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

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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Some might guess at the baffling, heart-pounding conclusion, but when all the sidewalk characters from Miranda’s Manhattan...

WHEN YOU REACH ME

When Miranda’s best friend Sal gets punched by a strange kid, he abruptly stops speaking to her; then oddly prescient letters start arriving.

They ask for her help, saying, “I'm coming to save your friend's life, and my own.” Readers will immediately connect with Miranda’s fluid first-person narration, a mix of Manhattan street smarts and pre-teen innocence. She addresses the letter writer and recounts the weird events of her sixth-grade year, hoping to make sense of the crumpled notes. Miranda’s crystalline picture of her urban landscape will resonate with city teens and intrigue suburban kids. As the letters keep coming, Miranda clings to her favorite book, A Wrinkle in Time, and discusses time travel with Marcus, the nice, nerdy boy who punched Sal. Keen readers will notice Stead toying with time from the start, as Miranda writes in the present about past events that will determine her future.

Some might guess at the baffling, heart-pounding conclusion, but when all the sidewalk characters from Miranda’s Manhattan world converge amid mind-blowing revelations and cunning details, teen readers will circle back to the beginning and say, “Wow...cool.” (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: July 14, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-385-73742-5

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2009

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RED-EYED TREE FROG

Bishop’s spectacular photographs of the tiny red-eyed tree frog defeat an incidental text from Cowley (Singing Down the Rain, 1997, etc.). The frog, only two inches long, is enormous in this title; it appears along with other nocturnal residents of the rain forests of Central America, including the iguana, ant, katydid, caterpillar, and moth. In a final section, Cowley explains how small the frog is and aspects of its life cycle. The main text, however, is an afterthought to dramatic events in the photos, e.g., “But the red-eyed tree frog has been asleep all day. It wakes up hungry. What will it eat? Here is an iguana. Frogs do not eat iguanas.” Accompanying an astonishing photograph of the tree frog leaping away from a boa snake are three lines (“The snake flicks its tongue. It tastes frog in the air. Look out, frog!”) that neither advance nor complement the action. The layout employs pale and deep green pages and typeface, and large jewel-like photographs in which green and red dominate. The combination of such visually sophisticated pages and simplistic captions make this a top-heavy, unsatisfying title. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-87175-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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