Two Jasons share their singular experiences with all those who value art.

MY NAME IS JASON. MINE TOO.

OUR STORY. OUR WAY.

An artful collaboration; a love story.

In the early aughts, acclaimed writer Reynolds and accomplished artist Griffin shared a first name, a college dorm room, and a plan to move to New York City to pursue their overlapping dreams. This mixed-media art project and collection of poems is the result of their striving and struggles and the strength of their friendship. A number of entries focus on differences, for example, between Griffin’s red hair and Reynolds’ black curls. By way of contrast and juxtaposition, this is a story of connection between visual art and poetry, between dreams and real life in Brooklyn, and between two young men who eschewed many cultural expectations regarding what two men can mean to one another and how they should express their emotions and creativity. Their history is illustrated in bold colors, and the printed words are complemented by hand-lettered text. While the unevenness of the textual and visual presentations can at times present more as an uneasy distraction than a cohesive narrative—like when Reynolds’ well-grounded anxieties about New York or the precarious health of his mother are set against Griffin’s art-world ambitions and passions—the creative effort forces readers to constantly give attention to form, process, and relationships of all sorts.

Two Jasons share their singular experiences with all those who value art. (Poetry. 12-15)

Pub Date: June 28, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5344-7823-7

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.

MAYA LIN

THINKING WITH HER HANDS

One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Lyrical writing focuses on the aftermath of the Holocaust, a vital, underaddressed aspect of survivor stories.

BOY FROM BUCHENWALD

THE TRUE STORY OF A HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR

Following his liberation from the Buchenwald death camp, Romek didn’t know how to reclaim his humanity.

Romek’s childhood in his Polish shtetl of Skarżysko-Kamienna, where he was the youngest of six loving siblings, wasn’t wealthy, but it was idyllic. Skarżysko-Kamienna was “forests and birdsong,” with “the night sky stretching from one end of the horizon to the other.” His family was destroyed and their way of life obliterated with the Nazi invasion of Poland, and Romek lost not just memories, but the accompanying love. Unlike many Holocaust memoirs, this painfully lovely story begins in earnest after the liberation, when Romek was among 1,000 Jewish orphans, the Buchenwald Boys, in need of rehabilitation. Having suffered years of starvation, disease, and being treated as animals, the boys were nearly feral: They fought constantly, had forgotten how to use forks, and set fire to their French relief camp dormitory. Some adults thought they were irredeemable. With endless patience, care, and love, the mentors and social workers around them—themselves traumatized Holocaust survivors—brought Romek back from the brink. Even in a loving and protective environment, in a France where the boys were treated overwhelmingly kindly by the populace, it took time to remember goodness. Parallels between anti-Semitism and racism in the U.S. and Canada are gentle but explicit.

Lyrical writing focuses on the aftermath of the Holocaust, a vital, underaddressed aspect of survivor stories. (historical note, timeline) (Memoir. 12-14)

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0600-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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