Pleasant, sensitive storytelling.



The charmingly quirky story of a woman and the flock of spirited chickens that stole her heart.

When her teenage daughter and friends abandoned it, blogger, illustrator and DIY mom Scheuer knew that her yard, which had once been "a mecca of colorful activities and adventures," needed a makeover. So she transformed it into a home for chickens, which arrived by mail. Scheuer threw herself into the project and built the coop where her hens would roost. In love with her birds from the day they hatched, she documented their daily lives with drawings and photographs, which she includes on almost every page of the book. Her chickens—Hatsy, Lucy and Lil' White—weren't simply lawn ornaments and egg-producers; they were beings with colorfully distinctive personalities. Hatsy was the egg-laying wonder, Lucy the affectionate friend and Lil' White the sometimes mean-spirited beauty. With insight and humor, Scheuer describes the relationships among her animals. She recounts how her terrier Marky "drooled" over them at first but then became their dedicated guardian. The birds themselves had their own dramas. Lucy developed Marek's disease, which crippled her feet. True to the "wild roots" of all chickens, Lil' White suddenly began attacking her. Lucy survived and eventually became the flock "mother," nurturing an egg that contained the flock's one rooster. When Hatsy weakened and died, the birds closed ranks and mourned because "[they] knew.” Scheuer adopted another bird, a scrawny "fixer-upper" named Pigeon, who became both the flock leader and Lucy's new best friend. Scheuer shows that though feathers and fur may separate humans from animals, all creatures are capable of attachment, cruelty, joy and sadness, regardless of the skin they wear.

Pleasant, sensitive storytelling.

Pub Date: March 19, 2013

ISBN: 978-1451698701

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Dec. 23, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.


The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

Did you like this book?

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?