For so little a subject, such a crushing weight of words. (Nonfiction enhanced e-book. 12 & up)

HELLO, NANO

A dry, verbose attempt to drum up interest in nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is involved with structures and crystals at the atomic level, with the construction of teeny-weeny things that have a big impact in the everyday world, from running shoes to cancer research. Problems start cropping up from the get-go: In attempting to explain the wee nature of the nano—pictured here as a sort of atomic marble in musketeer gloves and boots—the authors go overboard. After one explanation: “That’s still pretty hard to picture, though, so let’s try this.” Then, a couple paragraphs later, “Let’s try explaining Nano’s size in another way.” Let’s not; we get the picture. Really small. The text is relentless and endless, and hopes that enhancements—few and far between—will come to the rescue are thwarted with mostly meaningless animated clips, though high marks are given for reproductions from electron and scanning-probe microscopes. Then comes a short visit with Richard Feynman that fails to explore his quirkiness or why he thought small was the wave of the future, and next a long litany of how nanoscience will affect everything from medical research to hockey sticks and cosmetics. But when you have to write to your audience, “I don’t know about you, but I think the idea of using magnetism to focus a beam of electrons on an atom is really cool,” that’s what is known as dead in the water.

For so little a subject, such a crushing weight of words. (Nonfiction enhanced e-book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: July 30, 2012

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: 2Lux Media

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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SMILE

Telgemeier has created an utterly charming graphic memoir of tooth trauma, first crushes and fickle friends, sweetly reminiscent of Judy Blume’s work. One night, Raina trips and falls after a Girl Scout meeting, knocking out her two front teeth. This leads to years of painful surgeries, braces, agonizing root canals and other oral atrocities. Her friends offer little solace through this trying ordeal, spending more of their time teasing than comforting her. After years of these girls’ constant belittling, Raina branches out and finds her own voice and a new group of friends. Young girls will relate to her story, and her friend-angst is palpable. Readers should not overlook this seemingly simply drawn work; the strong writing and emotionally expressive characters add an unexpected layer of depth. As an afterword, the author includes a photo of her smiling, showing off the results of all of the years of pain she endured. Irresistible, funny and touching—a must read for all teenage girls, whether en-braced or not. (Graphic memoir. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-13205-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Bantam Discovery

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2010

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THE BIG NOTHING

From the Neighborhood series , Vol. 3

Big brother Duane is off in boot camp, and Justin is left trying to hold the parental units together. Fat, acne-ridden, and missing his best friend Ben, who’s in the throes of his first boy-girl relationship with Cass, Justin’s world is dreary. It gets worse when he realizes that all of his mother’s suspicions about his father are probably true, and that Dad may not return from his latest business trip. Surprisingly ultra-cool Jemmie, who is also missing her best friend, Cass, actually recognizes his existence and her grandmother invites Justin to use their piano in the afternoons when Jemmie’s at cross-country practice. The “big nothing” place, where Justin retreats in time of trouble, is a rhythmic world and soon begins to include melody and provide Justin with a place to express himself. Practice and discipline accompany this gradual exploration of his talent. The impending war in Iraq gives this story a definite place in time, and its distinct characters make it satisfying and surprisingly realistic. Misfit finds fit. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2004

ISBN: 1-56145-326-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2004

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