A rich, compelling story of the many people who stood up to racial inequality, risking significant danger and hardship for...

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BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION

A FIGHT FOR SIMPLE JUSTICE

This behind-the-scenes story of the people and events leading to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education's Supreme Court decision shows that even if the justice sought may be simple, getting it is long and complicated.

Rubin begins with the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision and the legally sanctioned lie of “separate but equal” that, along with Jim Crow, established a long era of American apartheid. The hero of the story is, of course, Thurgood Marshall, but Rubin gives other significant players their due, including NAACP attorneys Robert L. Carter and Spotswood Robinson and psychologist Kenneth Clark (all three African-American). Rubin explains that, although known as Brown v. Board of Education, the case applied not just to that of Linda Brown, a black third-grader refused entry to an all-white Topeka, Kansas, school, but to cases involving children in South Carolina, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. This clear and concise chronicle explains each of these cases, the plaintiffs involved, and how, through the careful strategizing by the NAACP, they culminated in the Brown decision. She includes a complete text of the 14th Amendment and summaries of the cases and notes that the long, painful struggle for integration to ensure equality continues to this day.

A rich, compelling story of the many people who stood up to racial inequality, risking significant danger and hardship for the cause of justice. (photos, timeline, bibliography, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3646-0

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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Sympathetic in tone, optimistic in outlook, not heavily earnest: nothing to be afraid of.

SCARED STIFF

50 PHOBIAS THAT FREAK US OUT

Part browsing item, part therapy for the afflicted, this catalog of irrational terrors offers a little help along with a lot of pop psychology and culture.

The book opens with a clinical psychologist’s foreword and closes with a chapter of personal and professional coping strategies. In between, Latta’s alphabetically arranged encyclopedia introduces a range of panic-inducers from buttons (“koumpounophobia”) and being out of cellphone contact (“nomophobia”) to more widespread fears of heights (“acrophobia”), clowns (“coulroiphobia”) and various animals. There’s also the generalized “social anxiety disorder”—which has no medical name but is “just its own bad self.” As most phobias have obscure origins (generally in childhood), similar physical symptoms and the same approaches to treatment, the descriptive passages tend toward monotony. To counter that, the author chucks in references aplenty to celebrity sufferers, annotated lists of relevant books and (mostly horror) movies, side notes on “joke phobias” and other topics. At each entry’s end, she contributes a box of “Scare Quotes” such as a passage from Coraline for the aforementioned fear of buttons.

Sympathetic in tone, optimistic in outlook, not heavily earnest: nothing to be afraid of. (end notes, resource list) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-936976-49-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing.

THE AMAZING BOOK IS NOT ON FIRE

THE WORLD OF DAN AND PHIL

A couple more YouTube stars write a book.

Howell, who goes by "danisnotonfire," and "AmazingPhil" Lester are the latest YouTube stars hoping to cross over to the world of books. Instead of crafting a memoir or adapting their videos into a fictional series, the duo have filled these 225 pages with bold graphics, scatological humor, and quirky how tos that may entice their fan base but will leave everyone else out in the cold. It contains a wide variety of nonsense, ranging from Phil's chat logs to information on breeding hamsters. There's an emoji-only interview and some Dan/Phil fanfiction (by Howell rather than a fan) and even a full double-page spread of the pair's unsuccessful selfies. All this miscellany is shoveled in without much rhyme or reason following introductory pages that clearly introduce the pair as children, leaving readers who aren't in on the joke completely out of the loop. The authors make no attempt to bring in those on the outside, but in all honesty, why should they? The only people buying this book are kids who already love everything Dan and Phil do or clueless relatives in desperate search of a gift for the awkward teens in their lives. The book's biggest fault is its apparent laziness. It feels like something slapped together over a weekend, with no heart or soul.   

A loud, cynical cash grab—far from amazing. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-101-93984-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2015

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