Two adolescents, Daniel Aguilar, a high-school student and rock singer, and his girlfriend, Courtney Larkin, a young, passionate writer, recount through separate narration the painful recovery of Chilean Marcelo Aguilar, Daniel’s father, tortured under Pinochet’s dictatorship in the 1980s. Both of them will travel with Marcelo through the horrifying memories of his five years of imprisonment as he struggles, physically and mentally and with very limited success, to adjust to his new home, a small apartment in Madison, Wis., and to his now-unknown bilingual and bicultural family. His wife Vicky, a graduate student, sells empanadas to make extra money, while Tina, his brilliant 12-year-old daughter, has her own troubles. How, through Marcelo, Daniel discovers the Chilean that still lives inside him, and how Courtney, “la gringa,” teaches Marcelo that the land of gringos is not only the home of those who supported the military coup in his country in 1973 but also a land of human-rights lovers make for riveting reading. This poignant, often surprising and essential novel illuminates too-often ignored political aspects of many South Americans’ migration to the United States. (Historical fiction. YA)

Pub Date: May 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-931896-49-8

Page Count: 290

Publisher: Curbstone Press

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2009

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Pitamic bites off more than she can chew with this instructional art volume, but its core projects will excite in the right context. Twelve pieces of fine art inspire two art projects apiece. Matisse’s The Snail opens the Color section; after history and analysis, there’s one project arranging multicolored tissue-paper squares and one project adding hue to white paint to create stripes of value gradation. These creative endeavors exploring value, shade, texture and various media will exhilarate young artists—but only with at best semi-successful results, as they require an adult dedicated to both advance material procurement and doing the artwork along with the child. Otherwise, complex instructions plus a frequent requirement to draw or trace realistically will cause frustration. Much of the text is above children’s heads, errors of terminology and reproduction detract and the links between the famous pieces and the projects are imprecise. However, an involved adult and an enterprising child aged seven to ten will find many of the projects fabulously challenging and rewarding. Art In Action 2 (ISBN: 978-0-7641-441-7) publishes simultaneously. (artist biographies, glossary, location of originals) (Nonfiction. Adults)


Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7641-4440-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Barron's

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

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American citizens have been held hostage in the Middle East at least since 1979, when our embassy in Teheran was seized by a mob; Lawson's history of the US government's response in the 80's makes a sad tale of hypocrisy, incompetence, and corruption. He shows how, after the hostage crisis cost Carter his political career, Reagan allowed a series of profitable arms-for-hostages deals to go through—while publicly condemning the idea—to finance his ``pet anti-communist project.'' The ensuing revelations, investigations, and trials are covered here in some detail. In an epilogue, Lawson notes that a new group of hostages were taken when Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait in 1990. A thematic introduction by Arthur L. Liman, an attorney involved in the Senate Iran-contra investigation, sums it up: Reagan's advisors, acting from ``disrespect, bordering on contempt'' for the Constitution, established a ``secret government within the Government'' for specifically illegal purposes. B&w photos; adequate bibliography; long chronology; excellent notes; chart listing hostages taken in the 80's; index. (Nonfiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-531-11009-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1991

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