Those expecting to find a biting commentary on the state of education will be disappointed, but this timely resource can...




Inspirational, easy-to-follow insights on how to grow smarter, healthier children and communities.

High-energy educator Clark (The Excellent 11: Qualities Teachers and Parents Use to Motivate, Inspire, and Educate Children, 2005, etc.) opened the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta to serve low-income students at a variety of achievement levels. His philosophy struck a chord with none other than Oprah Winfrey, who helped launch him and his program into the mainstream—and was the keynote speaker at the academy’s first graduation. Here, Clark revisits the lessons he learned in establishing his academy, as well as those he picked up throughout his own teaching career. Implementing just a few of these tips, he writes, will lead to invigorated classrooms filled with children who are excited to learn. These range from the obvious, such as “be patient” and “listen,” to the more difficult, such as not giving students second chances on tests and teaching parents how to properly tutor their children. “Children like adults who are dynamic and full of life,” Clark writes. “They want to be around someone who makes them laugh and who shows a passion in all they do.” By providing that kind of leadership, parents and teachers can cultivate a generation of children actively engaged in their own education. Heartwarming success stories pepper the advice, as well as testimonials from parents whose children have benefited from the author’s work.

Those expecting to find a biting commentary on the state of education will be disappointed, but this timely resource can make school a motivational and fun community.

Pub Date: July 26, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4516-3972-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.


Comprehensive, myth-busting examination of the Colorado high-school massacre.

“We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened,” writes Cullen, a Denver-based journalist who has spent the past ten years investigating the 1999 attack. In fact, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conceived of their act not as a targeted school shooting but as an elaborate three-part act of terrorism. First, propane bombs planted in the cafeteria would erupt during lunchtime, indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds of students. The killers, positioned outside the school’s main entrance, would then mow down fleeing survivors. Finally, after the media and rescue workers had arrived, timed bombs in the killers’ cars would explode, wiping out hundreds more. It was only when the bombs in the cafeteria failed to detonate that the killers entered the high school with sawed-off shotguns blazing. Drawing on a wealth of journals, videotapes, police reports and personal interviews, Cullen sketches multifaceted portraits of the killers and the surviving community. He portrays Harris as a calculating, egocentric psychopath, someone who labeled his journal “The Book of God” and harbored fantasies of exterminating the entire human race. In contrast, Klebold was a suicidal depressive, prone to fits of rage and extreme self-loathing. Together they forged a combustible and unequal alliance, with Harris channeling Klebold’s frustration and anger into his sadistic plans. The unnerving narrative is too often undermined by the author’s distracting tendency to weave the killers’ expressions into his sentences—for example, “The boys were shooting off their pipe bombs by then, and, man, were those things badass.” Cullen is better at depicting the attack’s aftermath. Poignant sections devoted to the survivors probe the myriad ways that individuals cope with grief and struggle to interpret and make sense of tragedy.

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

Pub Date: April 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-54693-5

Page Count: 406

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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