Effectively showcases the contemporary brilliance that can come from ancient principles.

An exploration of various modern technologies inspired by origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

The simple act of folding a piece of paper can become complex quickly. Even readers who have made a paper crane before will be surprised to learn that origami techniques have also helped to create NASA’s newest and biggest telescope, a fast-moving robotic gripper, and an innovative Swiss chapel. Peppered with illuminating photographs and diagrams, the straightforward text moves from the ancient history of origami, through bug wings and mathematics, to solar-powered spacecraft. The common theme, both intriguing and well expressed, is the power and complexity of folding. Included are illustrated instructions for a few hands-on projects that require paper and typical household or classroom items like scissors and a pencil. Interviews with two origami experts, both appearing to be White men, offer down-to-earth advice about following nontraditional career paths like theirs. Also featured is the work of several Asian and/or female researchers. It’s unlikely that readers will retain an understanding of every engineering concept the book describes, but they will gain an appreciation of the interplay between art and science and will be inspired to learn more.

Effectively showcases the contemporary brilliance that can come from ancient principles. (timeline, glossary, source notes, bibliography, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5415-3304-2

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Aug. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020



From the cockamamie (extreme ironing) to daredevilry (rooftopping) to a fine day out (catacomb rambling), a taste of...

A hodgepodge of adventuring activities designed for urban settings gathered under the rubric “hacking,” as in the old sense of “play[ing] a sophisticated practical joke on a community,” though considerably more inclusive here.

Place hacking, for author Rosen, comprises three categories of activities: urban exploration, urban adventure and urban infiltration. By its nature, hacking is an outlaw activity, often involving a measure of risk and some illegal acts. There is an unofficial place-hacker code of conduct and an admirable acceptance of personal responsibility for one’s behavior, plus much preparation for the hairier deeds. Still, there are some seriously dangerous exploits recorded in these pages, from entering buildings that may harbor toxic wastes, unstable flooring or creatures unhappy with your visit—skunks, snakes—to scaling the outsides of skyscrapers. But there are also a host of activities that are unlikely to hospitalize or incarcerate the participant, from exploring the urban underground to parkour, a kind of nimble, freestyle run-and-leap through an urban landscape. Despite the disclaimer, “This not intended to be a how-to guide,” there is a segment on staging an illegal exploration—but Rosen emphasizes the pleasure of discovery and the joy of participating in a sport with style and a goal of mastery.

From the cockamamie (extreme ironing) to daredevilry (rooftopping) to a fine day out (catacomb rambling), a taste of unbridled adventure for everyone. (Nonfiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4677-2515-6

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014



Enlightening, inspiring, and moving.

Pennies, glass bottles, a parking meter, and a kick line: how a police raid became a community’s symbol of freedom.

June 28, 1969: the night the gay bar Stonewall was raided by the police for the second time in a week to stop a blackmail operation. What began as a supposedly routine police raid ended with over 2,000 angry, fed-up protesters fighting against the police in New York’s West Village. Bausum eloquently and thoughtfully recounts it all, from the violent arrest of a young lesbian by the police to an angry, mocking, Broadway-style kick line of young men protesting against New York’s Tactical Control Force. Bausum not only recounts the action of the evening in clear, blow-by-blow journalistic prose, she also is careful to point out assumptions and misunderstandings that might also have occurred during the hot summer night. Her narrative feels fueled by rage and empowerment and the urge to tell the truth. She doesn’t bat an eye when recounting the ways that the LGBT fought to find freedom, love, and the physical manifestations of those feelings, whether at the Stonewall Inn or inside the back of a meat truck parked along the Hudson River. Readers coming of age at a time when state after state is beginning to celebrate gay marriage will be astonished to return to a time when it was a crime for a man to wear a dress.

Enlightening, inspiring, and moving. (Nonfiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 5, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-670-01679-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2015

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