A valuable read for teachers, parents and adolescents concerned with the teenage hopes and dreams.



Editor Bohannon-Kaplan offers an anthology of excerpts from high school essay contest winners from across the nation.

Adolescents and teenagers want a place and purpose in the world, yet they’re often cast aside as “too young” or “too inexperienced” to contribute much of value to society—a gross underestimation, says this group of authors and essay winners These teens want nothing more than to find a way to change this paradigm and offer young adults a way to contribute to the world. Approaches are varied, but the editor smartly begins this collection with a series of excerpts dealing with causes of the problem. Why is it that adolescents are ignored, handed “dumbed down” material to read and ingest, and given “pats on the back” just for showing up and doing the right thing? Why aren’t they challenged? Some essayists remark that the fault lies with the parents and their tendency to devote too much time to the workplace and not enough time to challenging and raising fulfilled, ambitious children. Others cite the media and a lack of parental guidance, which can lead teenagers to witness and absorb irresponsible habits. One insightful student remarks that teenagers are urged to grow up too fast, as they’re bombarded with images of celebrities on television. From here, the book moves away from the problem and toward a solution: Readers will find hopeful, creative responses from a wide array of teenagers who seem to take responsibility for their generation’s purported lack of focus. Writers offer specific advice, from teenagers creating their own volunteer opportunities, to special classes dedicated to adolescents learning who they are. Throughout, there’s a constant call for help—that is, a call for adults to help these young students facilitate change, find themselves and find valuable roles they can play within their community. Of particular note is the diversity of voices and opinions. Some students seem to take matters into their own hands, focusing on what they can do moving forward. Others isolate the reasons why they’ve been stunted, unmotivated or even discouraged. Combined, these voices create an enjoyable, important book that represents a cross-section of young people ready for change.

A valuable read for teachers, parents and adolescents concerned with the teenage hopes and dreams.

Pub Date: June 15, 2000

ISBN: 978-0915915392

Page Count: 247

Publisher: Wellington Publications

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.



A highly organized, informative discussion of the immigration system in the United States.

In this politically charged environment, Afrasiabi manages to broach the volatile issue of immigration in a well-rounded, surprisingly effective framework that combines case studies, historical research, statistical analysis and personal anecdotes to detail the current issues and propose solutions. Invocations of Kafka, “The Twilight Zone” and “Alice in Wonderland” prove warranted as illustrations of the often surreal circumstances that confront immigrants facing deportation. Immigrants usually lack access to quality legal representation, while their situation can be made doubly difficult due to language barriers and significant cultural differences. Afrasiabi incorporates his work with colleagues and students at the Chapman University School of Law to deftly weave together the facts of several compelling cases and their underlying legal issues, with a genuine sense of suspense as readers wonder if justice will be truly be served. Occasionally, though, the narrative becomes overwrought—two federal laws passed in 1996 are “dark storm clouds depositing their sleet”—although, considering the life-changing effects of court decisions, it’s difficult to overstate the ramifications: extralegal rendition of individuals with pending cases and the de facto deportation of native-born children whose parents are deported. Afrasiabi also addresses the legacy of various anti-alien laws in California, as well as marriage equality for same-sex couples when one partner is a noncitizen. As the subtitle asserts, Afrasiabi employs his additional experience in the field of property law to contrast the stark differences between immigration judges and constitutional judges, like their qualifications, vetting processes and even the oaths they take. His arguments culminate in seven concrete reforms proposed in the conclusion. In order to make the immigration system more just and effective, Afrasiabi claims the solutions are closer than we may think; we can implement procedures and safeguards already in place within the constitutional courts.

A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012


Page Count: 249

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.


Walkley pits CIA agents against a maniacal Saudi prince intent on starting World War III in this debut thriller.

Delta Force operative Lee McCloud, aka Mac, finds himself in Mexico, trying to rescue two teenage girls kidnapped by a drug cartel. But things go from bad to worse when the villains don’t play by the rules. Framed for two murders he didn’t commit, Mac has two options: go to prison or go to work for a CIA black-op group run by the devious Wisebaum, who hacks into terrorists’ bank accounts and confiscates millions of dollars. However, there’s more going on than meets the eye; Saudi Prince Khalid is in possession of nuclear canisters, with which he hopes to alter world history. Khalid also dabbles in trafficking young women, and harvesting and selling human organs. When Wisebaum’s black-op team targets Khalid’s father, the action becomes even more intense. With so many interweaving subplots—kidnapped girls, Israeli undercover agents, nuclear weapons and a secret underwater hideout—it could be easy to lose track of what’s going on. But the author’s deft handling of the material ensures that doesn’t occur; subplots are introduced at the appropriate junctures and, by story’s end, all are accounted for and neatly concluded. Mac is portrayed as a rough and ready action-hero, yet his vulnerabilities will evoke empathy in readers. He finds a love interest in Tally, a hacker whose personality is just quirky enough to complement his own. All Walkley’s primary characters are fleshed out and realistic, with the exception of Wisebaum—a malicious, double-dealing, back-stabber of the worst ilk; the reader is left wondering about Wisebaum’s motivations behind such blatant treachery.

Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0980806601

Page Count: 412

Publisher: Marq Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2012

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