A well-written, impassioned story of sports, friendship, and determination.




A tale of unlikely friendships and camaraderie forged through ice hockey.

Just before the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, the South Korean women’s ice hockey team became the only team to include North Koreans on its roster. The Unified team fought hard on the ice, but their opponents proved too strong, and the team lost each of their matches. Nonetheless, they won the hearts of Koreans from both sides as well as those from countries around the world. In this feel-good tale of women athletes suddenly placed in the international spotlight, New York Times contributor Berkman takes readers behind the scenes of the South Korean team. He shows each player’s immense passion for a sport that was often not considered suitable for young women. He discusses the American and Canadian Koreans, or “imports,” who were brought in to bolster the team prior to the games and the impact they had on the South Koreans. He shares each woman’s hopes, dreams, and determination to play despite the odds and sacrifices each needed to make, including using old equipment and practicing at late hours due to lack of funds and support from sponsors. “Prior to South Korea being named the host of the 2018 Olympics,” writes the author, “a majority of the women’s team felt that [the Korean Ice Hockey Association] never really cared about them to begin with. Even before the Games, they earned just $50 a day.” In addition to exploring the gender discrimination at play, Berkman weaves in bits of history about the two Koreas and their hostilities toward Japan. Ultimately, what shines through is the women’s passion for their sport and the bonds they forged on and off the ice, alliances that cross an array of boundaries.

A well-written, impassioned story of sports, friendship, and determination.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00553-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Hanover Square Press

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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