THE CLOCK

Annie Steele wants to be a teacher, but her spendthrift father keeps the family in debt; after he buys a factory-made clock, she's forced to work at the local textile mill. Time now has definite boundaries: meals must be on schedule, and life is regimented by minutes. At the mill, she finds old friends Hetty and Robert, as well as new ones among the wild New York orphans recruited as cheap labor. When the vicious overseer, Mr. Hoggart, ``pesters'' Annie sexually, she complains to adults who ignore her pleas. Meanwhile, Robert finds out that Hoggart is stealing wool; this and his protection of Annie lead Hoggart to engineer Robert's ``accidental'' death. Bravely, Annie perseveres in trying to prove Hoggart's guilt. The irreversible changes brought on by the Industrial Revolution are well defined here: hard work for wages on a relentless schedule replaces endless household chores, while at home father's word is still indisputable. Annie is feisty and remarkably healthy; a little more emphasis on the cruel working conditions for women could have been made. Still, a good introduction to a pivotal point in social history, though it lacks the subtlety and dimensions of Katherine Paterson's Lyddie (1991), which handles the same themes with more artistry and skill. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: March 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-385-30037-9

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1992

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THE PUMPKIN BOOK

The Pumpkin Book (32 pp.; $16.95; Sept. 15; 0-8234-1465-5): From seed to vine and blossom to table, Gibbons traces the growth cycle of everyone’s favorite autumn symbol—the pumpkin. Meticulous drawings detail the transformation of tiny seeds to the colorful gourds that appear at roadside stands and stores in the fall. Directions for planting a pumpkin patch, carving a jack-o’-lantern, and drying the seeds give young gardeners the instructions they need to grow and enjoy their own golden globes. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1465-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1999

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Suggest to able teen readers who already have the appropriate background knowledge.

EYE OF THE STORM

NASA, DRONES, AND THE RACE TO CRACK THE HURRICANE CODE

From the Scientists in the Field series

A high-altitude drone built for the Air Force is repurposed to investigate hurricane behavior in a NASA–sponsored project headquartered at Wallops Island, Virginia.

This latest title in a long-running series looks at cutting-edge meteorological research with implications for the billions of people around the world who live in the paths of tropical cyclones. Opening with a chapter about the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it goes on to explain hurricane formation and NASA’s Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel mission. Cherrix introduces the Global Hawk drone project and describes preparations for a sample flight over the intensifying Hurricane Edouard in 2014. Finally she shows how another tropical storm, the 1970 Bhola cyclone in the Indian Ocean, led to the creation of a new nation, Bangladesh. This is real science, which, as the author points out, takes time—time to amass and analyze data and then to submit and have it vetted before publication. But it doesn’t make for very compelling reading. Readers drawn in by the dramatic cover and opening description of a tragic teen death as a result of Hurricane Sandy may get bogged down in the scientific and engineering detail, which uses appropriate but unfamiliar technical terms and acronyms, defined in context but hard to remember. They may struggle to keep straight the many scientists involved.

Suggest to able teen readers who already have the appropriate background knowledge. (hurricane preparedness, glossary, chapter notes, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-41165-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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