CEE CEE'S WORLD ADVENTURES

BEIJING BOUND

A simple travelogue that touches on the tastes and sights of Beijing through the eyes of an excited little traveler from Minnesota.
In this straightforward, travel-themed children’s picture book, a girl named Cee Cee dreams of seeing the world and chronicling her adventures with her camera. She’s delighted to arrive home from school and find that the whole family will be visiting Beijing. (It’s Cee Cee’s first experience with traveling by plane, but the author doesn’t dwell on the 16-hour flight.) The family is greeted at the Beijing airport by Cee Cee’s uncle Phil, who will be the family’s guide during their two-night stay. First up, handmade noodles made to order at Uncle Phil’s favorite restaurant. Then, after a long drive into the mountains, a visit to the Great Wall of China, where an enthusiastic tour guide offers some history about the structure’s origins and dimensions. Author Eyunni, an American journalist living in China, throws in a welcome bit of suspense when camera-toting Cee Cee wanders “in search of the perfect shot” and loses sight of her family: “Tears began to well up in her eyes. All of a sudden she felt very small and very alone.” A kind, elderly man offers comfort and soon spots the bright red hats Cee Cee’s parents are wearing. Adventures the following day include a visit to a market with hundreds of colorful stalls, watching tai chi practitioners in a park, rolling dough for dumplings, learning to use chopsticks, and Cee Cee’s exchanging email addresses with a new friend her own age. The author ends with a hint that a series awaits: “Cee Cee would never forget Beijing, but she knew in her heart that another adventure was just around the corner.” In the minus column: the generic computer-generated look of the uncredited illustrations. Richer visual content would enhance the book’s clean prose and easy educational content.
A pleasant, lightly informative tale that needs a visual upgrade.

Pub Date: June 23, 2014

ISBN: 978-1482335521

Page Count: 38

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 8, 2016

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

SHOW TRIALS

HOW PROPERTY GETS MORE LEGAL PROTECTION THAN PEOPLE IN OUR FAILED IMMIGRATION SYSTEM

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

ISBN: N/A

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.

NO REMORSE

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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