This novel’s quirky concept will please math buffs and beginning trigonometry students, but it may wear thin for others.

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THE TRIGONOMETRY TRYST

Bailey’s debut novel follows human versions of six trigonometric functions as they intersect in the final weeks of a college school year.

Sin, Cos, Tan, Sec, Cot, and Csc are all students at Unit University, a school whose buildings are cleverly arranged in a perfect circle. Each character has a unique personality, based on his or her characteristics as a mathematical function, as well as hopes and dreams for the end of the school year. Sec, a star college basketball player, has his eyes on Cos, so he enlists the help of self-doubting but computer-savvy Csc to help win her over. Cos, however, is more interested in the moody, mysterious, and driven Sin. Tan, a headstrong architecture student, wants to win an upcoming design contest to have her building constructed on the campus, but she needs the help of the inconsistent Cot, a graduate civil engineering student, to survey the plot of land. While visiting the campus dating website Unit Match, Cos finds a complementary profile that, unfortunately, doesn’t list the person’s name. There’s an invitation to meet on the profile, but it doesn’t list a location—only a date and time. Cos realizes that the owner of the profile has created a test, and she tries to figure it out with Tan’s help. These characters’ machinations do lead up to the titular tryst, but the plot meanders to its conclusion without much suspense. Still, Bailey admirably weaves in discussions of other, lesser-known uses for the functions involving the phases of the moon, the arc of a basketball shot, and architectural planning, filling the book with intriguing facts and tidbits. The characterizations, however, are somewhat odd: at some points, the characters are shown to be aware of their status as functions, at others, they’re simply ordinary college students navigating social dramas. The pairing-off of the various players, based on their properties, is a clever device, and most compelling with the well-defined characters, such as Sin and Cos. Other relationships seem forced, though, and defined by mathematics alone.

This novel’s quirky concept will please math buffs and beginning trigonometry students, but it may wear thin for others.

Pub Date: May 23, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5396-9535-6

Page Count: 332

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2017

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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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