The strength of the poetry along with this assumption that religion and a relationship with God are an integral part of life...

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DARK SONS

Grimes contrasts the Biblical story of Abraham’s son Ishmael with present day Samuel’s trying to cope with divorce and his father’s remarriage.

Conveyed almost entirely in prose poems, the work gives deeper meaning to both stories. A few quotes from Hammurabi’s Code, which preface some sections, provide needed context. Both sons focus first on their mothers. Ishmael’s mother is a slave, and the jealousy of Abraham’s wife makes their life difficult. The arrival of Isaac, the natural son in ancient times and of David, a biracial child in the present, gives a clear picture of the universality over time of sons wanting to be first in their father’s lives regardless of circumstances, as well as the charm of new babies. Grimes allows Samuel to find some peace, ably assisted by both of the women in his family, but Ishmael and his mother head into the desert, leaving Abraham behind completely. Three major religions derive from Abraham’s seed, giving this impact for many people of faith.

The strength of the poetry along with this assumption that religion and a relationship with God are an integral part of life distinguishes and illuminates the narrative. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7868-1888-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2005

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JEREMY

THE TALE OF AN HONEST BUNNY

1886

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-670-88104-X

Page Count: 82

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1999

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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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An engaging, compelling tale whose relatable young hero’s adventures link to a nation’s destiny.

ROUGH RIDE TO RUNNYMEDE

ON A QUEST TO STOP A BULLY

In this debut middle-grade historical novel, a boy works to bring Magna Carta to reality in 13th-century England.

At harvest time in 1214, Taymor “Tay” Wallop, 14, is in a tough position. He’s inherited Swan Castle from his father, but the greedy King John is demanding an unaffordable inheritance tax and commandeering the stronghold’s harvest and farm animals. When Tay protests the unfairness of this, John gives him an out: get rid of the archbishop of Canterbury, who has offended the monarch by telling the country’s earls that the king must obey the law. As the brown son of a Syrian mother, Tay has already experienced discrimination, and fairness matters greatly to him. But if he doesn’t obey, the king will kill his father’s man at arms, Will, and Tay will lose Swan Castle. Early on his journey, Tay meets Archer, about 19, a talented bowman with a secret who’s been led by a dream to help the teen. Tay is impressed by the archbishop’s saintliness and can’t bear to kill him. Instead, the archbishop inspires Tay to embark on a mission to persuade the earls to support a new charter of fair play. Soon joined by Lucy, 12, who’s running from a forced marriage, Tay and Archer travel the country, hoping against hope to succeed. Though beset by dangers, Tay’s faith brings him—and the country’s leaders—to Runnymede for the historic sealing of Magna Carta. Useful information on history, places, and people plus a glossary are included. In her novel, Glass tells an exciting story of brave deeds and the transformation of a government, backed up by historical and cultural details that bring this long-ago world to life. The characters are well drawn, and it’s especially nice to see a person of color in a time period too often imagined as solely white. While Tay’s experience is bolstered by prayer, nonreligious readers can still respond to the universal appeal of fairness and cheer for those who risked all to bring it about.

An engaging, compelling tale whose relatable young hero’s adventures link to a nation’s destiny.

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-973671-32-9

Page Count: 254

Publisher: Westbow Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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