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$12.99 $7.95 list($19.11)
141. Harpo Speaks . . . About New York
$24.99 $19.57
142. One More Mission: A Journey from
$38.95 $19.95
143. Mozart in Italy
$10.85 $9.95 list($15.95)
144. Vertigo (The Cross-Cultural Memoir
$9.75 $3.96 list($13.00)
145. A Tuscan Childhood
$13.95
146. Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers
$20.00
147. My Green Years Along the Rappahannock
$13.57 $7.73 list($19.95)
148. Of Men and Mountains: The Classic
$25.00 $4.37
149. Half-Jew : A Daughter's Search
$17.16 $12.98 list($26.00)
150. Pictures of Home : A Memoir of
$14.95
151. Dakota Boy: A Childhood in Memory
$14.95
152. War and Innocence : A Young Girl's
$18.45 $16.77 list($27.95)
153. Gods of Noonday: A White Girl's
$13.95 $8.36
154. Redemption of the Shattered: A
$11.53 $6.25 list($16.95)
155. Indigenous : Growing up Californian
$23.77 $23.30 list($34.95)
156. Displaced Person: A Girl's Life
$7.69 list($16.95)
157. The Education of Little Tree
$15.61 $5.69 list($22.95)
158. My Faraway Home: An American Family's
$13.98 $10.84
159. Lost Innocence: A Daughter's Account
$2.69 list($23.95)
160. Motherland: Beyond the Holocaust

141. Harpo Speaks . . . About New York
by Harpo Marx, Rowland Barber, E. L. Doctorow
list price: $19.11
our price: $12.99
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Asin: 1892145065
Catlog: Book (2001-02-09)
Publisher: Little Bookroom
Sales Rank: 269058
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

One hundred years ago, little Adolph ("Harpo") Marx was literally tossed out of Miss Flatto's second grade classroom and onto a life on the streets of New York. His unceremonious exit from the New York City public school system set in motion a chain of events which Harpo describes with an engaging mixture of sweetness and hilarity in this memoir of a child's life in an immigrant family at the turn of the century. With New York City as his classroom, Harpo taught himself to read by deciphering the signs at the pool parlor and to tell time by watching the hands of the brewery clock. Such lessons were squeezed between more pressing concerns -- how to duck the neighborhood bullies or keep a half-step ahead of his brother Chico. E. L. Doctorow's introduction recalls his own childhood affection for Harpo's antics and foresees, in the chaos and unpredictabiliity of the comedian's early years, the source of his surrealistic and anarchic comedy. Harpo Speaks...About New York paints an unforgettable portrait of the dawn of an extraordinary talent, set against the evocative, sepia-toned landscape of turn-of-the-century Manhattan. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Sweetness and understanding of a great family
This may be an excerpt from a larger work, of which I'm unfamiliar. I have to judge it simply on what's before me. As one who thinks New York is the most civilized city on the planet though not as beautiful as Sydney, Australia, and who grew up, with millions of others, loving Harpo Marx, I loved this (little book). It is quite atmospheric and gives a very clear understanding of where the Marx Brothers got their drive and energy - Mother Minnie (stagestruck) and Father Frenchie (Housekeeper, tailor and cook). It is also a resounding example of the power of family. A very sweet and companiable edition by The Little Bookroom. Would make a very sweet gift as well.

2-0 out of 5 stars Just an extract
Buy the book "Harpo Speaks". This is merely a coffee table extract from the FULL book, available... ... Read more


142. One More Mission: A Journey from Childhood to War
by Jesse Pettey
list price: $24.99
our price: $24.99
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Asin: 1401019331
Catlog: Book (2001-12-01)
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Sales Rank: 668282
Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book about life during WWII
With a special interest in World War II and the 461st Bombardment Group in particular, I found this book excellent. Most of the men who fought during WWII were in their late teens and early 20s. It's amazing to be able to read about their activities.

5-0 out of 5 stars One More Mission
I highly recommend this book for readers of any age.However it was particularly interesting to me as a fellow member of the same squadron and group. We were both on many of the same missions and his recollections matched my own. An excellent contrast of what bomb raids were like in those days with 700-800 bombers compared to more precision bombing done today with far, far fewer planes.
The first half of the book describes life in the 20's, 30's and 40's in Texas. Although my experiences were in NJ many were similar and for those not living in those times a glimpse of what it was like.

5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting reading.
I really enjoyed reading about this young boy's life in east Texas during the Depression. Gives one a good idea of what life was really like back then. The small town boy then grows up to go fight in a world war as a bomber pilot. Interesting accounts of each mission he flew over Europe. A well-written book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sightful For All
Great reading about a boy growing up during the Depression only
to face WWII after highschool.
If you read this book I guarantee you'll finish with a better
understanding of our American history, how life was back then,
and a new appreciation for our lives today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Reading for All
Memories of one Man`s Life During the Great Depression and accounts of his flying missions during WWII. ... Read more


143. Mozart in Italy
by Iwo Zauski, Pamela Zaluski, Iwo Zaluski, Pamela Zauski
list price: $38.95
our price: $38.95
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Asin: 0720610397
Catlog: Book (1998-01-01)
Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
Sales Rank: 1569781
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144. Vertigo (The Cross-Cultural Memoir Series)
by Louise DeSalvo, Edvige Guinta
list price: $15.95
our price: $10.85
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Asin: 1558613951
Catlog: Book (2002-09-30)
Publisher: The Cross-Cultural Memoir Series
Sales Rank: 75349
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1989, Louise DeSalvo stunned the literary world with an unflinching portrait of Virginia Woolf that at last unraveled the mystery of Woolf’s “madness,” reinterpreting her life and work in light of the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. This acclaimed critic, biographer, and novelist – who has won accolades for her explorations of the relationship between writers’ lives and their work, and between great literature and our lives as readers – sifts through painful memories of her own past to expose the fear and fury, unspoken truths and unresolved conflicts at the heart of her family life. Devastated by the suicide of her sister, hoping to come to terms with the grief and guilt and terror evoked by that desperate act and by the continuing depression and periodic breakdowns of her mother, Louise DeSalvo has written, VERTIGO , a family memoir of her voyage to self-discovery. Written with an honesty that is as rare as it is unsettling, VERTIGO is a challenging example of a woman writing her life in a manner that defies convention and refuses to suppress the truth of female experience.Offering inspiration and a healthy dose of subversion, this personal story of a writer’s life is also a study of the alchemy between lived experience and creativity and the life-transforming possibilities of this process. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An engaging look at the impact of depression on a life.
Louise DeSalvo's memoir captivates the reader.It offers an honest portrayal of depression's effects on her life, as well as the lives of her more clinically depressed mother and sister.

DeSalvo transforms the pain of her life into art.This is an inspirational story that will allow you a deeper look into the effect depression has had on this brilliant Virginia Woolf scholar. ... Read more


145. A Tuscan Childhood
by KINTA BEEVOR
list price: $13.00
our price: $9.75
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Asin: 0375704264
Catlog: Book (2000-02-08)
Publisher: Vintage
Sales Rank: 206652
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Wonderful...I fell immediately into her world, and was sorry when I reached the end." --Frances Mayes, author of Under the Tuscan Sun


The sparkling memoir of an idyllic, bohemian childhood in an enchanted Tuscan castle between the wars.

When Kinta Beeevor was five, her father, the painter Aubrey Waterfield, bought the sixteenth-century Fortezza della Brunella in the Tuscan village of Aulla. There her parents were part of a vibrant artistic community that included Aldous Huxley, Bernard Berenson, and D. H. Lawrence. Meanwhile, Kinta and her brother explored the glorious countryside, participated in the region's many seasonal rites and rituals, and came to know and love the charming, resilient Italian people. With the coming of World War II the family had to leave Aulla; years later, though, Kinta would return to witness the courage and skill of the Tuscan people as they rebuilt their lives. Lyrical and witty, A Tuscan Childhood is alive with the timeless splendour of Italy.
... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars MEMORIES OF A GARDEN IN THE SKY
GIST: A high-society British family resides in a castle in Italy at the beginning of the twentieth century. Written by the late Kinta Beevor (whoever SHE was). HAMMOCK-TIME: You'll need several days' rest in your hammock, or beach chair to finish it. Some sections are sluggish. Yet the insightful characterization of people, countryside, and events is a potent incentive to finish the book. SKIMMING QUOTIENT: You might easily skip a section towards the end, an overemphasized recollection of the author's jaded coming-of-age society years. STYLE: Interesting blend of the stiff British upper-lip attitude and subtle, dry humor, with a more down-to-earth vulnerability gained, as if by osmosis, from the Italian staff members whom Ms. Beevor befriended. SUBSTANCE: Intriguing, at times, humorous exploration of a childhood in Italy, as part of an expatriate British family. My favorite passages center on a roof-garden, that became an idyllic retreat for the family and their guests. QUIBBLES: Is there anyone the author or her relatives didn't know, in high society during those early eras of the century? The name-dropping gets a bit much, but does not really affect the overall charm of the book. BROWNIE POINTS: I was happy to see that Ms. Beevor engages only rarely in patronizing behaviour towards Italians. She seems to enjoy learning from them, absorbing their knowledge of the land. It's a surprising feat, viewed against the aloofness that the rest of her family, and the rigid social class in which she is reared, displays. As an Italian-American, I find her attitudes refreshing. Sometimes I worry about Italy: all these rich foreignors settling, usually in Tuscany, where they are squeamish about the food, the art, the social structure, the Italianness (horrors!) of natives of Italy. Haven't we read enough books by that sort? COMPLEMENTARY BOOKS: There's a current barrel of books on Tuscany. Perhaps you might approach the region from a different angle. Try exploring one book entitled, Tuscany: The Beautiful Cookbook, which displays memorable photos and recipes. Logistically, it's a huge book, reminiscent of how delightfully big our books seemed to us as children, in managing the pages. The dishes outlined are intriguing - every one I tried turned out delicious so far, although it's a chore stuffing those closed-petal squash blossoms (yes, stuffing them). # # #

3-0 out of 5 stars Charming memoir of how Tuscany used to be
"A Tuscan Childhood" has the flavour of an oral history and is a little like listening to your favorite grand aunt's stories of her days gone by - a little rambling, punctuated with references that aren't too relevant, but with the occasional flash of charm that livens the account.

The book is at its most interesting when she recounts Tuscan village life and food before WWII, and how the war affected the Italians of Aulla and Florence. But while one half of the title is "Tuscan", the other half is "Childhood", and Kinta Beevor also takes us through her memories of her family and their friends, and her growing up years, and unfortunately, her writing was never incisive or lively enough to interest me in the lives of people I never knew and would never know. Here, the book just reads like the indulgent memoirs of a diarist, penning a personal account of her history for her family.

Worthwhile reading only for its very personal account of a Tuscany that (as is made evident in the last chapter) has disappeared or is disappearing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
Kinta Beevor, author of only this book, comes from a family of writers, including her son, the reknown author, Antony Beevor. It must be a genetic feature that families produce wonderful writers.
She draws you into her world, like a welcoming friend. You will experience historic events and the world as it was in Tuscany in the 19th century and the early 20th century. You will get to know many of the distinguished and famous persons who visited the Waterfields and best of all, you will become acquainted with "Aunt Janet", the famous English writer, Janet Ross.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Tuscany and in warm and inviting family experiences and how they are influenced by world events.

4-0 out of 5 stars Charming story of one woman's love for all things Italian
The only book Kinta Beevor ever wrote, it was perhaps the only book she could have written. Her obvious love for her magical childhood in Tuscany (esp the years before she was shipped off to England for school) shines forth from every paragraph as she recounts her life as one of the benignly-neglected children of a pair of English aristocrats who owned a 15th century castle, the Fortezza della Brunella, as well as a villa above Florence.
Centered around two very different periods of the author's life, the rural castle and the more urban villa, A Tuscan Childhood is full of famous people (her parents were part of the literati), beloved peasant farm workers, nursemaids, and Aunt Janet, upon whose death the villa falls into the hands of Ms. Beevor's mother.
Toward the end, in diatribes against Mussolini, the Allies, death taxes, and everything and everyone else, an old lady's peevishness with changing times mars what is otherwise a lovely and evocative piece of writing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Out of Italy.....
Prior to her death, Kinta Beevor wrote only one book -- A TUSCAN CHILDHOOD -- which would have been better titled "My Life in Tuscany" as it really is the tale of her connection to Tuscany over period of 40 years that included her childhood. Beevor, whose maiden name was Waterfield, was the daughter Aubrey the artist and his wife Lina Gordon, both British ex-pats who lived and worked in Italy during the first half of the 20th Century. The family owned the fabulous 15th Century Fortezza della Brunella which the family called "the castle" and Lina inherited Poggio Gherardo which was almost as old. Both properties came with extensive farm lands. As a result the Waterfields lived lives of comfort -- socializing with the rich and famous (D.H.Lawrence for one) and feeding them to-die-for meals and sending their much neglected children back to England for schooling.

Though I became weary of name-dropping, I found Beevor's book an enjoyable read. Her mention of various rich and famous folks is as natural as can be--just tiresome in the same way a story told over and over by an older person can be. She says her son encouraged her to write down what she could remember, and I suspect he did so after he heard her stories several times. Fortunately, someone had the good sense to publish the book for a wider audience.

Ms. Beevor obviously loved Tuscany--her father's castle where the family restored and maintained a beautiful garden on the roof, her mother's house which Beevor's mother gained the use of on the death of her Aunt Janet, and the beautiful Tuscan countryside. Beevor's description of the sea as the train approached Aulla for her summer vacations from school in England is as well written as anything Lawrence ever wrote, and no doubt she was quite knowledgeable of his works given he was a family friend.

After WWII, faced with death duties on the Poggio Gherardo following the death of Beevor's brother John, and huge expenses owing to the damage inflicted on both properties during the war (the retreating Nazis and the encroaching Allies made a mess, the latter found an autographed photo of Mussolini in the castle and wrecked havoc) the family was forced to sell up and return to England.

Beevor's book contains passages that reminded me of bitter-sweet scenes in "The English Patient", the "Jewel in the Crown", "Tea With Mussolini", "Out of Africa", "Room With a View" and other works written by European ex-pats returned to their home of origin. Ms Beevor was undoubtedly well read and understood the withdrawal of the British Empire following WWII, and in her closing chapters she shares her thoughts about the effect of that withdrawal on Italy. Italy of course was not a colony, but the British had truly made themselves at home in Italy before the war (and may have done so once again). ... Read more


146. Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town (Ohio History and Culture (Paperback))
by Joyce Dyer
list price: $13.95
our price: $13.95
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Asin: 1931968179
Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
Publisher: University of Akron Press
Sales Rank: 258678
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars a stunning achievement
I was deeply moved by Joyce Dyer's tribute to her father, an expression of love that manages to eschew mere sentimentality.
What is impressive is that Gum-Dipped succeeds on another level entirely. Lots of books claim to be about the sense of place, or urban tissue, or the urban experience (as opposed to form), but not very many deliver on that promise. Gum-Dipped really does convey a sense of what it meant to grow up in Akron during the 1950s and 60s--of what it meant to live in a company town, to count on Harvey Firestone to see you through, and to be betrayed in the end. ... Read more


147. My Green Years Along the Rappahannock
by Thomas Russell G. Rice
list price: $20.00
our price: $20.00
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Asin: 1889074098
Catlog: Book (2001-05)
Publisher: Elk Horn Press
Sales Rank: 588646
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148. Of Men and Mountains: The Classic Memoir of Wilderness Adventure
by William O. Douglas
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 1585743968
Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Sales Rank: 152231
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Book Description

When Bill Douglas was a child, he nearly died of infantile paralysis. To build back the strength in his wasted legs, he started hiking through the sage-covered foothills around his home in Yakima, Washington. The cure worked; and year by year he pushed his explorations further into the tangled, rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest.

Of Men and Mountains is a book of personal adventure and discovery - an account of the way Douglas and other men managed to find a richer life in the mountains, and how they found something else besides. Its pages are filled with the stories of the sheepherders, Native Americans, fishermen, and foresters who learned to survive in the wilderness, to enjoy it, and to learn the secret of the true serenity of spirit. ... Read more


149. Half-Jew : A Daughter's Search For Her Family's Buried Past
by Susan Jacoby
list price: $25.00
our price: $25.00
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Asin: 068483250X
Catlog: Book (2000-05-05)
Publisher: Scribner
Sales Rank: 602091
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

What is a child's emotional legacy when one parent's origins are treated as a shameful secret? This is the provocative question addressed by Susan Jacoby in a probing work of personal memory and social history that excavates four generations of lies and secrets in her father's accomplished but deeply insecure New York German Jewish family.

Blending meticulous historical research with compassionate emotional insight, this writer of "fierce intelligence and a nimble, unfettered imagination" (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times) not only reclaims the family's past but also offers a beautifully nuanced close-up of a bond between a father and daughter.

The author knew from early childhood that her father was a Roman Catholic convert but never knew he had been born a Jew. Yet she sensed, growing up Catholic in the 1950s in Michigan, that there were missing pieces in her father's -- and her own -- story.

In search of her family's real history, Jacoby mined New York newspaper and university archives, which yielded a rich cast of characters, beginning in 1849 with the arrival of her great-grandfather from Germany. We meet her tormented grandfather, who built a brilliant legal career in the early 1900s but gambled away a fortune and died a cocaine addict in 1931; her great-uncle Harold, a distinguished astronomer whose map of the constellations still shines brightly on the ceiling of New York's Grand Central Terminal; and her beloved uncle Ozzie, the famous bridge champion Oswald Jacoby.

Half-Jew breaks new ground by exploring the link between personal shame -- the gambling compulsion that haunted four generations of Jacobymen -- and the social shame that impelled an entire family to deny its Jewishness. With unflinchinghonesty, and in tender but unsentimental prose, Susan Jacoby explores the damage inflicted by intimate lies and the rich opportunities for repair when a parent and an adult child face long-buried truths. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating book
This was an amazing book.I am always interested in books about Jews who convert or who move away from Judaism because my parents, Holocaust survivors, subliminally encouraged assimilation and intermarriage among their children, although not conversion.Ms. Jacoby's analysis of all topics, no matter how brutally honest she had to be, was incredible to read.This book comes out of her journalism background and yet it doesn't read like journalism, it reads like an amazing journey...All in all, I learned much from this book.I learned a history of the German Jewish immigrants that I had never heard before, the history of our own country's anti-semitism, and about pre-Vatican II Catholicism, among other topics.The book put a personal stamp on these topics; it's impossible for me now to judge the "Aunt Edith's" for converting, not when the conversion came out of genuine faith.The book also inspires me to read more about the Holocaust, which I have avoided due to my parents' experiences.Although Ms. Jacoby says you can't stop being a Jew, which I believe, I also believe that if enough generations intermarry, their Jewishness will eventually disappear and they will hide successfully.Maybe not from Nuremberg Laws, but certainly within the pluralism of American society.

3-0 out of 5 stars Repetitious, no surprises
I had to quit reading this book at page 189. Terminal boredom had set in. I wish Jacoby had written her book in chronological order instead of dividing the chapters by subject matter. Maybe then I would not have had to hear over and over about her nasty grandmother, brilliant uncle and unloving grandfather. I never felt like I knew these people or empathized with their emotions. Jacoby added some interesting insights into the history of Jewish-Americans, but not enough to support a book-length account of her ordinary 1950s childhood. Turbulent Souls by Stephen Dubner and A Good Enough Daughter by Aliz Kates Shulman are far better examples of this genre.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brutal Honesty
Wow!Susan Jacoby has written a fantastic account of her childhood and her family's history.She thoroughly documents her emotions, thoughts, and historical facts.The reader only wants to support her and discover intrinsic truths regarding their own heritage.A good book for people of all religious backgrounds.

5-0 out of 5 stars An uniquely impressive, engaging, poignant biography.
Half-Jew is Susan Jacoby's impressive, highly recommended family historyin which she shares a meticulous historical research into the suppressedJudaic roots of her personal genealogy. In these pages, Susan writes withcompassion, emotional insight, and candor about her father (who was a RomanCatholic convert) and her own search for ancestral roots that led her tothe discovery of her German Jewish grand-grandfather who arrived inAmerican in 1849, her tormented grandfather who built a brilliant legalcareer in the early 1900s only to gamble it away and die a cocaineaddiction in 1941, of her great-uncle Harold, a distinguished astronomywhose map of the constellations still shines up on the ceiling of NewYork's Grand Central Terminal, and her beloved uncle Oswald Jacoby, afamous bridge champion. Susan also explores the damage inflicted byintimate parental lies, and the rich opportunities for redress when aparent and an adult child face long-buried truths about themselves and whothey are.

5-0 out of 5 stars a must read for the mischlinge among us
I always pick up books on being part Jewish, if only to counter the religious view that there is no such thing. Flipping through Susan Jacoby's book, I really identified with her feelings about uncovering a hidden Jewish past (my own "Russian" grandfather was Jewish) andgambling (he was a bookie). I'm more convinced than ever that "partJewish" is a valid identity. But the most startling part was torealize that Susan is a cousin of my best friend in college, Mary JacobySimpson. Weird small world... ... Read more


150. Pictures of Home : A Memoir of Family and City
by Douglas Bukowski
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
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Asin: 1566635918
Catlog: Book (2004-09-25)
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
Sales Rank: 154672
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Book Description

Pictures of Home is based on photographs that were stored on a shelf in the bedroom closet where Douglas Bukowski grew up. The pictures tell about a husband, wife, their children, and the inevitability of change. A story of a family and a city, told affectionately and endearingly by one who is part of both. ... Read more


151. Dakota Boy: A Childhood in Memory
by Robert Woutat
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
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Asin: 0595284477
Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
Publisher: iUniverse
Sales Rank: 756400
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In Dakota Boy, a skilled writer gives a thoughtful, entertaining account of his childhood in North DakotaÂ’s Red River Valley in the 1940Â’s and early Â’50Â’s, depicting the haphazard, often comical, hit-and-miss process by which the child and adolescent tries to build an identity. Along the way, he traces the gradual expansion of social consciousness, explores his puzzling, unsatisfying relationship with his distant, taciturn father, and shows the indelible, inescapable influence of the Northern Plains environment: the severe climate, the table flat fields of potatoes and wheat under an intimidating expanse of sky, and the mid century strictures of Scandinavian-Lutheran conservatism.

In the end, he says, “I realized that trying to shake my past was futile, that like it or not I’d just have to go through life with a certain amount of North Dakota on my shoes.”

“…a funny, moving, vividly written book…”Bob Hagerty, The Wall Street Journal.

“As amusing as Fargo – but this is real life in North Dakota …a discerning reminiscence written with insight and humor…will jog nostalgic childhood memories for every reader.”Sally Maran, Smithsonian Magazine.

... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Dakota Boy Strikes Familiar Chords
As a contemporary of Robert Woutat, I found that Dakota Boy resonated with my own Minnesota memories of the forties and fifties. His relaxed, conversational rendering of Grand Forks half a century ago is utterly unpretentious but wonderfully concrete and evocative. Like good literature of all kinds, Dakota Boy is both true to its unique coordinates of place and time, and universal in many respects. At moments in this memoir we laugh; at moments we mourn the passing of a way of life; and at moments we feel that in some ways we have grown as a culture in the last half-century. I was sorry to finish the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An entertaining and insightful story
This book is a well written, entertaining and poignant account of growing up in the Upper Midwest in the post-Depression, WW II era. It is especially memorable for those growing up in that era and region but also provides an insight into what growing up in general was like during the more simple and structured first half of the 20th Century in contrast to the progressive and socially tumultuous times soon to be experienced.

The author also provides an historical account of the ethnic and environmental factors that shaped the inhabitants of the region and personalizes it in a way that leads us to understand how this lineage fostered the culture and behavior in that part of our country. He articulates this legacy especially well with his description of the unwritten precepts or commandments - starting with Thou shalt not put thy emotions on display - "that became the ground rules for all of our social intercourse, including friendship and even marriage".

This book will be a delight for general-interest readers but most especially for those who experienced growing up in a similar place and time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Review for Rob Woutat's "Dakota Boy."
Born in 1938 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Rob Woutat (rhymes with Utah) grew up in an age when kids were allowed to be kids, learning life-lessons sometimes the hard way, and having to "stand on [their] own without parental supports or buttresses." All throughout the narrative are references to historical and cultural elements (WWII, the Korean War, the death of Stalin, Eisenhower, the McCarthy era, Krushev, the payola scandal, Mickey Mantle, sock hops, Butch Wax, and Brylchreme), providing a rich backdrop and a wonderful sense of time and place in the context of a sheltered Dakotan upbringing. Highly recommended! ... Read more


152. War and Innocence : A Young Girl's Life in Occupied Norway
by Hanna Aasvik Helmersen
list price: $14.95
our price: $14.95
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Asin: 1883697972
Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
Publisher: Hara Publishing Group
Sales Rank: 358134
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

War and Innocence is a World War II memoir written from the perspective of a young girl.Author Hanna Aasvik Helmersen, only eight years old when the war began, offers us an extremely clear picture of the Norwegian experience through the war years. Ms. Helmersen writes in a simple strong style.There are no clichs, no attempts at drama.Hanna is Everychild, uninhibited in this direct, almost understated account.She tells of the massacres, the deprivation, the cold and hunger, the helplessness she sensed in the grown-ups.But she also recalls the songs they sang and the games they played, the friends, the folk stories and family celebrations. War and Innocence is a fine and very personal addition to the body of literature from World War II. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars An interesting story
A nicely written autobiography of a young girl during the invasion and occupation of Norway by the Nazi's.Drama, horror of war, human interest, naval battle action. Relevant facts of the occupation (which could not have been known by the author at the time of occupation) are thrown in for context.
Great for home if interested in subject area/time.
Would recommend for middle school/high school libraries, especially if curriculum has 'man's inhumanity' or 'youth and WWII' type requirements. ... Read more


153. Gods of Noonday: A White Girl's African Life
by Elaine Neil Orr
list price: $27.95
our price: $18.45
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0813922097
Catlog: Book (2003-09-01)
Publisher: University Press of Virginia
Sales Rank: 153537
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The daughter of medical missionaries, Elaine Neil Orr was born in Nigeria in 1954, in the midst of the national movement that would lead to independence from Great Britain. But as she tells it in her captivating new memoir, Orr did not grow up as a stranger abroad; she was a girl at home--only half American, the other half Nigerian. When she was sent alone to the United States for high school, she didn't realize how much leaving Africa would cost her.

It was only in her forties, in the crisis of kidney failure, that she began to recover her African life. In writing Gods of Noonday she came to understand her double-rootedness: in the Christian church and the Yoruba shrine, the piano and the talking drum. Memory took her back from Duke Medical Center in North Carolina to the shores of West Africa and her hometown of Ogbomosho in the land of the Yoruba people. Hers was not the dysfunctional American family whose tensions are brought into high relief by the equatorial sun, but a mission girlhood is haunted nonetheless--by spiritual atmospheres and the limits of good intentions.

Orr's father, Lloyd Neil, formerly a high school athlete and World War II pilot, and her mother, Anne, found in Nigeria the adventure that would have escaped them in 1950s America. Elaine identified with her strong, fun-loving father more than her reserved mother, but she herself was as introspective and solitary as her sister Becky was pretty and social. Lloyd acquired a Chevrolet station wagon which carried Elaine and her friends to the Ethiope River, where they swam much as they might have in the United States. But at night the roads were becoming dangerous, and soon the days were clouded by smoke from the coming Biafran War.

Interweaving the lush mission compounds with Nigerian culture, furloughs in the American South with boarding school in Nigeria, and eventually Orr's failing health, the narrative builds in intensity as she recognizes that only through recovering her homeland can she find the strength to survive. Taking its place with classics such as Out of Africa and more recent works like The Poisonwood Bible and Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Gods of Noonday is a deeply felt, courageous portrait of a woman's life. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Plenty at Stake in "Gods of Noonday"
Elaine Neil Orr's memoir, Gods of Noonday: A White Girl's African Life, is an essential book in an era of global expansion. Orr's courage to claim as home Nigeria, the land of her birth and childhood, despite her expatriate status, should encourage expatriate children everywhere to claim their various nations, whether they integrated to host cultures or not. It should encourage them to do the archeology, as Orr does, uncovering the archetypes of their host cultures, whether they were conscious of them at the time or not. And it should encourage families raising children overseas to give them a fuller immersion, permit them host country playmates, and encourage local education and language study. Parents employed outside their borders must recognize that their childhood homes are not their children's childhood homes.
Orr's most symbolic immersion was swimming in the cool clear Ethiope, and she claims the river as her sacred ground. "Nothing you could tell me about Jehovah was equal to the proof of divinity provided by the mere existence of so lovely a river. And so I worshipped it."
The river represents the cultural immersion Orr longs for, after the fact. Her life in Nigeria seems decorous and material as she recalls American girl toys she got for Christmas in an American decorated house, later wishing it had been African art. Orr contrasts herself to "real missionaries" who spoke native languages, lived among Nigerians and regarded her, a white child, as no "more special than they (Nigerian children) were."
Honesty glimmers through that exceeds "Out of Africa" and "The Poisonwood Bible," however much those books claim to be "of the land." For instance, Orr sees the anger of Nigerians directed at American missionaries during the U.S. Civil Rights Movement when bulletin boards were defaced in the hospital where her father was administrator and her mother a nurse.
It seems that Orr mourns a land she lived on, often secluded from, rather than in and among. And yet she dares to claim more, and that claim of being Nigerian is like catharsis in her illness, which is, perhaps, her most poignant claim. She suffers a disease, diabetes, common to African Americans in the U.S., many of whom, she realizes, may not have received the care she did as she faces end stage renal disease.
Dr. Orr's writing recalls Isaak Denisen's, in that there is longing on every page. But it also recognizes the fallacy of claiming too much, knowing (as Ngugi wa Thiong'o did in "Weep Not Child," his lament in response to "Out of Africa"), that the land taken by colonists was not theirs to mourn. Even when her mother attempts to involve the teenage Elaine in Sunday evening meetings, she realizes, "I had become too Americanized to feel comfortable trying to pass as a Urhobo girl...."
Her voice and project gain strength as she interweaves her adult experience of declining health and relationships, finding that she has resisted intimate friendships, whether because she moved so often, or because she is seeking to "rekindle a greater loss." The reader may wish to know more about how her marriage was resolved, but that may be another volume.
Grippingly Orr writes about the Biafran war (1967-70), the suffering all around and the shields thrown up for the children even after the loss of a mission surgeon. "You really should not try to raise children in the midst of a war and pretend it isn't there," she writes in one of many direct addresses to her readers. We are drawn in.
Orr is also eloquent about the estrangement experienced on returning to the land that was supposed to be her home. She refutes the misconception that the trauma of MK life is about landing in Africa without prior knowledge of the culture. "West Africa will take you in." Rather the trauma is in moving back to America and trying to pass as an insider. "It's hard to hold up under that kind of pressure and remember who you are."
She finished high school in the U.S. where she "I often attempted greatness, but it was very hard without a village behind me." Her unique observation echoes a weighty theme among global nomads (see "Unrooted Childhoods: Memoirs of Growing Up Global"). Orr recognizes that, despite being enriched by Nigeria, she was impoverished of community at "home." The America her parents were rescuing her for was already lost to her, and her boarding school compound was seperated from African village life.
Also essential at a time when missionary kids are confronting their missions (see: mksafetynet.com) and demanding trained dorm parents and child advocates, is Orr's recognition of sexual hazing and ritualized beatings in the boys' dorm. The rules of decent behavior frayed, so that "I left like the foreigner I was. I left the way I always left: without a tear." Her connectedness to any place was unavailable to her. Her wrenching refrain is, "For all I loved there, it was not mine to hold."
Even those who've lived all their lives as rooted as trees should read this book for Orr's masterful style; her resonant similes, "My youth was slipping away like badly spent money"; her metaphorical verbs, "the joy that petaled my youth"; her strong declaratives, "I was a Nigerian spirit born to an American mother: a crossed star, a mixed message, a long hunger."
There is plenty at stake in this book, as Orr faces death or rebirth from her illness. The tension builds and the ending is exquisite.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Kindred Spirit
Although never a missionary kid, Orr's memories of growing up during the 60s and early 70s struck a resonant chord and I felt as if I knew her - or perhaps WAS her. We were born in the same year, and like Orr I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church. I was a "GA" like she was and learned early my "place" in the dynamics of a church congregation. So many of the conflicting emotions Orr felt as a girl who wasn't sure where she belonged, as well as her ambivalent feelings about her family led to an insightful prose that accurately describes my own emotions during that time in my life - although we were an ocean apart. With clear, concise writing that often turned poetic, this book was an enjoyable read from start to finish, and I'm sure to re-visit it time and again.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Memior Which Speaks to Parents
While the descriptions of the land and the people of Nigeria are powerful and beautiful, the relationship of the children and the author in particular, to the adults and to their parents really spoke to me. Do we pay attention to our children? Are we there when they need us? What happens when we are so distracted by our work and our passion that the child's voice goes unheard?

Ms. Orr's book also portrays the universal struggles of young women, teenagers in particular, as they grow up amidst difficult and demanding societal pressures. Ms. Orr may have felt attached to Africa but America had a hold on her as a young woman. This book offers a rich experience for mothers and daughters to read "Gods of Noonday" together and to explore their own unique relationships.

It is also a story of great survival and determination as Ms. Orr faced the very real possibility of losing her battle against Diabetes and kidney failure. "Gods of Noonday" is a treasure.

5-0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS BOOK
Elaine Neil Orr writes with such poetic beauty and detail that it makes you feel as though you have stepped into the scene. She has such an interesting story to tell of growing up in Nigeria, struggling to blend in with American society and battling a serious disease in her adult years. Once I picked up the book, I could hardly put it down. Orr has an exceptional gift for making words come to life. I highly recommend this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Going Home
Elaine has succeeded in what many MKs (missionary kids) have wanted to do and that is to write about our experiences while growing up in Nigeria. I too, was born in Ogbomosho, Nigeria and knew Elaine and her family while in living in Nigeria and when I read her book, I could see, hear, taste, smell and touch Nigeria just as if I were right back there. It brought back so many precious memories that I have not thought about in years, some that I had even forgot.
It helps to strengthen our common bond when we have the opportunity to share with one another about our experiences in Nigeria. It makes me appreciate and proud of the heritage that we all share.

Thank you, Elaine, for making "going home", close as possible.

Your fellow guava tree lover,

Ron Wasson ... Read more


154. Redemption of the Shattered: A Teenager's Healing Journey Through Sandtray Therapy
by Bob Livingstone LCSW
list price: $13.95
our price: $13.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1591130859
Catlog: Book (2002-02-01)
Publisher: Booklocker.com
Sales Rank: 230154
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Bob Livingstone describes in dream-like sequences his personal therapeutic experience while undergoing Sandtray Therapy to address the loss of his father during adolescence.He takes the reader through the processing of feelings until the good and bad are fully integrated. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars An Emotional Path Toward Healing
Redemption Of The Shattered by Bob Livingstone is an emotional self propelled path toward healing. I enjoyed it for many reasons. Mainly, I was releived by the ease at which I, a lay person, could read and comprehend the book. Sandtray therapy was a foreign topic to me, but after reading this book, I feel I understand it and its usefulness. Secondly, the format of the book, sandtray, analysis, family discussion and questions is well thought out and practical. It lends to a usefulness in my own life. Finally, Mr. Livingstone connects with the reader by sharing his own struggles and pain, his "Healing Journey" through his sandtray therpay sessions. In doing so, he is a testament to the effectiveness of a therapy process in which he so clearly believes. I would recommend this book to any teenager or adult struggling with emotional pain.

5-0 out of 5 stars Redemption of the Shattered
A blend of the spiritual and the practical, Redemption of the Shattered is perfect for the lay person and clinician alike. Bob Livingstone skillfully illustrates how sandtray therapy can move teens from despair to hope and from loss to renewal. The book is a valuable resource for anyone guiding teens through the many challenges of life.

4-0 out of 5 stars Healing the sands of time
When was the last time you took a stroll along the beach at dawn, while there were very few people around? The air is crisp; the clap of the water is magnified; the bits of shell prick your soles. You kneel down and cup some of the sand in your hand, remembering the times when you played on the beach as a child. There is a peaceful aura. The ocean water washes away your troubles as it slowly disintegrates your new sand castle. If you have never experienced this before, plan a morning trip to a nearby beach, and witness the calming effects.

"Redemption of the Shattered" describes how the author used the act of playing in the sand to heal the emotional scars from his teenage years. With the help of a Sandtray therapist, he reenacts significant scenes of his life, by choosing from hundreds of miniature figures. Each chapter has a narrative, a commentary and family discussion questions. The narrative or mini "play" describes the event from his viewpoint as a teenager. A commentary follows the narrative, which explains his feelings of the event in retrospect. Then there are family discussion questions, asking the reader how they would feel in similar scenarios.

Bob Livingstone shares the tough parts of his life with the world. It takes a strong person to open up, and say, "This happened to me, and here's how I received healing." He knows how life can be dangerously cyclical, especially within families. "Redemption of the Shattered" shows how Sandtray therapy helped to mend the cracks in his circle of life. This book should be recommended reading not only for emotionally wounded teenagers, but also for adults who need to heal the sands of time.

5-0 out of 5 stars A profound and engaging voyage of self-discovery
Written and published by Bob Livingstone, Redemption Of The Shattered: A Teenager's Healing Journey Through Sandtray Therapy is a compelling blend of candid memoir with personal spiritual testimony. Here recounted is Livingstone's individual experiences and the near devastating pain of coping with the early loss of his father. Redemption Of The Shattered is highly recommended as a profound and engaging voyage of self-discovery, insight, and the recovery from familial grief.

5-0 out of 5 stars Out of the Wilderness
"There can never be enough discovery vehicles to help lead people out of the all-too-often confusing wilderness of their pasts. Redemption of the Shattered is a valuable tool on the road to wellness."

Russell Friedman, co-author of The Grief Recovery Handbook and When Children Grieve. ... Read more


155. Indigenous : Growing up Californian
by Cris Mazza
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0872864227
Catlog: Book (2003-05-15)
Publisher: City Lights Publishers
Sales Rank: 735026
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cris Mazza delivers a spirited rebuttal to pop-culture stereotypes about growing up female in Southern California. Coming of age in the 1970s and '80s, Mazza's memories aren't about surfing, cheerleading or riding in convertibles. Though her story has its exotic elements -- her family hunts and -gathers food in the semi-arid coastal hills well into the early '70s -- she sets herself in the context of familiar Americana. Repeating motifs -- gender issues, the California landscape, dogs, musicians, plus the perplexing melancholy of a sexless marriage -- thread through these very personal essays, as Mazza confronts madness, disability, sexual dysfunction and death, speaking to the drama of ordinary lives.

Cris Mazza's most recent novel was Girl Beside Him, and she is the editor of Chick-Lit: Postfeminist Fiction.

... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Intimate, intelligent, and thought-provoking
INDIGENOUS is a rare book: a memoir that offers both intimacy and a sharp-eyed look at a variety of social issues. Cris Mazza grew up in southern California outside of San Diego as one of five children, but, as she makes clear from the first page, she is not a stereotypical Californian. She is not blonde, does not surf, has no interest in acting. Her California is a gritty terrain - scrubby land populated by ant lions, bird dogs, and sand crabs. The daughter of educators by vocation and scavengers by avocation, she grew up hunting, clamming at the beach, searching through the landfill for soda bottles to redeem for spending money, and playing with and studying the indigenous creatures she encountered. Her views on ecology come from knowing both the before and the after, and by attempting to understand the forces that come into play. But Mazza is not an environmentalist; she is a fiction writer who has set out to share the complexity of her experiences. In these personal essays, Mazza uses her life as a touchstone to pose questions we should all be asking. In the chapter on her failed marriage to a San Diego symphony musician, she explores the reasons behind - as well as the repercussions of - America's view on the arts. As she discusses both her mother's stroke and her own volunteer work in the children's wing of a nursing home, she poignantly evokes the difficult role of being a caregiver while exploring what it means when the body cannot perform the most basic of human activities - walking and talking. She conjures up her preteen days of wanting to be a boy in the 1970's when the male gender seemed to have all the fun and advantages. She writes of raising her Shetland sheepdogs to be champion show dogs, thus examining the intricate relationship between humans and animals. All the essays are punctuated by black-and-white photographs of Mazza and her family. These images serve as anchors to Mazza's writing; they add to the atmosphere and wonder of what is written within these pages.

Mazza writes with clear-eyed passion for her subject matter. Under her touch, ordinary subject matter becomes extraordinary. Her story contains none of the sensationalist topics of many high-profile memoirs; instead, it revels in the quiet details of an unconventional life. This book is exactly what a memoir should be: intimate, intelligent, and thought-provoking. Certainly fans of Mazza's fiction should read INDIGENOUS to understand the background from which her stories and novels spring. However, even those without a familiarity of her work will enjoy Mazza's stories about growing up in rural California and then taking that experience into a much larger world. ... Read more


156. Displaced Person: A Girl's Life in Russia, Germany, and America
by Ella E. Schneider Hilton, Angela K. Hilton
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0807128783
Catlog: Book (2003-11-01)
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Sales Rank: 249300
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157. The Education of Little Tree
by Forrest Carter, Peter Coyote
list price: $16.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0944993516
Catlog: Book (1992-03-01)
Publisher: Audio Literature
Sales Rank: 142689
Average Customer Review: 4.22 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This story has entranced readers of all ages since it was first published twenty-five years ago. The Education of Little Tree tells of a boy orphaned very young, who is adopted by his Cherokee grandmother and half-Cherokee grandfather in the Appalachian mountains of Tennessee during the Great Depression.

“Little Tree” as his grandparents call him is shown how to hunt and survive in the mountains, to respect nature in the Cherokee Way, taking only what is needed, leaving the rest for nature to run its course.

Little Tree also learns the often callous ways of the white businessmen and tax collectors, and how Granpa, in hilarious vignettes, scares them away from his illegal attempts to enter the cash economy. Granma teaches Little Tree the joys of reading and education. But when Little Tree is taken away for schooling by whites, we learn of the cruelty meted out to Indian children in an attempt to assimilate them and of Little Tree’s perception of the Anglo world and how it differs from the Cherokee Way.

A classic of its era, and an enduring book for all ages, The Education of Little Tree has now been completely re-designed for this twenty-fifth anniversary edition. ... Read more

Reviews (163)

4-0 out of 5 stars LIVING IN HARMONY WITH MEN AND NATURE
Where does one start to describe this extraordinary book--a literary Sleeper which defies the usual genre classification, whose autobiographical storyline transcends the mere Depression years' upbringing of a young Indian boy? The 21 chapters encompass and celebrate the meaning of Life itself--which is made more poignant by the inevitability of Death itself. They focus on developing a sense of self worth and personal dignity, valuing family, reducing stress when cultures clash and appreciating man's role in nature. Not trendy topics in this frantic, high-tech world, but then eternal truths don't need to compete for glitzy attention; they will wait quietly for eventual resepct.

Five-year-old Little Tree goes to live with his Indian grandparents--mountain folk who exist on the fringe of a white settlement in the southeast--when he is orphaned. His education consists of: Indian lore and learning THE WAY, the history of the Cherokee nation and post Civil War hardships. He studies the Dictionary and struggles through the Classics with his literate grandmother; he learns basic arithmetic from a Jewish pedlar. But this smart lad absorbs much more in his three years on the mountain, which are lovingly detailed: honest lessons from Nature, bad lessons from callous and ignorant whites, good truths from generous and caring native Americans who all contribute to his complete education. Best of all, he studies that persecuted but ever-popular "trade" of distilling corn whiskey from his wise grandfather!

This book quite simply offers the reader a little bit of everything: humor, history, wisdom, political atrocity, wit, self-sacrifice, bigotry, coping with sorrow and failure, internal growth, Indian ideals, pride in family and resepct for Nature. The plot is a bit thin in the first chapters, as the author shares his childhood reminiscences. But it gradually dawns on us that this book can not be evaluated as other novels; it stands alone, as do the Native Americans, clinging to their traditions in the face of mockery from "civilization." Little Tree emerges as a young man with a strong sense of Family, pride in his heritage, deep-rooted connections with Nature, and faith in the hereafter. He has learned enough to survive in the white man's world, but will always treasure his mountain roots. An introspective read which will touch your heart, which you will never forget.

5-0 out of 5 stars Controversial, magical, worth reading and fighting over.
For years, I've used Little Tree in my developmental reading classes with mostly black and hispanic men and women. Before I had heard of the controversy, I was impressed by the beauty of the book. I loved the way my slow, insecure readers could feel smarter than the narrator, as they realized they knew more than the small boy did. It was the most universally appreciated book I'd ever come across; people from all over the world, ages from 17 to 70 respond deeply to it. So what happened when I found out that Carter's a fake? I took a few years off, and then returned to it. What fascinating discussions we have about human nature, about deception, about what literature is and is not, when my students, totally entranced by the book, find out that it was written by a member of the KKK. Wow! Opportunities for this kind of deeply challenging discussion are too rare to pass up. Finally,is it possible Carter was a closet liberal who made money by writing stupid, silly speeches for stupid politicians, while his heart was in his novels? I don't know, but I love the karmic irony that his book makes my students of all backgrounds re-consider their prejudices, their materialism, their government's abuse of power, their treatment of animals and the environment. Sure, I'm troubled and confused by it all, but ultimately, I smile.

5-0 out of 5 stars My feelings about this book
The Education of Little Tree Review

This novel, The Education of Little Tree, is about a 5 years old Cherokee boy named Little Tree who has to go live with his grandparents. Living with his grandparents in a cabin, in the woods taught the way of life and how to survive in the wilderness. This whole book is about his life with his grandparents as he grows up.
I think this is a great book that everyone should read. This book will make you laugh at some points, but will also make you cry at others. This book made me laugh when Little Tree and Granpa were looking for Mr. Chunk and Mr. slick in the woods. This book also made me sad when Granpa is telling the story about the farm in the clearing. I also like this book because it's very descriptive and well written. The author wrote this novel with great detail. You will be able to imagine and see every thing the characters are doing. The author puts so many details into this book so you know exactly what something or someone looks like. The author really made the characters come to life with the details about their personalities and about their outer appearance. In one part of the book the author explains an extremely detailed scene where Granpa and Little Tree are spending the night under the star-filled sky with a full moon and fog over the mountains in the distance. When I read that scene I felt I was right there under the stars with Granpa and Little Tree. This is an exciting novel that everyone should look into reading. This book is one of the best books I've ever read.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Education of Little Tree Book Review
The Education of Little Tree, (supposedly) by Forrest Carter, was an excellent book to learn from, but not as enjoyable to read for one's own pleasure. The story is of a boy named Little Tree of Native American descent whose parents die. He is sent to live with his grandparents, and there, he learns about nature and the Cherokee way of living in harmony with the earth. He learns about racism and what it means to be different from others. Later on, he is taken from the home he loves with his grandparents to an orphanage where he is treated badly because he is a bastard and a Cherokee.
This book teaches a hard lesson about poverty, that people should not want things they cannot ever have and that dreams are a bad thing. This is shown when a sharecropper is forced to whip his own children because they dreamed of fancy things that they would never have. One also learns about discrimination through an interesting point of view, a young child's eyes who does not understand why the people are laughing at him; he merely thinks they are being friendly. This book contains excellent morals and values, and is an excellent read for in class. Although the book is very slow-paced, this helps to give it the nature of the simple view of a six-year old which aids the reader in understanding Little Tree's point of view. It would not be a good book for solo reading, because the plot is secondary, and there is not quite one story, but series of small events, each pertaining to Little Tree's gaining knowledge. These are more fit to be discussed in groups and taken in small amounts. However, this was one of the only books I have read that has made me cry because of the sense that the protagonist is helpless. The fact that he does not understand the racism, and why what he does is "bad" makes it a tear-drawing read. Issues such as death are covered, as Little Tree's grandparents die, as well as all that remains of his old life. Surprisingly, the author was a member of the (...), a white supremacist, association that promotes racism, who took on a pen name of Forrest Carter instead of his real name Asa Earl Carter. Because of this, throughout the book, characters accept discrimination as their "place" and forbid their children from attempting to rise in society (as in the sharecropper example before). This shows that the (...) member's opinion was that they should learn to accept being what he considered them, "inferior".
This book covers some difficult issues that are better to be discussed, than read on one's own. It is an excellent book to cry over, and an excellent book to learn from, but not a particularly excellent read just for enjoyment, as the story is not thrilling nor interesting to anyone who is not particularly interested in Native American culture.

3-0 out of 5 stars Hmm... Overall, Disappointing
The novel The Education of Little Tree, by Forrest Carter, is overall a good novel, but it would be better if it were read for school than if it were read for fun. This is because it does have a good bit of content about Cherokee life, but it is not especially interesting. The novel is about a young Cherokee boy named Little Tree. When his parents die, he lives with his grandparents, who teach him the ways of the Cherokee. Throughout his life, he is faced with prejudice and discrimination due to his Cherokee heritage.
One of the major components that detracts from the novel is that many otherwise well-written scenes do not tie together into the plotline of the novel. Throughout the novel, the feeling that multiple short story clips were pieced together into a book. For example, one scene of a foxhunt with the hounds was a nice touch, but it had nothing to do with any of the other portions of the story. Other scenes, such as the one in which Little Tree goes to the candy shop, also have nothing to do with the plot.
Another problem with the novel is that Little Tree has little characterization. He is too bland and mild to make a good character. Especially since the novel's theme is "survival despite discrimination," Little Tree does not seem to have enough mental power to fulfill this role (in most scenes, that is.) His lack of development shows up especially in the way that he nearly always agrees with what others say. He is not just meek; he does not even mentally question the truth of what others say, which is shown in the way that the phrase "Which is right." This is repeated throughout the book. In fact, Granpa would probably have made a better protagonist because he seems to have more of a personality than Little Tree.
One good point of the novel was the attention paid to detail in describing Cherokee lifestyle. Little Tree's grandparents often help him to understand this, allowing the reader to follow along. One example of this is how Granma explains how all Cherokee have a "secret place."
Overall, I would not recommend reading The Education of Little Tree unless you are particularly interested Cherokee life or another topic from the novel. It would also suffice as a school book due ... Read more


158. My Faraway Home: An American Family's WWII Tale of Adventure and Survival in the Jungles of the Philippines
by Mary McKay Maynard
list price: $22.95
our price: $15.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1585742619
Catlog: Book (2001-07-01)
Publisher: The Lyons Press
Sales Rank: 521221
Average Customer Review: 4.73 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Here is a beautifully written, courageous memoir of a wartime childhood behind enemy lines.

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and simultaneously attacked the Philippines, eight-year-old Mary McKay, her parents, and several other American families working on Mindanao fled into the jungle for what they thought would be a short evacuation until they could be rescued by the Navy.Their wait lasted two years.

My Faraway Home is the fascinating story of how they survived. The refugees encountered typhoons, fires, and cobras; they lived on dwindling stores of canned food, traded with loyal Filipino villagers who wouldn't betray their hideout, and learned to improvise their own shoes (from rubber tires), soap (from pig fat), and other necessities. Into this upside-down world of anxious waiting and frayed tempers came occasional simple joys-a Fourth of July feast, a birthday party, a pet goldfish in a glass jar.

Mary Maynard also describes their escape on a submarine dodging enemy torpedoes, and recounts how her teen-aged brother, away in boarding school when the Japanese invaded, survived a prison camp and the bombing of Manila.

Like the classics The Diary of Anne Frank or Empire of the Sun, My Faraway Home gives a fresh perspective on war through a child's eyes. It is also a luminous coming-of-age story that captures the universal experience of a child's attempt to decipher the adult world. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful WWII story about egos and humility
This involving book has a wonderful story line told compellingly through a young girl's eyes, of World War II and how innocent people get caught in a war and had their lives changed forever.

The author, I think, tells a deeper story, counter-pointing ego versus humility. American ego - represented by McArthur and her father lulled America into a false belief that Japan, as a small island nation was not a serious threat. This misguided ego sends the girl and her family off on a two-year jungle odyssey. The story is both idyllic, for a young girl but suspenseful as they live and struggle on the brink of capture and death.

The counterpoint to ego is the relationship of her family with the Filipinos who are humble, resourceful and help them survive and avoid capture. The escape march and the courage of the sailors who come to rescue them are not only suspenseful but for me defines the true heroes of war. These heroes are not the Generals but small, real people like the Filipinos, sailors and the family who do what ever it takes to survive while doing their duty.

It's great book and I expect, will be an exciting movie some day.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic true life story
This story from a young girl's eyes of WW II is fantastic. The shock of invasion being followed by year's of isolation bring a new perspective to the war. Initially believing it would be a matter of weeks to re-take the islands, we follow this family's courageous fight for survival in the jungle. This book should be on everyone's reading list.

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting WWII story
A child in remote Phillipines at the outbreak of the ware. The author leans heavily on her mother's diary for material.

4-0 out of 5 stars WW II -- UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Ms Maynard reaches a long way back into her memory to bring us this absorbing tale of a family forced to hide in the jungle on Mindanao when World War II broke out. The Japanese took over the Philippines, leaving nine-year old Mary McKay, her parents and a brother away at boarding school, stranded. With the American Pacific fleet sunk at Pearl Harbor, General McArthur's advice that Americans were in no danger turned out to be very wrong. McArthur was a stockholder in Mindanao Mother Lode, a mining operation where the author's father worked. From a comfortable existence with servants to cook their meals and wash their clothes, this family had to flee to another inactive mining camp well into the interior of the island, where they were further from the Japanese soldiers now swarming over the coastal areas.

Other families in the same situation lived with them at Gomoco, a gold mining camp that consisted of a few rickety buildings with a little stream flowing by. That stream became a river as it flowed to the coast, but boats could not navigate through the shallow water near the camp. Mary's father was in charge of the collection of people who came and went over a two year period, and he presided over numerous arguments, often over whether to use more of the canned food or (as Mr. McKay thought) to preserve it for the even tougher times that might come.

In the end, the family is rescued by an American submarine that took them aboard to share the tight quarters with sailors, dodging Japanese ships as they made their way to Darwin, Australia. Mary's brother Bob spent the years in internment camps and was rescued from a prison in Manila when the Americans finally came and took back the Philippines. General McArthur kept his promise to come back.

The book includes snatches of Mary's mother's diary which she kept during the years of hiding. I suspect this was the main source of information from so long ago, although surely a girl who lived through so much peril and fear would not forget these events. But research and that diary must have supplied many of the details. Mary gives us interesting glimpses into the complicated relationship of her parents -- a father who could not understand his wife's need for comfort and reassurance, and a mother who begged her Filipino suppliers to find lipstick, believing that putting on a good face could hide her fears. The author also is willing to deal with the lopsided relationship between the Americans and the hard-working and loyal Filipinos, who did most of the work of keeping the foreigners fed and safe. That did not keep the Americans from feeling superior or making fun of the 'pigeon English' spoken by the natives. It took many more years of living for the author to see how insensitive and ungrateful were these actions.

I found the story pulled me in as I read, and I wanted to find out what new problems would appear and to learn how this family would finally found their way back home, whatever 'home' had come to mean to them. Once Mindanao 'fell' they had to decide whether to give themselves up (as the Japanese demanded of all Americans) or to continue to try to evade notice. Eventually enough servicemen and civilians who did not surrender themselves were able to put together an organized guerilla action to provide mutual support, harass the Japanese and keep in contact with American military forces fighting the war. That led to the submarine rescue and the end of the book, an interesting story from a time soon to be relegated to history books as memories fade completely and the story tellers are with us no more. This book is a rare opportunity to see the war from a new perspective, through the eyes of a child who experienced the disruption and terror of war up close and personal.

5-0 out of 5 stars evocative and insightful
I learned about this book from my high school alumni web page and read it mostly out of curiousity. A fascinating book, a coming-of-age tale of a young girl in wartime. I so appreciated the author's skillful melding of her childish observations and her retrospective adult understanding of this difficult period of her life. She unflinchingly, and often humorously, describes the colonial prejudices of her parents and other Americans in their small community, their condescension toward Filipinos and Filipino-American mestizos, the tensions arising from a basic incompatibility between her parents, their strained relations with other fugitives from the war, and even a sexual assault. What makes the book so special, beyond its extraordinary tale, is the author's mature and sensitive handling of the subject matter. She owns up to her own failings and seeks to understand and forgive those of others, without condoning bad behavior. As an expatriate child in the Philippines (more than 20 years ago), I too felt superior to and made fun of the locals and am now heartily ashamed of it. Just as it took age and distance to fully appreciate my family, I can now admit to my love for the Philippines and her peoples. Our situations were so different, nevertheless McKay's words resonated strongly for me and inspire me to seek to develop even a fraction of her graciousness.

I highly recommend this book. ... Read more


159. Lost Innocence: A Daughter's Account of Love, Fear and Desperation (New Beginnings)
by Cathy Brochu
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0759626820
Catlog: Book (2001-06-01)
Publisher: Authorhouse
Sales Rank: 831875
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Childhood Reflection
Reading this book brought memories of my own abuse to the surface.While reading, I understood the pain and the misunderstandings of what love is in a child's mind. Just knowing that another went thru the same emotional and physical abuse helps me to confront my own.Its a book worth reading.

4-0 out of 5 stars WOW-Talk About a Gripping Story
This book is a gripping story that I could not put down.Cathy's an amazing writer who caught my attention with her powerful words.

The story is narrated in a child's voice and Cathy consistantly maintains the childlike point of view throughout the book.The reader can truly see the tragic events through the eyes of a beautiful young girl.Several times while reading the story, I cried for this child who has fallen through the cracks of our society.As a mother, I desperately wanted to jump into the pages, rescue this little girl and hold her safely in the embrace of my adult arms.

Cathy expertly shows the reader the reality of incest and child abuse.The details are disturbing and real.I look forward to reading Cathy's continued account of how she bravely overcomes these terrible life events at such a tender, young age.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MOVING STORY -- FROM THE CHILD'S POINT-OF-VIEW
Cathy Brochu's book is a moving account of a tragedy that ooccurs far too often in our so-called 'civilzed' society -- a child, whose innocence should be their birthright, selfishly turned into a victim, a sexual plaything, by a parent, the very person to whom she should be able to turn for protection, care, love, honesty and trust. This sort of treatment ruins the lives of many -- among those strong, determined ones who have the opportunity and courage to break out of the trap and reclaim their lives are people who are heroes in the truest sense of the word. They have learned that they are not to blame for their treatment -- that they did not receive it because they deserved it, or because they are somehow 'defective' -- and that, through education, therapy and hard work, they can take back what has been stolen from them. Cathy Brochu has written this book -- detailing graphic, grim events in her life as a young girl -- so that others may find that courage, that they may realize that they are not alone, and that there are many good people out there who care about giving them the help they need.

Utilizing a technique unique among the books of this field which I have read, Brochu effectively gives her child-self a voice with which to relate her story. As I read this book, I was struck by the language, the syntax -- it was as if I was reading the hand-written journal of a young girl. I could easily close my eyes and imagine the words written in pencil on one of those old Big Chief tablets that I used in school as a kid.

The story is admittedly heartbreaking, but there is a determination in this young narrator -- a determination to free herself from the situation that, as the book progresses, she knows more and more in her heart to be wrong. All of the symptoms and feelings with which victims must struggle and cope on the road to becoming survivors are here -- the feeling that this is the only way she will be loved; the fear of being seperated from her dad, even though he is abusing her; the feeling that she somehow is the one in the wrong -- but in this case, in this book, we see and feel these through the child herself, described in her own words and language.

Cathy is planning a trilogy -- this book is the first installment -- detailing her abuse, finding her (physical) freedom, and taking the painful but necessary journey to making her life her own again. This story is a compelling one (all the more because it is true) -- I can wholehertedly recommend it not just to those who are survivors, or to those professionals who work in this vital field, but to the general public as well. The best chance we have to rid ourselves of child abuse, our greatest shame, is through education. This is an unpleasant subject to any right-thinking person -- but it is something that is horrifyingly real to far too many. The more we know about it, the more we learn to recognize the signs present in a child who is secretly being abused, the more light we shine on this topic -- the fewer places there will be for the perpetrators to hide.

In 1995, Cathy Brochu was awarded the Women of Courage Award by the Syracuse (NY) Commission for Women -- not only for having the courage and determination to reclaim her own life, but for openly and frankly speaking out on the subject, in order to encourage and empower others to do the same. She and others like her (and thank God, they're out there) are the reason that this battle will one day be won.

I'm eagerly awaiting NEW BEGINNINGS, the second volume in the trilogy, as well as the third. We know the story will have a happy ending -- Cathy Brochu is a happy, healthy, productive woman who cares about helping others -- how she got there is the inspiration. ... Read more


160. Motherland: Beyond the Holocaust : A Daughter's Journey to Reclaim the Past
by Fern Schumer Chapman
list price: $23.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0670881058
Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
Publisher: Viking Books
Sales Rank: 403524
Average Customer Review: 4.91 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A poignant mother-daughter journey explores the afterlife of the Holocaust in a story of love, loss, and the persistence of memory

In 1938, just before they were killed by the Nazis, Freida and Siegmund Westerfeld sent their twelve-year-old daughter Edith to live with relatives in Chicago. Edith escaped the death camps but was left profoundly adrift, cut off from culture, tradition, her entire identity. For decades she shut away her memories, until she realized that the void of her past was consuming her and her family. Then, with her daughter Fern Schumer Chapman--herself a pregnant mother--Edith returned to Germany.

For Edith the trip was an act of courage, a chance to reconnect with her homeland and reconcile with her past. For Fern it was a miraculous opening, a break in the wall of silence surrounding her mother's past... and her mother.

A memoir as lyrical as a novel, Motherland is the narrative of a personal transformation that examines the legacy of war. It is the story of learning to live with the past, of remembering and honoring while looking forward and letting go. In the tradition of Bernhard Schlink's The Reader, Motherland probes a pain that shatters nations, divides generations, and outlives its perpetrators.

A riveting read, Motherland echoes Ursula Hegi's Stones from the River. It is a loving yet harrowing story of mothers and daughters; of expectations and limitations; of roots, reunion, and ultimately understanding. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Universal Appeal
To read "Motherland" is to experience a whole different side of the Holocaust and its far-reaching implications. Lovingly told in vivid accounting and imagery, this story of a daughter's search to uncover her mother's past, and therefore fill in her own family history, will have a powerful impact on readers regardless of their religion. You don't have to be Jewish, a mother or a daughter to appreciate the beauty and truths Chapman displays. "Motherland" touches the spirit as well as the mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars There's no hardball like mother-daughter hardball
Fern's book is awesome. Motherland is a quick read that brings home the horrors that the holocaust has bestowed on all it's vicims, including those not born till a generation later. I wondered why my own mom is so closed mouthed about her parents and her past. Reading about Fern's family story, and how Fern rose above to find forgiveness for many is truly inspiring. I have renewed respect for the mother-daughter relationship, and feel inspired to work on my own.

5-0 out of 5 stars It will touch your mind, your heart and your spirit.
This is a beatiful memoir of a mother and daughter who not only reclaim the past, but reclaim each other. Fern Schumer Chapman opens her soul and allows us to join them on their private journey to Germany where her mother's hidden past has put a rift in their present day relationship. By returning to her homeland, and upon seeing her former classmates, Edith delcares that she "paid a terrible price for a better life." I felt the true emotions of forgiveness and reconciliation they both shared. You will feel that you are on this journey with them, and not merely a casual reader. This is a captivating book to be shared and enjoyed by anyone who is a mother or daughter.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book!
This is such an incredible story - about the relationship of a mother and daughter, about escapees from the Holocaust, about family identity, about coming to terms with life in the family situation you find yourself. The author has such a compelling writing style. This would be an excellent book for book groups to discuss and for high school students to read and discuss. The author's web site includes study guides and questions. Once you start reading, you don't want to put the book down. When you finish, you wish for more information and more of the author's beautiful writing. Read it - you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Book Clubs Must Read
A Wonderful Book!
Beautifully written. So much to talk about!

A mother daughter story of understanding and forgiveness.
The author, Fern, grew up in a home where the past was not discussed. Not until she was an adult, and pregnant with her third child, was her mother, Edith, willing to discuss her childhood. Fern and her mother travelled back to Germany together to see where Edith grew up, as one of two Jewish families in a small town where her family had lived for over 200 years. Edith's parents sent her out of Germany, to live in safety with relatives in Chicago, just before Kristallnacht.
Whether this was the ultimate act of unselfish parental love, or whether it was cruel makes riveting conversation between Fern and her mother.

This book is wonderful for book club discussions.
It is a memoir that reads like fiction.
Beautifully written, a good read, but not difficult.
Many topics to discuss - mother/daughter relationships on many levels, the sacrifices we make for our children, what we pass on to them intentionally and unintentionally. Survivor guilt versus escapee guilt. The burdens - positive and negative- that we carry from our past.

Vivid characters, stunning descriptions, can't put it down dialog. I can't wait for her to write another book!

I was concerned that it might be holocaust heavy, but it is not.
I have recomended Motherland to readers of all ages and religions, and everyone has loved it. It has quickly become the hot book club book in the Chicago area. So many book clubs around here have discussed it, and are raving about it. Stores can't keep it on the shelves.

It appeals to all of us, who are mothers and daughters.

For background, see the discussion guide, or go to the author's website.

Don't miss Motherland as an outstanding book club choice. ... Read more


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