With Emmett’s assistance, she divorced her husband and worked to raise her son only to find “the love of my life” in her early 20s. Sometimes deftly evoking the Little House series, Snyder’s hardscrabble account is often intriguing, with black-and-white photographs of her family and some documents included in the book. Unfortunately, the terse prose leaves out many details: How could a marriage that produced a son be annulled? Why did an ambulance driver disbelieve he was transporting Emmett? The tacked-on reasons to accept Jesus are less compelling than the author’s vivid tribulations and triumphs. “Written for nonbelievers and those who doubt…miracles,” this earnest memoir doesn’t address atheists’ objections or engage the increasing number of people who eschew organized religion. After each harrowing experience, Snyder repeats her Christian training without sharing any epiphanies or doubts. In addition, she shows no curiosity about her Cherokee heritage.

Succeeds as a personal history rather than as religious testimony.

Pub Date: Jan. 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68197-987-8

Page Count: 98

Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing, Inc.

Review Posted Online: June 7, 2018

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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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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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