Regardless of its off-putting look, this effort is worthy of a broad audience.

FOODPRINTS

THE STORY OF WHAT WE EAT

Will teenagers willingly read an entertaining and brightly illustrated book about food, or will this effort reach only those who are writing reports?

Although the cover art—a witty illustration of a caveman traipsing down a supermarket aisle studying a cereal box—is inviting, the chunky reinforced binding and format of the cover are still notably textbooklike. Inside, bright backgrounds, numerous text boxes, changes of typeface, and the caveman’s lime green footprints meandering throughout all do their best to distinguish the book from a typical textbook. Ayer covers a wide range of current topics, from food safety to the challenges of highly advertised but calorie-dense fast food to the notable increase in obesity in North Americans. Useful suggestions, mostly included on purple “Food for Thought” pages, are abundant, and many are eminently doable (examine Internet advertising by “fooling” browser cookies, for instance). “Infobites,” bright red pages with interesting statistics, interrupt the text every chapter or so and don’t always end up where they best relate to other information, but this is a minor quibble. Since this effort is being distributed both in Canada and the United States, it includes statistics and other information for both countries. Accurate, absorbing, pertinent, and important: a desirable purchase.

Regardless of its off-putting look, this effort is worthy of a broad audience. (Nonfiction. 10-18)

Pub Date: July 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-55451-719-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Annick Press

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today.

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THEY CALLED US ENEMY

A beautifully heart-wrenching graphic-novel adaptation of actor and activist Takei’s (Lions and Tigers and Bears, 2013, etc.) childhood experience of incarceration in a World War II camp for Japanese Americans.

Takei had not yet started school when he, his parents, and his younger siblings were forced to leave their home and report to the Santa Anita Racetrack for “processing and removal” due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. The creators smoothly and cleverly embed the historical context within which Takei’s family’s story takes place, allowing readers to simultaneously experience the daily humiliations that they suffered in the camps while providing readers with a broader understanding of the federal legislation, lawsuits, and actions which led to and maintained this injustice. The heroes who fought against this and provided support to and within the Japanese American community, such as Fred Korematsu, the 442nd Regiment, Herbert Nicholson, and the ACLU’s Wayne Collins, are also highlighted, but the focus always remains on the many sacrifices that Takei’s parents made to ensure the safety and survival of their family while shielding their children from knowing the depths of the hatred they faced and danger they were in. The creators also highlight the dangerous parallels between the hate speech, stereotyping, and legislation used against Japanese Americans and the trajectory of current events. Delicate grayscale illustrations effectively convey the intense emotions and the stark living conditions.

A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today. (Graphic memoir. 14-adult)

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-60309-450-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Top Shelf Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2019

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Like many grammar books, this starts with parts of speech and goes on to sentence structure, punctuation, usage and style....

GRAMMAR GIRL PRESENTS THE ULTIMATE WRITING GUIDE FOR STUDENTS

As she does in previous volumes—Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (2008) and The Grammar Devotional (2009)—Fogarty affects an earnest and upbeat tone to dissuade those who think a grammar book has to be “annoying, boring, and confusing” and takes on the role of “grammar guide, intent on demystifying grammar.”

Like many grammar books, this starts with parts of speech and goes on to sentence structure, punctuation, usage and style. Fogarty works hard to find amusing, even cheeky examples to illustrate the many faux pas she discusses: "Squiggly presumed that Grammar Girl would flinch when she saw the word misspelled as alot." Young readers may well look beyond the cheery tone and friendly cover, though, and find a 300+-page text that looks suspiciously schoolish and isn't really that different from the grammar texts they have known for years (and from which they have still not learned a lot of grammar). As William Strunk said in his introduction to the first edition of the little The Elements of Style, the most useful grammar guide concentrates attention “on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.” After that, “Students profit most by individual instruction based on the problems of their own work.” By being exhaustive, Fogarty may well have created just the kind of volume she hoped to avoid.

Pub Date: July 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8943-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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