GOING SOLO

A delightfully captivating swatch of autobiography from the author of Kiss. Kiss, Switch Bitch and many others. Schoolboy Dahl wanted adventure. Classes bored him, there was work to be had in Africa, and war clouds loomed on the world's horizons. He finds himself with a trainee's job with Shell Oil of East Africa and winds up in what is now Tanzania. Then war comes in 1939 and Dahl's adventures truly begin. At the war's outbreak, Dahl volunteers for the RAF, signing on to be a fighter pilot. Wounded in the Libyan desert, he spends six months recuperating in a military hospital, then rejoins his unit in Greece, only to be driven back by the advancing Germans. On April 20, 1941, he goes head on against the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Athens. On-target bio installment with, one hopes, lots more of this engrossing life to come.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1986

ISBN: 0142413836

Page Count: 209

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1986

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GUTS

THE TRUE STORIES BEHIND HATCHET AND THE BRIAN BOOKS

Paulsen recalls personal experiences that he incorporated into Hatchet (1987) and its three sequels, from savage attacks by moose and mosquitoes to watching helplessly as a heart-attack victim dies. As usual, his real adventures are every bit as vivid and hair-raising as those in his fiction, and he relates them with relish—discoursing on “The Fine Art of Wilderness Nutrition,” for instance: “Something that you would never consider eating, something completely repulsive and ugly and disgusting, something so gross it would make you vomit just looking at it, becomes absolutely delicious if you’re starving.” Specific examples follow, to prove that he knows whereof he writes. The author adds incidents from his Iditarod races, describes how he made, then learned to hunt with, bow and arrow, then closes with methods of cooking outdoors sans pots or pans. It’s a patchwork, but an entertaining one, and as likely to win him new fans as to answer questions from his old ones. (Autobiography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-385-32650-5

Page Count: 150

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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Clear, simple tips to help young people embrace adulthood and lead more effective, happier lives.

Nine Ways to Empower Tweens with Emma and Elliot

YOU LEARN MORE FROM YOUR MISTAKES THAN FROM ALL OF YOUR SUCCESSES

Two fictional tweens outline important life skills for kids aged 10 to 12 in this self-help guide.

In her introduction, Boucher (A Simple Idea To Empower Kids, 2014) points out that she wrote her book in the voices of fraternal twins Emma and Elliot, “whose mission is to empower kids their own age.” Elliot introduces himself and his sister to readers, mentioning that they live on a farm in Canada and have a mother who writes books for kids. The narrative then proceeds in the twins’ first-person-plural voice, taking readers through nine chapters, each addressing specific, important life skills: “How to Speak Confidently,” “Start Each Day with Gratitude,” “Using Vision Boards, Big and Small,” “How to Get Rid of Anger and Frustration,” “Learning about Time and Focus,” “The Importance of Work Ethic,” “First Impressions and Interviews,” “Self-Talk Matters,” and “Start Each Day with Love in Your Heart.” Among the twins’ advice is to find at least one “coach” (and preferably more) in one’s quest to gain confidence; to realize that it takes 21 days to form a habit; to get enough sleep and stay hydrated in order to help manage stress; and to do tasks that one dislikes or dreads first, before any others. The twins make several references to quotes from other authors, including Eleanor Roosevelt (“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”) and Tony Robbins. In this work, Boucher respectfully addresses and encourages the self-development needs of emerging adults. However, her use of the twins as narrators is sometimes awkward, particularly when they draw on sources that aren’t very typical for tweens or when they rather robotically repeat the phrase, “The author has given permission to use the following excerpt.” One could also argue that starting one’s day with gratitude and starting one’s day with love are very similar concepts. Overall, however, Boucher’s nine chapters encapsulate good habits to form and follow, even if they sometimes cover similar ground.

Clear, simple tips to help young people embrace adulthood and lead more effective, happier lives.

Pub Date: May 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5043-5739-5

Page Count: 110

Publisher: BalboaPress

Review Posted Online: Aug. 20, 2016

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