THE WRIGHT SISTER

KATHARINE WRIGHT AND HER FAMOUS BROTHERS

Not many people know that Orville and Wilbur Wright had a third member of the team. Katharine, their younger sister, ran the house after their mother died and became her brothers’ social and business manager when their careers took flight. In this first authoritative biography of her life, much ground (and air) is covered. It’s the story of Kitty Hawk and flying machines and an opinionated young woman devoted to her father and brothers, who only later in life married and found personal happiness. Maurer does justice to this pivotal member of the famous family. Balancing the story of early flight with Katharine’s story, much is revealed about the role of women at the turn of the century and the restricted opportunities for education and careers. Katharine managed to receive a first-rate education at Oberlin College and became only the second woman elected to Oberlin’s board of trustees, where one of her causes was to have women faculty members paid the same as men. Though the print is undersized, the format and design are attractive, with many photographs capturing the drama of the Wrights’ lives. The text is competently written, and if the account doesn’t quite soar like Katharine’s brothers, it does clearly portray Katharine’s worldly concerns with career, marriage, and the care of her family. A bibliography is included, but without attribution of specific quotations and incidents and no sources for young readers. Nevertheless, this is an important biography of a woman who also had the Wright stuff. (author’s note, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-7613-1546-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2003

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A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing.

THE AMAZING BOOK IS NOT ON FIRE

THE WORLD OF DAN AND PHIL

A couple more YouTube stars write a book.

Howell, who goes by "danisnotonfire," and "AmazingPhil" Lester are the latest YouTube stars hoping to cross over to the world of books. Instead of crafting a memoir or adapting their videos into a fictional series, the duo have filled these 225 pages with bold graphics, scatological humor, and quirky how tos that may entice their fan base but will leave everyone else out in the cold. It contains a wide variety of nonsense, ranging from Phil's chat logs to information on breeding hamsters. There's an emoji-only interview and some Dan/Phil fanfiction (by Howell rather than a fan) and even a full double-page spread of the pair's unsuccessful selfies. All this miscellany is shoveled in without much rhyme or reason following introductory pages that clearly introduce the pair as children, leaving readers who aren't in on the joke completely out of the loop. The authors make no attempt to bring in those on the outside, but in all honesty, why should they? The only people buying this book are kids who already love everything Dan and Phil do or clueless relatives in desperate search of a gift for the awkward teens in their lives. The book's biggest fault is its apparent laziness. It feels like something slapped together over a weekend, with no heart or soul.   

A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-93984-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2015

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SATCHEL PAIGE

``I always had to listen to that same old sentence: `If you were only white, so you could play in the majors.''' Another look at pro baseball's most durable pitcher, a walking and (especially) talking refutation of the idea that skin color (or, for that matter, age) is a measure of ability. Paige finally did break into the majors at age 42, by far its oldest rookie; the six years he spent there are little more than a footnote to his illustrious career. He's been the subject of many biographies; this one isn't a significant improvement over Macht's, issued by the same publisher in 1991. The two share many photos and quotes, aim at roughly the same audience, and append (differently) abbreviated stats, but Macht offers a more animated style and a clearer sense of Paige's personality. Bibliography; index. (Biography. 10-13)

Pub Date: April 15, 1993

ISBN: 0-7910-1880-6

Page Count: 102

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 1993

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