"I will not": this brief book shows the positive power in a negative.

I WILL NOT

A heartfelt lament by a Palestinian writer is paired to evocative images by an Israeli illustrator.

The recurring image of a dead bird appears on the book's cover and twice again within this call for a halt to violence. The speaker appeals to common humanity in urging readers to join her in the titular refusal to kill: "I see mothers wailing for the loss of their children. / I see children grasping the air seeking the comforting arms of their slain mothers. / I see fathers burying their babies in white cloths." Eitan's mixed-media paintings play with symbolism and, appropriately, negative space. A tank faces a flowering cactus; the silhouette of a child holds a doll in her lap, blood streaming down from her scalp. While Farouky's verse is uneven, rhymed portions featuring some clumsy wording and halting rhythms, it is nevertheless sincere, and Eitan's art speaks volumes itself. In paired closing images, two women reach out to each other: in the first, dark silhouettes appear against a red sky and a leafless tree; with the turn of the page, they appear in full color under a blue sky and pink-blossoming tree. Translations of the poem in Hebrew and Arabic follow the text in the English edition along with background on the poem, and there are separate Hebrew and Arabic editions as well.

"I will not": this brief book shows the positive power in a negative. (Picture book. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-63083-540-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: StarWalk Kids Media

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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A change of pace from the teeming swarms of fantasy and paranormal romance but too underpowered to achieve escape velocity.

FUTUREDAZE

AN ANTHOLOGY OF YA SCIENCE FICTION

A low-wattage collection of original stories and poems, as unmemorable as it is unappealingly titled.

The collection was inspired by a perceived paucity of short science fiction for teen readers, and its production costs were covered by a Kickstarter campaign. The editors gather a dozen poems and 21 stories from a stable of contributors who, after headliners Jack McDevitt and Nancy Holder, will be largely unknown even to widely read fans of the genre. The tales place their characters aboard spacecraft or space stations, on other worlds or in future dystopias, but only rarely do the writers capture a credibly adolescent voice or sensibility. Standouts in this department are the Heinlein-esque “The Stars Beneath Our Feet,” by Stephen D. Covey & Sandra McDonald, about a first date/joyride in space gone wrong, and Camille Alexa’s portrait of a teen traumatized by a cyberspace assault (“Over It”). Along with a few attempts to craft futuristic slang, only Lavie Tidhar’s fragmentary tale of Tel Aviv invaded by successive waves of aliens, doppelgangers, zombies and carnivorous plants (“The Myriad Dangers”) effectively lightens the overall earnest tone. Aside from fictional aliens and modified humans, occasional references to dark skin (“Out of the Silent Sea,” Dale Lucas) are the only signs of ethnic diversity. Most of the free-verse poetry makes only oblique, at best, references to science-fictional themes.

A change of pace from the teeming swarms of fantasy and paranormal romance but too underpowered to achieve escape velocity. (author bios) (Science fiction/short stories. 12-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9847824-0-8

Page Count: 290

Publisher: Underwords

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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DEATH BENEFITS

In this character-driven intergenerational story, Royce Peterson and his single mother have recently moved from Nova Scotia to British Columbia to help care for Arthur, Royce’s 95-year-old grandfather and one of the greatest cellists of the 20th century. After the curmudgeon chases off every aide, the teen is enlisted to watch his grandfather. At first the homesick, friendless and mono-recovering teen and his homebound, rude and crude grandfather are at odds, but then Royce gains new appreciation for Arthur—he caroused with Gloria Vanderbilt and Picasso, traveled the world, loved and lost loves—and Arthur begins to appreciate life again. But just as the pair begins to respect each other, Arthur suffers a series of debilitating strokes and asks Royce to end his life. Inspired by her experience caring for her aged father, Harvey offers a realistic view of the aging process, the difficult decisions left to loved ones and the need for friends and family. Sophisticated readers and fans of Joan Bauer’s Rules of the Road (1998) or Louis Sachar's The Cardturner (2010) will enjoy the grandfather-grandson banter and tenderness. (Fiction. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-55146-226-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2010

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