FAITH

This impeccably designed introduction to spiritual practices around the world provides a superb way to show children that there are many means of expressing religious faith. The authors concentrate on what people of disparate faiths have in common by focusing on the mutual “elements of faith” that most religions share, such as praying, reading holy books, participating in cleansing rituals, visiting holy places and helping others. The exceptionally thoughtful design uses just a few sentences of text set in large type against backgrounds of deep, saturated color. Each spread shows multiple photographs of children from many different cultures engaging in their own religious activities, with simple captions identifying the activity and the particular country and/or faith. Noteworthy care was taken in the choice of engaging, nonstereotypical and inclusive photographs, and the quality of the photography and reproduction is stellar. The concluding pages include an amplified text describing the elements of faith in more detail, a world map showing all the countries noted in the photo captions and a glossary of religious terms. This introduction to world religions deserves a wide audience. (Picture book/religion. 3-10)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-58089-177-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2009

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A reasonably solid grounding in constitutional rights, their flexibility, lacunae, and hard-won corrections, despite a few...

WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT FREEDOM

Shamir offers an investigation of the foundations of freedoms in the United States via its founding documents, as well as movements and individuals who had great impacts on shaping and reshaping those institutions.

The opening pages of this picture book get off to a wobbly start with comments such as “You know that feeling you get…when you see a wide open field that you can run through without worrying about traffic or cars? That’s freedom.” But as the book progresses, Shamir slowly steadies the craft toward that wide-open field of freedom. She notes the many obvious-to-us-now exclusivities that the founding political documents embodied—that the entitled, white, male authors did not extend freedom to enslaved African-Americans, Native Americans, and women—and encourages readers to learn to exercise vigilance and foresight. The gradual inclusion of these left-behind people paints a modestly rosy picture of their circumstances today, and the text seems to give up on explaining how Native Americans continue to be left behind. Still, a vital part of what makes freedom daunting is its constant motion, and that is ably expressed. Numerous boxed tidbits give substance to the bigger political picture. Who were the abolitionists and the suffragists, what were the Montgomery bus boycott and the “Uprising of 20,000”? Faulkner’s artwork conveys settings and emotions quite well, and his drawing of Ruby Bridges is about as darling as it gets. A helpful timeline and bibliography appear as endnotes.

A reasonably solid grounding in constitutional rights, their flexibility, lacunae, and hard-won corrections, despite a few misfires. (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-54728-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

AFTER ALL I'VE DONE

A middle-aged woman sidelined by a horrific accident finds even sharper pains waiting on the other side of her recuperation in this expert nightmare by Hardy, familiar to many readers as Megan Hart, author of All the Secrets We Keep (2017), etc.

Five months ago, while she was on her way to the hospital with an ailing gallbladder, Diana Sparrow’s car hit a deer on a rural Pennsylvania road. When she awoke, she was minus her gallbladder, two working collarbones (and therefore two functioning arms), and her memory. During a recovery that would’ve been impossible without the constant ministrations of Harriett Richmond, the mother-in-law who’s the real reason Diana married her husband, Jonathan, Diana’s discovered that Jonathan has been cheating on her with her childhood friend Valerie Delagatti. Divorce is out of the question: Diana’s grown used to the pampered lifestyle the prenup she’d signed would snatch away from her. Every day is filled with torments. She slips and falls in a pool of wine on her kitchen floor she’s sure she didn’t spill herself. At the emergency room, her credit card and debit card are declined. She feels that she hates oppressively solicitous Harriett but has no idea why. Her sessions with her psychiatrist fail to heal her rage at her adoptive mother, an addict who abandoned her then returned only to disappear again and die an ugly death. Even worse, her attempts to recover her lost memory lead to an excruciatingly paced series of revelations. Val says Diana asked her to seduce Jonathan. Diana realizes that Cole, a fellow student in her watercolor class, isn’t the stranger she’d thought he was. Where can this maze of deceptions possibly end?

One of those rare thrillers whose answers are even more scarifying than its mysteries.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64385-470-0

Page Count: 310

Publisher: Crooked Lane

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Forceful and exhilarating.

V IS FOR VOTING

An alphabet picture book that presents the ideal of a democratic society.

Seeing its standard ABC formula—“A is for…” etc.—and a rhyming text, readers may be inclined to think that nothing substantial is in the offing. They would be wrong. If ever an alphabet book packed a punch, this one is it. Leaving no effort to empower unturned, the text goes from, well, A to Z with an energetic propulsion that will educate readers to become informed, engaged citizens. Exhortations (“Z is for zeal. Please bring yours!”), nods to bastions of a democratic society (“F for a free press to find facts and share”), and celebrations of diversity (“D is for difference—our strength and our beauty”) share space with history (“S is for suffrage”) and critical thinking (“R is for represent. They work for me!”). They all combine to deliver a timely message of citizen empowerment. This lively activist theme is visually echoed by bold, full-color illustrations depicting a diversity of humans whose skin colors range from white to all shades of brown and include, prominently and frequently, a woman in a hijab. The people in the illustrations often face directly forward, engaging—almost confronting—readers. Many historical figures are illustrated, and the backmatter both names them and encourages readers to learn more on their own. Backmatter also gives suggestions to young readers for contributing to voter empowerment and includes a voting rights timeline.

Forceful and exhilarating. (Informational picture book. 5-10)

Pub Date: July 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-23125-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2020

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