An excellent resource for fostering cooperation as a force for positive social change.




A comprehensive guide for teaching young children cooperative skills in a competitive society.

Ideally, kids’ games should be fun for everyone. But in this book, Lyons (Empowering Young Voices for the Planet, 2014, etc.) points out that “all too often they are stress-ridden, competitive encounters that activate aggression and create divisions.” She asserts that cooperative games, on the other hand, show “the experience of inclusivity, mutual respect, and peaceful contact” as desirable qualities, thus preventing anti-social behavior. This resource guide lays out an easy-to-implement program to prevent bullying and other forms of aggression. Specifically, it includes instructions for 57 cooperative games, suggestions for incorporating collaborative skills in the classroom, and annotated research supporting the benefits of such efforts. In modern American culture, Lyons argues, “competition, like wallpaper, is so pervasive that we rarely notice it, let alone question it.” Yet she also says that decades of studies demonstrate a link between competition and aggression, which, in turn, can lead to bullying. Early chapters encourage a cooperative mindset in a variety of activities; they even offer tweaks to more competitive games such as tag or Simon Says. Later chapters delve into research that shows that cooperative games encourage prosocial actions. The games presented are well-organized and engaging; one can imagine the fun of “Giant Animals,” in which each child becomes part of a larger creature that moves as a single entity. Clear instructions include time estimates and emphasized skills, such as “understanding emotions.” The charming pen-and-ink illustrations and photographs of diverse children complement the upbeat tone. At times, Lyons’ own game company,, is featured a bit heavily, but she also explores other cooperative and bullying-prevention programs. Materials for teachers, including an explanatory letter to parents, a volunteer request form, and an informative games index (featuring each game’s title, type, number of players, and emphasized skills), make this book valuable for both its scholarship and its practicality.

An excellent resource for fostering cooperation as a force for positive social change.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9964188-1-2

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Better World Education

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2017

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.


A light-speed tour of (mostly) Western poetry, from the 4,000-year-old Gilgamesh to the work of Australian poet Les Murray, who died in 2019.

In the latest entry in the publisher’s Little Histories series, Carey, an emeritus professor at Oxford whose books include What Good Are the Arts? and The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books, offers a quick definition of poetry—“relates to language as music relates to noise. It is language made special”—before diving in to poetry’s vast history. In most chapters, the author deals with only a few writers, but as the narrative progresses, he finds himself forced to deal with far more than a handful. In his chapter on 20th-century political poets, for example, he talks about 14 writers in seven pages. Carey displays a determination to inform us about who the best poets were—and what their best poems were. The word “greatest” appears continually; Chaucer was “the greatest medieval English poet,” and Langston Hughes was “the greatest male poet” of the Harlem Renaissance. For readers who need a refresher—or suggestions for the nightstand—Carey provides the best-known names and the most celebrated poems, including Paradise Lost (about which the author has written extensively), “Kubla Khan,” “Ozymandias,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads, which “changed the course of English poetry.” Carey explains some poetic technique (Hopkins’ “sprung rhythm”) and pauses occasionally to provide autobiographical tidbits—e.g., John Masefield, who wrote the famous “Sea Fever,” “hated the sea.” We learn, as well, about the sexuality of some poets (Auden was bisexual), and, especially later on, Carey discusses the demons that drove some of them, Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath among them. Refreshingly, he includes many women in the volume—all the way back to Sappho—and has especially kind words for Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop, who share a chapter.

Necessarily swift and adumbrative as well as inclusive, focused, and graceful.

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-300-23222-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Yale Univ.

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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