A timely but diffuse chronicle of the ways that both society and self-perceptions have changed for America's largest minority- -the 35-to- 43 million people with disabilities. Shapiro (a writer for U.S. News & World Report) begins his story at Berkeley in the 1960's with activist Ed Roberts, a polio survivor, and the Physically Disabled Students' Program, whose self-help approach launched the disability-rights movement in the US and led to protest groups staging sit-ins to dramatize their demand for access to public transportation. The author tracks disability-rights legislation from the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibited federally funded institutions from discriminating against the handicapped, to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992, which requires businesses to provide access for the handicapped and bans employers from discriminating on the basis of disability. Although the movement has achieved great success in a relatively short time, the disabled are still a fragmented coalition, with different groups emphasizing different aims. Many of the deaf, for instance, urge a separatist route, promoting deaf culture rather than integration into the hearing world. Shapiro also looks at the special concerns of the blind, the autistic, and the mentally retarded. He examines the impact of technology on aid for the disabled, the need for nursing-home reform, and the potential for backlash as the public becomes aware of the costs of implementing disability laws. Shapiro interviewed hundreds of people for this report, and his conversations with them bring life to his pages, reducing the distance between the disabled and others. A helpful introduction, but Shapiro loses focus and impact by attempting to survey too many different issues.

Pub Date: May 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-8129-1964-5

Page Count: 388

Publisher: Times/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1993

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



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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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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