Skip.

READ REVIEW

I SPY THE ILLUMINATI EYE

WHAT'S THE BIG SECRET?

This tongue-in-cheek look at the Illuminati leaves more questions than answers. Of course, that’s the way they like it.

Secret codes and cryptography are always fascinating, but Keenan’s examination of the supposedly current secret society is a jumble of information told in a sarcastic tone that falls flat. The book starts out well enough, with a brief discussion of the brain and a look at how humans are hard-wired to make connections between seemingly unrelated things, which leads to conspiracy theories. It also summarizes the creation of the original Order of the Illuminati and its Bavarian founder, Adam Weishaupt. From there, readers learn a little about the Templars, a little about the Freemasons, and a little about other secret societies. The book, like most good conspiracy theories, is quick to jump from interesting point to interesting point, but it’s light on evidence along the way. Statements are presented to the reader as facts, but there’s no way to know how Keenan came to these conclusions. For example, while discussing the New World Order, the book states that nearly 1/3 of American voters believe that the Order is “the global takeover by a secret government formed by the Illuminati and maybe aliens”; the part about the aliens is rescinded in the next paragraph, but there is no source for the part that is presented as fact. Keenan frequently alludes to “countless” websites, books, and videos but provides no backmatter for further reading or reference.

Skip. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Dec. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-8793-6

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Oct. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for...

TWO MEN AND A CAR

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT, AL CAPONE, AND A CADILLAC V-8

A custom-built, bulletproof limo links two historical figures who were pre-eminent in more or less different spheres.

Garland admits that a claim that FDR was driven to Congress to deliver his “Day of Infamy” speech in a car that once belonged to Capone rests on shaky evidence. He nonetheless uses the anecdote as a launchpad for twin portraits of contemporaries who occupy unique niches in this country’s history but had little in common. Both were smart, ambitious New Yorkers and were young when their fathers died, but they definitely “headed in opposite directions.” As he fills his biographical sketches with standard-issue facts and has disappointingly little to say about the car itself (which was commissioned by Capone in 1928 and still survives), this outing seems largely intended to be a vehicle for the dark, heavy illustrations. These are done in muted hues with densely scratched surfaces and angled so that the two men, the period backgrounds against which they are posed, and the car have monumental looks. It’s a reach to bill this, as the author does, a “story about America,” but it does at least offer a study in contrasts featuring two of America’s most renowned citizens. Most of the human figures are white in the art, but some group scenes include a few with darker skin.

The car gets shortchanged, but comparing the divergent career paths of its (putative) two riders may give readers food for thought. (timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-88448-620-6

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Tilbury House

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A great collection of harrowing, true survivor stories.

SURVIVORS

A large-format hardcover gathers together true stories of adventure and survival.

Two that are well-known, at least to adults, are Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition and the ordeal of Aron Ralston, who cut off his own arm with a dull pocketknife in order to extricate himself from a dislodged boulder that trapped him in a narrow canyon, the subject of the film 127 Hours. Lesser known is the story of Poon Lim, who survived 133 days alone in the South Atlantic when the merchant ship he was serving on was sunk by a U-boat. At one point, he caught a shark several feet long, pulled it aboard his raft, beat it to death, and proceeded to suck its blood and eat it raw for nourishment. Seventeen-year-old Juliane Koepcke, the sole survivor of a plane crash in the Peruvian rain forest, relied on survival lessons taught by her parents. During her nine-day ordeal, she poured gasoline on her wounds, which succeeded in removing 35 maggots from one arm. In a skiing accident, Anna Bågenholm was trapped under freezing water for so long her heart stopped. Four hours later, medics managed to warm her blood enough to revive her. The attractive design features a full-page or double-page–spread color illustration depicting a pivotal moment in each well-told story. Entirely absent are such standard features as table of contents, source notes, bibliography, or index, pegging this as an entertainment resource only.

A great collection of harrowing, true survivor stories. (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-571-31601-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Faber & Faber

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more