A chilling look at a timely topic.

ARCTIC THAW

CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE GLOBAL RACE FOR ENERGY RESOURCES

The rapid melting of Arctic ice has opened a new frontier for international competition or cooperation.

The book opens with a dramatic scene, as three men in a submersible search for a hole in the ice above the North Pole location on the ocean floor where they’ve just planted a Russian flag. McPherson goes on to describe the changes in polar ice cover that are encouraging exploration and allowing access to previously inaccessible energy resources. Subsequent chapters describe new, shorter ocean passages, the jockeying for territory as nearby nations lay claim and others look for ways to get involved, and the likely difficulties of development. Native peoples, whose livelihoods and cultures are inextricably connected to this harsh environment, have to make difficult choices, and the melting of the ice sheet over Greenland offers new opportunities as well as potential for disaster. McPherson’s clear explanations and balanced approach encourage reflection; there are no easy answers. Given that the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming, should the newly accessible oil and gas be extracted and added to the world’s supply? Does the North Pole belong to one or another nearby nation or to the world? Is it even possible to develop this area without spoiling it? Maps, photographs and a thoughtful design add to the package.

A chilling look at a timely topic. (source notes, glossary, bibliographies, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4677-2043-4

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

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A concise companion and update to Vicki Oransky Wittenstein’s Planet Hunter (2010).

EXOPLANETS

WORLDS BEYOND OUR SOLAR SYSTEM

An enticing overview of tools, techniques, and discoveries in what the author rightly characterizes “a red-hot field in astronomy.”

Alas; it is perhaps too red-hot. Not only is Kenney’s count of accepted and potential exoplanets (as of May 2016) well out of date already, but her claim that “Wolf-1061” (sic: that’s actually the name of the star and its system) is the nearest Earthlike planet in the habitable “Goldilocks Zone” has been trumped by the recent discovery of a closer candidate orbiting Proxima Centauri. Still, along with describing in nontechnical terms each tool in the researcher’s kit—from space- and ground-based telescopes of various types to instruments that detect subtle stellar wobbles, spectrum changes, microlensing, and other telling signs—the author fills in the historical background of exoplanet research and profiles some of its weirder findings. She also casts side glances at extremophile life on Earth and other, at least tangentially related, topics. The small format gives the assortment of photos, artists’ renditions, diagrams, and generic star fields a cramped look, but readers curious about how researchers could possibly detect such dinky, distant objects as planets belonging to other star systems will come away satisfied and intrigued.

A concise companion and update to Vicki Oransky Wittenstein’s Planet Hunter (2010). (index, source notes, bibliography, websites) (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5124-0086-1

Page Count: 92

Publisher: Twenty-First Century/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist.

MAYA LIN

THINKING WITH HER HANDS

One of the world’s most celebrated creators of civic architecture is profiled in this accessible, engaging biography.

Similar in style and format to her Everybody Paints!: The Lives and Art of the Wyeth Family (2014) and Wideness and Wonder: The Life and Art of Georgia O’Keeffe (2011), Rubin’s well-researched profile examines the career, creative processes, and career milestones of Maya Lin. Rubin discusses at length Lin’s most famous achievement, designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Chinese-American Lin was a reserved college student who entered and won the competition to design and build the memorial. Her youth and ethnicity were subjects of great controversy, and Rubin discusses how Lin fought to ensure her vision of the memorial remained intact. Other notable works by Lin, including the Civil Rights Memorial for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, a library and chapel for the Children’s Defense Fund, the Museum of Chinese in America, and the outdoor Wave Field project are examined but not in as much depth as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Attractively designed, the book is illustrated extensively with color photos and drawings.

An engaging, admiring, and insightful portrait of an uncompromising, civic-minded, visionary artist. (bibliography, source notes, index) (Biography. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4521-0837-7

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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