Best as a starting reference for kids researching fandom-related topics—or perhaps for adults baffled by said kids’ hobby.

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FANDOM

FIC WRITERS, VIDDERS, GAMERS, ARTISTS, AND COSPLAYERS

A historical overview of fandom.

Exploring the reason for fandom’s existence—community in shared passions and desire for more from the fandom’s source materials—this book looks at common forms of creative expression in fandom. The five chapters are devoted to fan fiction, fan videos, cosplay, fan visuals (comics, memes, fan art, and so on), and games. The book’s greatest strength is its exploration of the historical origins of the various fandom forms, demonstrating that while the internet has transformed fandom, fan fiction and the like have been around for hundreds of years—even chess was once thought to be dangerously addictive in the same way Dungeons & Dragons and computer games have been. The highlighted fandoms skew American- and Eurocentric, leading to odd omissions of the influence of anime and manga fandom, beyond the coining of the word “cosplay.” Occasionally, arguable ideas are presented as fact (such as which video was the first to go viral), and readers might find themselves wishing for more information regarding the tenuous relation of fandom and copyright. Overall, the book is upbeat and optimistic, and it has a prominent social justice lens that highlights fan creators of color and the ways fandom allows for greater diversity in media so often dominated by straight white men.

Best as a starting reference for kids researching fandom-related topics—or perhaps for adults baffled by said kids’ hobby. (glossary, source notes, selected bibliography, resources, index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5124-5049-1

Page Count: 124

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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Sympathetic in tone, optimistic in outlook, not heavily earnest: nothing to be afraid of.

SCARED STIFF

50 PHOBIAS THAT FREAK US OUT

Part browsing item, part therapy for the afflicted, this catalog of irrational terrors offers a little help along with a lot of pop psychology and culture.

The book opens with a clinical psychologist’s foreword and closes with a chapter of personal and professional coping strategies. In between, Latta’s alphabetically arranged encyclopedia introduces a range of panic-inducers from buttons (“koumpounophobia”) and being out of cellphone contact (“nomophobia”) to more widespread fears of heights (“acrophobia”), clowns (“coulroiphobia”) and various animals. There’s also the generalized “social anxiety disorder”—which has no medical name but is “just its own bad self.” As most phobias have obscure origins (generally in childhood), similar physical symptoms and the same approaches to treatment, the descriptive passages tend toward monotony. To counter that, the author chucks in references aplenty to celebrity sufferers, annotated lists of relevant books and (mostly horror) movies, side notes on “joke phobias” and other topics. At each entry’s end, she contributes a box of “Scare Quotes” such as a passage from Coraline for the aforementioned fear of buttons.

Sympathetic in tone, optimistic in outlook, not heavily earnest: nothing to be afraid of. (end notes, resource list) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936976-49-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.

MAYA LIN

THINKING WITH HER HANDS

One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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