The book’s simple style seems to suggest a young adult audience, but the moralistic qualities, as well as a pronounced lack...

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A MOMENT IN MY LIFE

SUMMER OF 1974

Ambriz’s debut is a true-life tale of his coming of age one summer in San Antonio, Texas, set against the backdrop of the city’s roughest neighborhood.

The book begins in ’94 with Ambriz as a successful police officer, then quickly flashes back to the titular summer 20 years earlier. The youthful Ambriz is headed back to San Antonio after spending some time living with relatives in the Rio Grande Valley. Returning to his family home is a risky proposition for the author because of his brother Jimmy—a gang leader that young Jesse very much admires—but Ambriz insists on living with his immediate family again. At home, Jimmy is happy to see his younger brother, but Ambriz’s parents express concern over the pair spending time together. The author assures his parents that he will no longer be involved in the gang-related activities that he had been previously, though he immediately goes out to see the old gang, and, simply by fraternizing, does become involved. Told with no paragraphs and in large print on small pages, the story quickly proceeds to Ambriz also becoming involved with an uppity girl named Mina who has ties to the gang, as well as a few encounters he has with Los Ghost Town Boys, a rival gang. In the end, Ambriz’s violent reaction to a Los Ghost Town Boys attack on his brother prompts his father to send him to live in another neighborhood where Ambriz eventually goes to college and gets his act together. Despite the fact that the story is rife with characters and situations, the author describes them with such vagueness that they appear as little more than passing shadows.

The book’s simple style seems to suggest a young adult audience, but the moralistic qualities, as well as a pronounced lack of image and detail, keep the work from resonating.

Pub Date: Dec. 18, 2007

ISBN: 978-1-4343-2677-5

Page Count: 76

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2010

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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