Although it lacks a sense of passion, this app does a yeoman’s job of bringing Gandhi and his philosophy into...

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MAHATMA GANDHI INTERACTIVE BIOGRAPHY

An earnest survey of the life and thoughts of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known to the world as Mahatma.

This app is broken up into several distinct sections per the developer's standard approach: a gallery of photographs, a selection of narrated video shorts, a collection of quotes and a narrative text. Readers can engage by touching various highlighted words to learn more; these elaborations can range from squibs to longer sidebars. As introductions to historical figures go, this is a fairly solid one. Readers new to the man will be impressed by how many fronts he was active on: struggling against the injustices of colonialism as experienced in both South Africa and India; advocating nonviolent resistance to all forms of indignity and barbarity; promoting sacrifice, truth, lifelong learning, self-reliance, respect, simplicity and understanding. The text can skirt close to monotony at the endless mention of congresses and conventions attended, and some of the more challenging passages could stand additional investigation: “Insistence on truth makes no distinction between means and ends as they are inseparable....A follower of the principle of insistence on truth does not seek to destroy the relationship with the antagonist, but seeks to purify it.” The video clips are the strong suit here, with real transporting power.

Although it lacks a sense of passion, this app does a yeoman’s job of bringing Gandhi and his philosophy into focus. (Biography. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Touchzing Media

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2013

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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 TIGER RISING

Themes of freedom and responsibility twine between the lines of this short but heavy novel from the author of Because of Winn-Dixie (2000). Three months after his mother's death, Rob and his father are living in a small-town Florida motel, each nursing sharp, private pain. On the same day Rob has two astonishing encounters: first, he stumbles upon a caged tiger in the woods behind the motel; then he meets Sistine, a new classmate responding to her parents' breakup with ready fists and a big chip on her shoulder. About to burst with his secret, Rob confides in Sistine, who instantly declares that the tiger must be freed. As Rob quickly develops a yen for Sistine's company that gives her plenty of emotional leverage, and the keys to the cage almost literally drop into his hands, credible plotting plainly takes a back seat to character delineation here. And both struggle for visibility beneath a wagonload of symbol and metaphor: the real tiger (and the inevitable recitation of Blake's poem); the cage; Rob's dream of Sistine riding away on the beast's back; a mysterious skin condition on Rob's legs that develops after his mother's death; a series of wooden figurines that he whittles; a larger-than-life African-American housekeeper at the motel who dispenses wisdom with nearly every utterance; and the climax itself, which is signaled from the start. It's all so freighted with layers of significance that, like Lois Lowry's Gathering Blue (2000), Anne Mazer's Oxboy (1995), or, further back, Julia Cunningham's Dorp Dead (1965), it becomes more an exercise in analysis than a living, breathing story. Still, the tiger, "burning bright" with magnificent, feral presence, does make an arresting central image. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-7636-0911-0

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2001

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