Social Sciences Book Reviews

GIVE US THE BALLOT by Ari Berman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Not just a compelling history, but a cry for help in the recurring struggle to gain what is supposed to be an inalienable right."
An incisive look at the many issues surrounding the right to vote. Read full book review >
WE BELIEVE THE CHILDREN by Richard Beck
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"An intriguing but uneven treatment of a subject that has not received much attention in years."
An attempt to explain the hysteria that surrounded the child sex abuse cases that swept the United States in the 1980s. Read full book review >

DOING GOOD BETTER by William MacAskill
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Highly useful guidelines to finding the perfect charity worthy of your money."
How to determine which charities are the best to support. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"The authors' suggestions and insights cover a wide spectrum of child-raising situations and should, when properly applied, deliver lasting results."
If it works for successful entrepreneurs, why shouldn't it work for your children? Read full book review >
DEER ISLAND by Neil Ansell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Stark but lucid, with moments of genuine poetry."
A former British charity worker tells the quietly lyrical story of a peripatetic young adulthood. Read full book review >

THE BORN FREES by Kimberly Burge
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 3, 2015

"An affecting portrait of post-apartheid South Africa, particularly useful for writing instructors serving at-risk constituencies."
Journalist Burge recounts a sojourn in a township outside Cape Town working with a writing group called Amazw'Entombi, or "Voices of the Girls."Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 28, 2015

"Occasionally uneven, but an impassioned and honest memoir from an author determined to prove himself worthy."
This story of the personal struggle of an undocumented alien underscores the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Read full book review >
GOD AND JETFIRE by Amy Seek
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"An unflinching look at the consequences and rewards of open adoption, written with care and precision."
If giving up a child for adoption leaves a void in the mother's life, what happens when she remains an active part of the child's life afterward? That void must be carried with her. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: July 14, 2015

"Reading this book would be a great first step toward further civil rights progress."
An examination of how the Americans with Disabilities Act came about, 25 years after the legislation passed into law. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"A freedom fighter's passionate memoir from the trenches."
A victim of Nazi terror who became a Freedom Summer volunteer in rural Mississippi re-creates the conviction of the activists' early civil rights struggles. Read full book review >
THE DRUMMOND GIRLS by Mardi Jo Link
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"A moving, honest, and laughter-filled account of eight women who gather one weekend every year and enjoy themselves to the fullest."
Loyalty and friendship among eight women. Read full book review >
BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 8, 2015

"This moving, potent testament might have been titled 'Black Lives Matter.' Or: 'An American Tragedy.'"
The powerful story of a father's past and a son's future. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >