An emotional account of a short life rooted in Christianity.

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One of the King's Men

An Australian mother’s debut memoir recalls the childhood and accidental death of her son, whose life revolved around his faith.

From the moment of her son Cameron’s difficult birth, when the doctors had already declared him dead, his mother knew he would be special. A devout Christian, Everingham taught all three of her children about heaven from the time they were young. Cameron was a precocious child who had nighttime visions of Jesus starting when he was a toddler. At age 5, he found his “niche”—running—after unofficially joining a track meet and defeating several older kids. Cameron participated in a church youth group and began to preach to his cohorts at the age of 13 (“He would take notes of the sermon each week and, using the notes, repreach Sunday’s sermon to his little group of friends at school during the lunch hour”). His ambition was to become a minister, but his mother already sensed that “he just didn’t belong on this planet” anymore, and even Cameron said he would be going to heaven shortly. Cameron is often funny, such as when he plans his own funeral: “a no-frills funeral, not a yes-frills funeral.” Everingham supplies a detailed rundown of her 14-year-old son’s last week of life, which ends in a horrific car accident. At just 54 pages, this account seems too short to really get to know Cameron. The author powerfully conveys the deep shock of losing a child so young, as well as the sense of peace that her faith and her awareness of Cameron’s presence give her. His story could be even more affecting if it were expanded to the traditional length of a memoir, allowing space to tell additional tales about his childhood and show the impact he had on the people around him. Cleaning up the formatting—to remove the frequent ampersands, for instance—and editing the stiff language (he “commenced cycling”) would also improve the work. This memoir should be a comfort to readers with strong Christian convictions who have lost a loved one. It includes several black-and-white photographs of young Cameron.

An emotional account of a short life rooted in Christianity.

Pub Date: June 7, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5144-9681-7

Page Count: 60

Publisher: XlibrisAu

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2016

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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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