A polished volume of Christian spiritualism.




A debut Christian work encourages faith in the face of doubt.

Duckett begins this inspirational book with the story of her son getting hit by a car. The author was on her way home with supplies for the 9-year-old’s birthday party when she saw his mangled bike lying by the road. The boy had been mercifully thrown free of the wreckage, requiring stitches but sustaining no serious damage. According to Duckett, God spoke to her after the accident, directing her to Psalm 91:11-12: “For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone.” God, the author believes, sent his angels to lift her son away from harm. But why her son and not the children of other parents? “It is impossible to find ‘because answers’ that make sense of the ‘why questions’....There are mysteries not meant to be solved, but God’s sovereignty is there to be found.” God does not always interfere in such direct ways, but Duckett encourages readers to open their minds and hearts to the intervention that God offers. Using events from her own life as a guide, the author explores the often unexpected means through which God makes his love known to humans, imperfect recipients that they are. Duckett is a strong writer, expressing her beliefs in a refined yet conversational prose that expresses her devotion with occasional flair. The way she roots her ideas in incidents from her own life keeps the work mostly compelling, though some readers may be incredulous at just how often God seems to intercede directly on her behalf. This is assuredly a work for a certain type of Christian audience, and anyone with a theological worldview much different from that of the author’s will likely be dissatisfied with its relative simplicity. That said, for books of this genre, Duckett’s is well-written and well-meaning, and like-minded Christians should find much in her story to inspire and invigorate their faith.

A polished volume of Christian spiritualism.

Pub Date: April 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5127-8235-6

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2017

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This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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Outstanding in every respect.



When the Supreme Court declined to accept the appeal of a 1963 rape case, Justice Arthur Goldberg published an unusual dissent questioning the constitutionality of the death penalty. From this small beginning, Mandery (John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Q: A Novel, 2011, etc.) skillfully traces the building momentum within the country and the court to question the legality of a punishment the Founding Fathers took for granted.

Indeed, by 1972, in Furman v. Georgia, the court struck down death penalty statutes so similar to those in 40 other states that executions nationwide came to a halt. Disagreement among Furman’s 5-4 majority—was the death penalty “cruel and unusual” punishment under the Eighth Amendment, or was its arbitrary application a violation under the 14th?—and a forceful dissent hinted at a blueprint for states to rewrite their capital-sentencing schemes. By 1976, 35 had done so. In Gregg v. Georgia and its companion cases, the court approved the revised statutes, opening the door to 1,300 state-sponsored executions since. Relying on interviews with law clerks and attorneys, information from economists, criminologists and social scientists, arguments from political and legal scholars, a thorough knowledge of all applicable cases and sure-handed storytelling, Mandery focuses on the strategies of the Legal Defense Fund, the remarkable attorneys who led the charge for abolition, to cover virtually every dimension of the capital punishment debate. The author is especially strong on the individual backgrounds, personalities and judicial philosophies of the justices, the shifting alliances among them and the frustrating contingencies upon which momentous decisions sometimes turn. Even those weary of this topic will be riveted by his insider information about towering figures, lawyers and judges.

Outstanding in every respect.

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-393-23958-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: June 9, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2013

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