Although fascinating, this lengthy effort seems nearly interchangeable with the adult version.




Military service dogs perform a variety of roles, but those trained to sniff out IEDs are the primary focus of this effort.

Like so many recent nonfiction works for young adults, this is a reworked version of a recent adult publication, also called War Dogs (2015). Frankel begins many chapters with brief, engaging narrative descriptions of war-dog missions or training episodes, then turns her attention to the details of the stories. Included are sad descriptions of missions that resulted in the deaths of dogs or handlers. One long section focuses on the extensive dog and handler training that goes on in a “K-9 village,” a realistic mock-up of an Iraqi town at the Yuma Proving Ground. There’s a proliferation of acronyms and initialisms, all included in a list in the extensive backmatter, and their use adds military flavor to the story that may appeal to some readers, but the sheer profusion of them can overwhelm. The volume is but lightly redacted (a reference to a dog as a “nasty little bitch” in the book for adults is prudishly absent here); the most striking difference involves the breaking up of the text into many more chapters than in the adult volume and integrating photographs into the narrative rather than isolating them in an insert. Sentence length and structure are not noticeably simplified for a young audience.

Although fascinating, this lengthy effort seems nearly interchangeable with the adult version. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-250-11228-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.



One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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From the Ape Quartet series , Vol. 1

Congolese-American Sophie makes a harrowing trek through a war-torn jungle to protect a young bonobo.

On her way to spend the summer at the bonobo sanctuary her mother runs, 14-year-old Sophie rescues a sickly baby bonobo from a trafficker. Though her Congolese mother is not pleased Sophie paid for the ape, she is proud that Sophie works to bond with Otto, the baby. A week before Sophie's to return home to her father in Miami, her mother must take advantage
of a charter flight to relocate some apes, and she leaves Sophie with Otto and the sanctuary workers. War breaks out, and after missing a U.N. flight out, Sophie must hide herself and Otto from violent militants and starving villagers. Unable to take Otto out of the country, she decides finding her mother hundreds of miles to the north is her only choice. Schrefer jumps from his usual teen suspense to craft this well-researched tale of jungle survival set during a fictional conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Realistic characters (ape and human) deal with disturbing situations described in graphic, but never gratuitous detail. The lessons Sophie learns about her childhood home, love and what it means to be endangered will resonate with readers.

Even if some hairbreadth escapes test credulity, this is a great next read for fans of our nearest ape cousins or survival adventure. (map, author's note, author Q&A) (Adventure. 12-16)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-16576-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2012

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