Readers will agree when, in the triumphant final poem, an assured Addie proclaims: “I am a girl who knows enough / to know...

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ADDIE ON THE INSIDE

In this companion novel, Howe explores the interior life of the most outspoken member of the “Gang of Five” from The Misfits and Totally Joe (2001, 2005).

Told entirely in verse, the story follows 13-year-old Addie’s struggles to define herself according to her own terms. Through her poems, Addie reflects on her life and life in general: her first boyfriend, what it means to be accepted and her endeavors to promote equality. Addie is at her most fragile when she examines her relationship with her boyfriend and the cruel behavior of her former best friend. Her forthright observations address serious topics with a maturity beyond her age. She contemplates the tragedy of teen suicide in “What If” and decries the practice of forced marriages in “What We Don’t Know,” stating “…And their mothers / have no power to change how it goes. They too / have been beaten and raped, sold and traded like / disposable goods, owned by men, while the only thing / they own is their misery…” Addie’s voice gains confidence when she takes on the role of an advocate, as when she reveals her reasons for forming the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) at school in “No One is Free When Others Are Oppressed (A Button on My Backpack).” Bolstered by the sage advice of her grandmother, Addie charts a steady course through her turbulent seventh-grade year.

Readers will agree when, in the triumphant final poem, an assured Addie proclaims: “I am a girl who knows enough / to know this life is mine.” (author's note) (Verse novel. 11-14)

Pub Date: July 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4169-1384-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF SLAVERY

Sandwiched between telling lines from the epic of Gilgamesh (“…the warrior’s daughter, the young man’s bride, / he uses her, no one dares to oppose him”) and the exposure of a migrant worker–trafficking ring in Florida in the mid-1990s, this survey methodically presents both a history of the slave trade and what involuntary servitude was and is like in a broad range of times and climes. Though occasionally guilty of overgeneralizing, the authors weave their narrative around contemporary accounts and documented incidents, supplemented by period images or photos and frequent sidebar essays. Also, though their accounts of slavery in North America and the abolition movement in Britain are more detailed than the other chapters, the practice’s past and present in Africa, Asia and the Pacific—including the modern “recruitment” of child soldiers and conditions in the Chinese laogai (forced labor camps)—do come in for broad overviews. For timeliness, international focus and, particularly, accuracy, this leaves Richard Watkins’ Slavery: Bondage Throughout History (2001) in the dust as a first look at a terrible topic. (timeline, index; notes and sources on an associated website) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-88776-914-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Tundra

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2010

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Lavishly illustrated and strongly atmospheric—as well suited for reading aloud as alone.

NORSE MYTHS

TALES OF ODIN, THOR AND LOKI

Twenty tales of gods, giants, and dwarfs, of mighty feats and epic trickery.

Veteran storysmith Crossley-Holland has presented versions of these extracts from the Prose Edda before, but here he recasts them into stately retellings that get extra measures of menace and gloom from the heavy shadows and big, indistinct figures that Love places on nearly every double-columned spread. Opening with tributes to the myths and to Snorri Sturluson, their medieval Icelandic recorder, the author moves on to the stories themselves. He includes such familiar episodes as the building of Asgard’s walls, Thor’s “wedding,” (which, what with its closing massacre, comes off as more grimdark than humorous, as played elsewhere), and the death of Balder within the frame story of the Swedish king Gylfi’s sojourns to Valhalla. There he hears from a mysterious, enthroned trio (some of the original source’s Christian inflections are left in for observant readers to notice) of Yggdrasil, the nine worlds, and, finally, the deaths of Odin and the rest. The major themes of deceit and violence play louder here than loyalty, justice, or some other positive value, and women (along with Bragi, the “pink cheeked and girlish” god of poetry) are relegated to minor roles. Still, the tales are colored as much by their depictions of courage in the face of certain ultimate doom as by the illustrations and are thus powerful in emotional resonance—not to mention chock-full of bold deeds, glittering treasures, and scary monsters.

Lavishly illustrated and strongly atmospheric—as well suited for reading aloud as alone. (schematic of the nine worlds, cast of characters) (Myths. 11-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 17, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-9500-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2017

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