Timely and accessible, this will be a useful addition to school and public libraries.

READ REVIEW

LIVING IN NORTH KOREA

The struggle to survive in North Korea is surveyed in this overview of that secretive country currently in the news.

Chapter by chapter, this useful research source describes the totalitarian government and the family, school, work, social, and political spheres. Bolstered by quotes from defectors and scholars in the field, the author combines telling statistics (though without comparisons that might foster greater understanding) with loaded language such as “paranoid desire” and “slavishly.” The historical background offered is limited to the 20th century, briefly mentioning the Japanese occupation and focusing on the post–Korean War years. There are clear descriptions of the philosophy of juche, the songbun social class system, gray markets, and other aspects of North Korean life. Allen’s (Thinking Critically: Terrorism, 2018, etc.) exposition is clear and well-organized and his information well-documented in web sources that can also be accessed by the reader seeking further information. The design is appealing with legible text broken up with appropriate headings, color photographs, and pullout boxes highlighting and repeating quotations. Sidebars include longer quotations from other sources on subjects such as “Respect for Authority in a North Korean School,” “Schools for Hackers,” and “Crystal Meth as a Diet Drug."

Timely and accessible, this will be a useful addition to school and public libraries. (source notes, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68282-475-7

Page Count: 80

Publisher: ReferencePoint Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2018

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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

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Though there are plenty of issues worthy of attention not addressed here, this lively effort serves well as a revealing,...

EYES & SPIES

HOW YOU'RE TRACKED AND WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW

From the Visual Exploration series

The word “Orwellian” is oddly absent in this chilling look at how we now live in a world of near-constant surveillance and data collection.

Kyi examines how information and data about almost everyone are collected and used by individuals, government agencies, companies, and other organizations. She poses three questions to readers: who’s watching, and why? Where is the line between public and private? How can you keep your secrets to yourself? These questions are addressed in chapters exploring such subjects as computer surveillance, cyberbullying, data mining, and personal privacy. There is discussion of such surveillance technologies as drones, GPS, and RFID tags. Although there is little here that does not seem creepy, “Creepy Line” sidebars in each chapter highlight controversial real-life scenarios and ask readers where they would set their own boundaries. That label refers to a statement from former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who said the company’s policy was “to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.” There are also ongoing arguments posed for both increased security and increased privacy, encouraging readers to think critically about the issues.

Though there are plenty of issues worthy of attention not addressed here, this lively effort serves well as a revealing, thoughtful, and provocative introduction to a complex subject and alarming realities. (further reading, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-55451-911-8

Page Count: 140

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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