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THE OTHER SIDE

Award-winning Lewis’s lovely realistic watercolor paintings allow readers to be quiet observers viewing the issue from both...

Race relations, a complex issue, is addressed in a simple manner through the eyes of two young girls, one black and one white, on either side of a fence that divides their yards and, in fact, the town.

Both girls have been instructed not to go on the other side of the fence because it’s not safe. Each stares at the other, yearning to know more, but they don’t communicate. When Annie, the white girl, climbs on the fence and asks to jump rope, she is told no by the leader of the black group. The narrator, Clover, has mixed feelings and is unsure whether she would have said yes or no. Later, the girls, with their mothers, meet on the sidewalk in town, looking very much the same, except for the color of their skin. When asked why the mothers don’t talk, the explanation is, “because that’s the way things have always been.” During the heavy summer rains, Annie is outside in her raincoat and boots, having fun splashing in puddles—but Clover must stay inside. When the rains stop, Clover is set free, emerging as a brave soul and approaching Annie in the spirit of her freedom. Eventually, the story finds both girls and all of Clover’s friends sitting on the fence together, kindred spirits in the end. “Someday somebody’s going to come along and knock this old fence down,” Annie says. What a great metaphor Woodson has created for knocking down old beliefs and barriers that keep people apart. Children learn that change can happen little by little, one child at a time.

Award-winning Lewis’s lovely realistic watercolor paintings allow readers to be quiet observers viewing the issue from both sides. (Picture book. 5+)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-399-23116-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2001

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WONDER

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder.

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After being home-schooled for years, Auggie Pullman is about to start fifth grade, but he’s worried: How will he fit into middle school life when he looks so different from everyone else?

Auggie has had 27 surgeries to correct facial anomalies he was born with, but he still has a face that has earned him such cruel nicknames as Freak, Freddy Krueger, Gross-out and Lizard face. Though “his features look like they’ve been melted, like the drippings on a candle” and he’s used to people averting their eyes when they see him, he’s an engaging boy who feels pretty ordinary inside. He’s smart, funny, kind and brave, but his father says that having Auggie attend Beecher Prep would be like sending “a lamb to the slaughter.” Palacio divides the novel into eight parts, interspersing Auggie’s first-person narrative with the voices of family members and classmates, wisely expanding the story beyond Auggie’s viewpoint and demonstrating that Auggie’s arrival at school doesn’t test only him, it affects everyone in the community. Auggie may be finding his place in the world, but that world must find a way to make room for him, too.

A memorable story of kindness, courage and wonder. (Fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-375-86902-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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LITTLE DAYMOND LEARNS TO EARN

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists.

How to raise money for a coveted poster: put your friends to work!

John, founder of the FUBU fashion line and a Shark Tank venture capitalist, offers a self-referential blueprint for financial success. Having only half of the $10 he needs for a Minka J poster, Daymond forks over $1 to buy a plain T-shirt, paints a picture of the pop star on it, sells it for $5, and uses all of his cash to buy nine more shirts. Then he recruits three friends to decorate them with his design and help sell them for an unspecified amount (from a conveniently free and empty street-fair booth) until they’re gone. The enterprising entrepreneur reimburses himself for the shirts and splits the remaining proceeds, which leaves him with enough for that poster as well as a “brand-new business book,” while his friends express other fiscal strategies: saving their share, spending it all on new art supplies, or donating part and buying a (math) book with the rest. (In a closing summation, the author also suggests investing in stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrency.) Though Miles cranks up the visual energy in her sparsely detailed illustrations by incorporating bright colors and lots of greenbacks, the actual advice feels a bit vague. Daymond is Black; most of the cast are people of color. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-56727-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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