A serviceable story of inspiration and the love between a boy and his pet.

HAATCHI & LITTLE B

THE INSPIRING TRUE STORY OF ONE BOY AND HIS DOG

A boy and his dog, finding new ways to encourage each other past their limitations.

We haven’t quite reached the point where bookstores have their own section for print versions of YouTube videos, but with hours of video being uploaded every second, there’s certainly no shortage of source material. While many videos become popular for esoteric reasons bewildering to anyone over the age of 20, some touch on a desire to see pockets of goodness in a world beset with bad news. One such video, viewed more than 2 million times, reminds us of the power of the connection between pets and people. Owen was an 8-year-old boy with a rare genetic disorder in which muscles are unable to relax after they contract. This can result in near paralysis, with muscles constantly overworked and difficult to control. Haatchi was an Anatolian dog named after a famous Japanese dog that returned to the same train station stop for years after his master had died, waiting for his master to disembark from the train. In January 2012, Haatchi was hit over the head and left to die on a train track; the train took one of his legs and most of his tail, but he managed to survive. His limitations made it difficult for him to interact with other dogs; Owen’s challenges made almost everything difficult for him. Together, they have been able to push past physical limitations to find new strength and satisfaction. Holden (Gifted and Talented, 2012, etc.) does an adequate job fleshing out the details of Owen’s treatments and Haatchi’s gradual ability to trust humans again, but she provides too much detail about the fame that Owen and Haatchi have found—e.g., receiving awards, giving a signature to Queen guitarist Brian May, etc.

A serviceable story of inspiration and the love between a boy and his pet.

Pub Date: July 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-250-06318-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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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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