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MFS "mfshermantank"

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The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men
The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men
by Christina Hoff Sommers
Edition: Hardcover
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars She's right, but she's also a little shrill, July 3 2000
For ten years (the length of time I've been the mother of a son), I've heard increasingly alarming reports from "the media" about the treacherous ways of America's sons. Sorry but the miscreants they describe seem like anomalies to me, not the norm. I never see any of these murderous, hateful, misogynous traits in my son or in his buds. Hey, call me naive, but I believe unceasing and loving involvement in our kids' lives goes a long way to preventing the types of schoolroom and street-corner tragedies we read about in the paper and hear about in the evening news. In any event, I appreciate the message of War against Boys, and I admire the point-by-point evisceration of the emasculating feminist approach to raising and educating our sons. I just wish the argument didn't sound quite so shrill. That criticism aside, this is a worthwhile addition to the growing body of literature dedicated to reclaiming all that's wonderful about our kids (including all of their many differences). Let's hope it's not too late in coming.

Perfect Storm               Mm
Perfect Storm Mm
by Sebastian Junger
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
171 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT a "chick book"!, June 27 2000
But it's not strictly a "guy book," either. It IS a terrific read -- the quintessential summer book: mass market paperback (i.e., easy to tote) and compelling story (i.e., difficult to put down). Elsewhere, I've talked about being "ruined by books," and I confess to being partly ruined by The Perfect Storm. Trailers for the film moved me to pick it up. (I've avoided the book for two years, thinking it was too "bestseller" for my tastes.) The story of the Andrea Gail crew, their fellow fishermen, their friends and family, and the most compelling character in the book -- the sea itself -- drew me in and has not yet released its hold on me. Don't miss the vicarious thrill, terror, and wonder that Perfect Storm inspires. And pick it up before the movie. Let the film complement the mental pictures your mind conjures as you read, not dominate them.

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
by Dan Kindlon Ph.D.
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.72
188 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars You might not need this book..., June 27 2000
It's a pretty good book, but nothing new is said. If you already knowthat ALL children (not just boys and not just girls) are at risk intoday's classrooms and schools; that physical punishment only inspires more bad behavior and, eventually, breeds violence; and that gender differences need only be respected not rigidly adhered to (i.e., respect a young man's tendency to "hold back" a little but don't adminish him for crying over the death of his goldfish, the frustration of learning a new subject, his failure to make the team, etc.), then you don't really "need" Raising Cain.
If, on the other hand, your sons, nephews, male students, etc. seem indecipherable to you, strike you as requiring a "good spanking" to "shape them up," or appear to be "little crybabies," you need more than Raising Cain or any other book can give you.
Do you see where I'm going with this? Parents on the "right course" with their kids already instinctively know much of what is presented in this book. They know because they've lived it. Anyone leading an examined life can see the potential "hot issues" in their parenting styles and will adapt them based on the individual needs of their children -- boys or girls.
In short, savvy parents (teachers, relatives, etc.) will find a few gems in this book. They will be validated in methods they are already employing in their interactions with the kids they know. They will be reminded that all children are influenced by the adults in their lives. So, if you need gems, validation, or reminders, read Raising Cain. It is cleanly written, heartfelt, and laden with "cases." If you're feeling pretty confident, though, pick up a good children's book -- like Holes, A Long Way from Chicago, or The Phantom Tollbooth -- and go read to the kids. They'll love it.

Running Out of Time
Running Out of Time
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 7.59
109 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Could this really happen?, June 13 2000
This review is from: Running Out of Time (Paperback)
Jessie believes she is being raised in the 1840s, but the year is actually 1996. You see, Jessie lives in a tourist site made to look like a real village of 150 years ago. Her classmates have begun dropping out of her small, one-room classroom, and the medicines they are given don't seem to work. Jessie's mother finally tells her the truth about their community, and it's up to Jessie to escape from Clifton and seek help from the "real world." Although the plot is quite serious and suspenseful, I had to laugh at the scene where Jessie sees cars for the first time and thinks they move by witchcraft. My favorite part of this well written story is when she calls a press conference and reveals the "shocking secret" of Clifton. I haven't read many books with female protagonists, so it was neat to see a young girl making things happen - it's usually a boy.
Now imagine this: We're moving along, thinking it's the year 2000 when a terrible disease spreads through our city. Eventually we learn that the year is really 2150 and people have been paying money to watch our EVERY move since we were born. Get the idea? Read this book!
-- JFS

A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel in Stories
A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel in Stories
by Richard Peck
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 16.24
55 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars I had a good cry at the end (and I'm a boy!), June 1 2000
A Long Way from Chicago is a touching and very funny book. The narrator, Joey Dowdel, shares the experiences of visiting his thrifty, hardworking, no-nonsense grandmother. Each chapter tells the adventures his sister and he have with his grandmother during each of seven week-long summer vacations. Long Way takes place during the Great Depression (1929-1935), so I learned some history while enjoying a great story. The coolest part of the book is when Grandma gets Joey a ride in an old biplane; the funniest is when the sheriff and his deputies drunkenly sing about Paddy Murphy while they're wearing only their underwear at the Rod and Gun Club. My favorite character was Grandma Dowdel because of her use of words and the way she loved people without saying it. I didn't pick out this book -- my mom chose it as one of our read-alouds -- but, like everything she picks out, this was really terrific. We shared a good cry at the end because we realized that Grandma is a lot "softer" than her tough words and actions showed. Happy reading!

Memoirs Of A Dutiful Daughter
Memoirs Of A Dutiful Daughter
by Simone De Beauvoir
Edition: Paperback
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A blueprint of one woman's genius, May 28 2000
This is the first (and, admittedly, the easiest to read) of Beauvoir's multi-volume journals. It is an amazing account of the philosopher's beginnings, and I press it on young women in high school and college when they talk to me about their struggles to understand their place in our world.

How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter, New Edition
How We Die: Reflections of Life's Final Chapter, New Edition
by Sherwin B. Nuland
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.00
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.14

5.0 out of 5 stars We all wonder, "How will it feel?", May 28 2000
Nuland won the National Book Award for this frank and sometimes disturbing reflection on death. And while this is challenging material, especially for anyone who has nursed the terminally ill or suffered a grievous loss, How We Die ultimately puts death in its place, robbing it of some of its mystery.

Mother Tongue
Mother Tongue
by B Bryson
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.36
54 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Charming intro to the intricacies of English, May 28 2000
This review is from: Mother Tongue (Paperback)
Everything Bryson has written is perfect, but I recommend The Mother Tongue to the newcomer because it charms and endears from the first: "More than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it seems, try to. It would be charitable to say the results are sometimes mixed." From this point, you know you are in the hands of a sharp, witty writer who will entertain you and learn ya' sumpin', too!

Behind the Scenes at the Museum: A Novel
Behind the Scenes at the Museum: A Novel
by Kate Atkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.36
152 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A "chick book" that ruined me!, May 28 2000
If you read a lot (more than a dozen books a month for pleasure), then you're probably familiar with the sensation of being ruined by a book. This happens when you realize that you never want it to end, can't bear not to know more, can't believe this is the last sentence, and then can't find another thing to read for upwards of a week because nothing else compares to what you've just read. So it was for me and Behind the Scenes at the Museum. This is likely to be dubbed a "chick book." So be it. If a chick book is an amazing story that deftly spans generations of filial dysfunction and decades of national history, making the reader alternately weep and guffaw, then this is a chick book. It's also one helluva read, twisting, building, then soaring to a climax that shatters the reader while finally making the narrator whole. It begins with the moment of Ruby Lennox's birth, a device that usually bothers me (consider Tristam Shandy), but Ruby more than hooked me by the end of the first chapter, and I wanted her for a blood relative by the time she described her mother's love as "autistic parenting." That this is the author's first novel makes this book even more amazing. Don't miss this one.

The Right Stuff
The Right Stuff
by Tom Wolfe
Edition: Paperback
44 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Subtle criticism of the first American astronauts, May 28 2000
This review is from: The Right Stuff (Paperback)
Wolfe is (arguably, of course) one of the greatest writers and commentators on popular culture than this country has ever read. And nowhere is this claim better embodied than in the masterful The Right Stuff. Most people remember the movie, which did an able enough job of capturing the most obvious of Wolfe's subtle criticism of the first American astronauts. But it is only through his text that we realize the completeness of his extended comparison of men like John Glenn ("a balding and slightly tougher looking version of the cutest-looking freckle-faced boy you ever saw") to men like Chuck Yeager ("the boondocker, the boy from the back country, with only a high-school education, no credentials, no cachet or polish of any sort, who took off the feed-store overalls and put on a uniform and climbed into an airplane and lit up the skies over Europe"). Whatever your feelings about the space program, this book is a compelling and informative read by a living legend.

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