A flawed, facile work that too often conflates ISIS and Islam.



The cover, engulfed in flames, visually prepares the reader for an inflammatory presentation on ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. 

Plentiful color photos of Islamic militants, tear-gassed protestors, de rigueur black-clad women, radicalized youth, civilian casualties, and the NYPD presence at the Thanksgiving parade push the right buttons in creating a sense of fear and alarmism. The author, a former journalist (but not an area specialist), bears out his assertion that ISIS is “a threat to global security” through documentation of terrorist attacks on several continents. Although the subject matter is deadly serious, the accessible writing style leads to some oversimplifications that may be misleading, as in his citing of a Tel Aviv University scholar who writes that “the Prophet Muhammad tolerated slavery,” a rather incomplete and malevolent claim considering that the practice of slavery was widespread in the ancient world, accepted at the time also by Christianity and Judaism. Co-authorship with a specialist scholar might have fine-tuned these points and improved the credibility of the sources; there’s an overreliance on social media, popular magazines, and some obviously biased books. Save your money; better (and more credible) works are available. For nonfiction about Islam, look for Letters to a Young Muslim by Omar Saif Ghobash (2017), and for fiction showing the impact of ISIS in Syria, read A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi (2018).

A flawed, facile work that too often conflates ISIS and Islam.   (source notes, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68282-477-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: ReferencePoint Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2018

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This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites.


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Curator, author, and activist Drew shares her journey as an artist and the lessons she has learned along the way.

Drew uses her own story to show how deeply intertwined activism and the arts can be. Her choices in college were largely overshadowed by financial need, but a paid summer internship at the Studio Museum in Harlem became a formative experience that led her to major in art history. The black artists who got her interested in the field were conspicuously absent in the college curriculum, however, as was faculty support, so she turned her frustration into action by starting her own blog to boost the work of black artists. After college, Drew’s work in several arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, only deepened her commitment to making the art world more accessible to people of color and other marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, and widening the scope of who is welcomed there. Drew narrates deeply personal experiences of frustration, triumph, progress, learning, and sometimes-uncomfortable growth in a conversational tone that draws readers in, showing how her specific lens enabled her to accomplish the work she has done but ultimately inviting readers to add their own contributions, however small, to both art and protest.

This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09518-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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A remarkable biography.


The story of a flawed, complicated man.

The son of a distant Minnesota congressman and a demanding, well-educated mother, young Charles Lindbergh grew up shuttling among the family farm, his grandfather’s Detroit home, and Washington, D.C. Intelligent but uninterested in school, he began flying at age 19, getting involved in barnstorming and becoming an Air Service Reserve Corps officer. He used a combination of mechanical aptitude and moxie to successfully cross the Atlantic in a 1927 solo nonstop flight and was instantly propelled into worldwide celebrity. Success came at tremendous cost, however, when his infant son was kidnapped and murdered. Lindbergh was also his own enemy: His infatuation with eugenics led him into overt racism, open admiration for Hitler, and public denunciation of Jews. Fallen from grace, he nonetheless flew 50 clandestine combat missions in the South Pacific. He became an advocate for animal conservation but also had three secret families in addition to his acknowledged one. Fleming (Eleanor Roosevelt's in My Garage!, 2018, etc.) expertly sources and clearly details a comprehensive picture of a well-known, controversial man. Her frequent use of diaries allows much of the story to come through in Charles’ and his wife Anne’s own words. The man who emerges is hateable, pitiable, and admirable all at the same time, and this volume measures up to the best Lindbergh biographies for any audience.

A remarkable biography. (bibliography, source notes, picture credits, index) (Biography. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-64654-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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