SHAKESPEARE

HIS WORK AND HIS WORLD

Rosen makes the life and work of Shakespeare vibrant and exciting in this perfectly splendid biography. He opens with Shakespeare and his cohorts pulling down a wooden theatre under cover of night, to rebuild it as the Globe on the other side of London Bridge. He continues by describing in clear contemporary language some famous plots from the plays, spiced with quotes. He gives enough history so readers can understand that Shakespeare lived in tumultuous times, and that such was reflected in what he wrote. For Shakespeare’s life, Rosen sticks strictly to what is known, and does a beautiful job of tying those few facts into English life in the 16th century, to make a brief but coherent whole. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, and Macbeth are treated at some length, and Rosen is very good at offering just the right hook to lure young readers in. His analysis of Juliet’s screaming argument with her parents, who want her to marry Paris when she has already secretly wed Romeo, will find readers nodding in abject recognition. He urges his audience to rent a video or see a performance, reminding them that Shakespeare wrote scripts, not books. But it’s the format that makes this stand out from the usual treatment of these times; large type on oversized pages, quotes in bold, and lots of white space invite younger readers to explore this fascinating universe. Ingpen’s exquisitely detailed watercolors range from full two-page spreads to marginalia; most are in full, burnished color but some are done in grisaille very effectively. Beautiful and engaging. (timeline, bibliography) (Biography. 10+)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7636-1568-4

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2001

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A gem from start to bittersweet finish.

LUCK OF THE TITANIC

Seventeen-year-old Valora Luck boards the Titanic in search of her twin brother—and destiny.

As children, Val and Jamie performed acrobatics to bring in money during lean times, dreaming of one day becoming circus stars. But after their White British mother’s death, Jamie left to work for the Atlantic Steam Company while Val stayed in London to care for their Chinese father. Now, with both parents gone, Val is determined to find what’s left of her family and forge a new path in America. There is, of course, the Chinese Exclusion Act to contend with, but Val is confident that she and Jamie can convince one of the ship’s passengers, a part owner of the Ringling Brothers Circus, to hire them and bring them into the country. Unexpected allies provide help along the way, including an American couture designer and Jamie’s fellow Chinese steamship workers. Issues of racial and class discrimination are seamlessly woven into the story as Val’s adventure takes her through the Titanic’s various decks, from a first-class suite to the boiler rooms. Her wit and pluck give the story such buoyancy that when tragedy strikes, it almost comes as a surprise. Anticipation of the inevitable adds a layer of tension to the narrative, especially with a sober note prefacing the book that informs readers, “Of the eight Chinese passengers aboard the Titanic, six survived.”

A gem from start to bittersweet finish. (Titanic diagram, list of characters, author's notes) (Historical fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5247-4098-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more