This moving look at children going to extraordinary lengths, even risking their lives, to get an education should be...

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FIGHT TO LEARN

THE STRUGGLE TO GO TO SCHOOL

A collection of stories about children who risk much to avail themselves of learning opportunities and determined individuals who fight to bring education to those children.

Scandiffio takes readers on an inspiring tour around the world to countries where obstacles to universal access to education such as discrimination, poverty, and war seem insurmountable, yet driven individuals do what they can to bring schooling to many. Okello Kelo Sam, a former child soldier in Uganda, is the founder of a school for children like himself. In a backyard classroom in India, teenager Babar Ali passes on what he has learned to child workers too poor to afford the required uniforms to attend school. Young women in Pakistan risk their very lives to attend school. Obstacles to learning persist even in developed nations, such as Canada, where inequitable resources are allocated for First Nations children, and the United States, where rampant gang violence in Chicago and other cities keeps children from attending school. The book’s design features decorated, multicolored page backgrounds and frequent color photographs.

This moving look at children going to extraordinary lengths, even risking their lives, to get an education should be required reading for the millions of American students who resent going to school. (photos, bibliography, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-55451-798-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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Sympathetic in tone, optimistic in outlook, not heavily earnest: nothing to be afraid of.

SCARED STIFF

50 PHOBIAS THAT FREAK US OUT

Part browsing item, part therapy for the afflicted, this catalog of irrational terrors offers a little help along with a lot of pop psychology and culture.

The book opens with a clinical psychologist’s foreword and closes with a chapter of personal and professional coping strategies. In between, Latta’s alphabetically arranged encyclopedia introduces a range of panic-inducers from buttons (“koumpounophobia”) and being out of cellphone contact (“nomophobia”) to more widespread fears of heights (“acrophobia”), clowns (“coulroiphobia”) and various animals. There’s also the generalized “social anxiety disorder”—which has no medical name but is “just its own bad self.” As most phobias have obscure origins (generally in childhood), similar physical symptoms and the same approaches to treatment, the descriptive passages tend toward monotony. To counter that, the author chucks in references aplenty to celebrity sufferers, annotated lists of relevant books and (mostly horror) movies, side notes on “joke phobias” and other topics. At each entry’s end, she contributes a box of “Scare Quotes” such as a passage from Coraline for the aforementioned fear of buttons.

Sympathetic in tone, optimistic in outlook, not heavily earnest: nothing to be afraid of. (end notes, resource list) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936976-49-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing.

THE AMAZING BOOK IS NOT ON FIRE

THE WORLD OF DAN AND PHIL

A couple more YouTube stars write a book.

Howell, who goes by "danisnotonfire," and "AmazingPhil" Lester are the latest YouTube stars hoping to cross over to the world of books. Instead of crafting a memoir or adapting their videos into a fictional series, the duo have filled these 225 pages with bold graphics, scatological humor, and quirky how tos that may entice their fan base but will leave everyone else out in the cold. It contains a wide variety of nonsense, ranging from Phil's chat logs to information on breeding hamsters. There's an emoji-only interview and some Dan/Phil fanfiction (by Howell rather than a fan) and even a full double-page spread of the pair's unsuccessful selfies. All this miscellany is shoveled in without much rhyme or reason following introductory pages that clearly introduce the pair as children, leaving readers who aren't in on the joke completely out of the loop. The authors make no attempt to bring in those on the outside, but in all honesty, why should they? The only people buying this book are kids who already love everything Dan and Phil do or clueless relatives in desperate search of a gift for the awkward teens in their lives. The book's biggest fault is its apparent laziness. It feels like something slapped together over a weekend, with no heart or soul.   

A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-93984-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2015

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