Poor Jacob—his well-sugared words of wisdom (Jacob the Baker, 1989) have become so popular that petitioners now prevent him from doing any baking. ``I am Jacob the Baker,'' he thinks, ``...if I cannot be what I am, then I cannot be where I am. It is time for me to go.'' So Jacob sets off on a quest for quietude—but finds that people everywhere are hungry for his wisdom, which he dispenses at the slightest invitation (coming upon a freezing old man who says to him, ``I had no place to go,'' Jacob replies: ``Where are any of us going?''). Author benShea, president of the New York Bagel Factory, keeps the faux-pearls of wisdom rolling at a dizzying pace (and headlines each chapter with them in case readers miss the point: e.g., ``Reality Is Only a Memory Ahead of Its Time,'' or, ``A Fool Is Someone Who Knows Too Much to Learn Anything'') until Jacob at last returns home, having learned that ``Wherever We Stop on Our Journey, the First Person We Will Meet is Ourself.'' A self- styled ``fable,'' then, that should please benShea's fans and perhaps a few of Robert Fulghum's, too.
Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.
Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").
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)