Sweet but deafening, Emma’s contagious enthusiasm amplifies this wholesome fan letter for younger readers.

Emma G. Loves Boyz

A TRUE LOVE JOURNAL

The exuberant journal of a star-struck fan who vows to stop at nothing—even doing chores!—for a chance to see her favorite boy band perform live.

Thirteen-year-old Emma can’t believe her luck when her friend Jenny invites her to see Boyz3000 at their concert in the Bahamas. Surely once she finally meets lead singer Aaron, he’ll realize they were meant to be. Thankfully, Emma isn’t completely boy crazy: she’s also a budding writer who draws inspiration from Aaron’s song lyrics. Though Emma marks her journal with a dizzying amount of hysterical punctuation and all caps—“If I couldn’t go, I ACTUALLY MIGHT DIE!!!!”—she articulately defends her love for music to her teacher, Ms. Pinkens, who asks her to rewrite her essay on the subject. “With just some notes and some words, music can make you smile, or cry, or laugh or feel anything you can imagine,” Emma says. It’s refreshing to see a heroine with such a close-knit family: Emma’s parents are willing to indulge her fantasy but only if she earns some of the trip money herself; along the way, Emma’s sister Dianna and her 16-year-old cousin Elyse selflessly help Emma achieve her goal. Emma agrees to walk dogs and bake cookies to raise funds for her plane ticket—her parents offer to put money toward it, too—but her efforts don’t yield immediate results, teaching her valuable lessons about perseverance, honesty, and the cost of doing business. Meanwhile, teenage angst runs high as Emma’s trip sparks jealousy among the other girls in her class, and a realistic game of one-upmanship ensues. Once she’s in the Bahamas, Emma learns to align her expectations with reality as she and Jenny scour the resort, looking for Aaron. But this gentle depiction of young love offers a glimmer of hope in an otherwise hopeless celebrity crush. Emma meets a cute boy who might make her forget what she came for and remember why she loves to write.

Sweet but deafening, Emma’s contagious enthusiasm amplifies this wholesome fan letter for younger readers.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2015

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Red Sky Presents

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2015

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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