THE WAITING GAME

A 46-page, short-story-scope record of the day Los Angeles high-school football player Luther spends waiting for an offer from Ohio State. Luther and his two friends Griff and Dan, all seniors, are the Chalmers High stars known as "the three from C." Dan, who is deaf, will be playing for Queens, the local junior college, but the other two are holding out for the big time. The St. Francis star, they hear, got a Buckeye offer by phone yesterday; and now, arriving home from school, Griff gets one in the mail. Luther is out when his phone call comes that night, and everyone has heard about it before the coach calls back next day. . . to explain personally that Luther is just too small for the Buckeyes. Embarrassed, Luther lets people think he's turned down Ohio State to support Dan at Queens (at Chalmers, Luther has tapped out the signals to him)—but he owns up when that embarrasses Dan. Later, though, when a full-tuition offer comes from San Diego State ("semi-big time college ball"), Luther tears up the letter. "It had nothing to do with big old Dan, Luther told himself. Nothing whatever," are the story's final words. Except for the "hecks" and "shoots" which make Luther seem pretty square, the brevity and situational suspense might suit this as a hi-lo entry. However, the two-bit characterization doesn't prepare readers to accept that final goody-goody decision.

Pub Date: March 1, 1981

ISBN: 039731941X

Page Count: 56

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1981

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Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children.

THE NIGHT IS YOURS

On hot summer nights, Amani’s parents permit her to go outside and play in the apartment courtyard, where the breeze is cool and her friends are waiting.

The children jump rope to the sounds of music as it floats through a neighbor’s window, gaze at stars in the night sky, and play hide-and-seek in the moonlight. It is in the moonlight that Amani and her friends are themselves found by the moon, and it illumines the many shades of their skin, which vary from light tan to deep brown. In a world where darkness often evokes ideas of evil or fear, this book is a celebration of things that are dark and beautiful—like a child’s dark skin and the night in which she plays. The lines “Show everyone else how to embrace the night like you. Teach them how to be a night-owning girl like you” are as much an appeal for her to love and appreciate her dark skin as they are the exhortation for Amani to enjoy the night. There is a sense of security that flows throughout this book. The courtyard is safe and homelike. The moon, like an additional parent, seems to be watching the children from the sky. The charming full-bleed illustrations, done in washes of mostly deep blues and greens, make this a wonderful bedtime story.

Vital messages of self-love for darker-skinned children. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-55271-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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