November 1, 2016 Booklist 5 www.booklistonline.com
love an inspiring story of human spirit and
chutzpah. —Emily Brock
The New Odyssey: The Story of the
Twenty-First-Century Refugee Crisis.
By Patrick Kingsley.
Jan. 2017. 368p. illus. Norton/Liveright, $26.95
As the first migration correspondent for
the Guardian, Kingsley intimately covers
the issues, struggles, and stories of migrant
refugees. Here, in his first book, Kingsley
closely follows and documents the direct experiences in 2015 of refugees from countries
such as Syria, Afghanistan, and Nigeria as
they navigate the complex political systems
of leaving one country for another, seeking
safety, security, and opportunity. Kingsley
captures the lives of several individuals and
their backgrounds, triumphs, and tragedies,
and he maps out a compelling narrative of
this ongoing refugee crisis facing many European countries today. As Kingsley writes, he
painstakingly analyzes foreign governments’
public policies and procedures that are enforced—but sometimes fail—for refugees.
The book moves quickly as Kingsley shares
his and the migrants’ perspectives through
this arduous process, from boat traveling
to human smuggling. Readers interested in
global politics, migration and immigration
studies, and current affairs will find this
book to be deeply engaging, eye-opening,
and insightful to the ongoing challenges that
refugees face in navigating through these
multilayered political and social systems.
Not Just Evil: Murder, Hollywood, and
California’s First Insanity Plea.
By David Wilson.
Dec. 2016. 216p. Diversion, paper, $14.99
“He is a not a criminal, ladies and gen-tlemen; he is insane. I thank you.” Thus
concluded the defense’s remarks in the
murder trial of William Hickman, the first
criminal to attempt an insanity plea. Today,
such a tactic seems as common as mud, but in
1927—the year Hickman was tried, the same
year in which Mary Pickford declined a movie role for fear of exposing her bare legs and
feet—such thoughts were explosive. In his true-crime debut, private investigator Wilson does
an extraordinarily thorough job of contextualizing Hickman’s crimes and trial, which,
anticipating those of O.J. Simpson and
Charles Manson, captivated both Hollywood
and the nation. In hindsight, Hickman’s
misdeeds seem almost quaint if horrible. He
kidnapped and successfully collected ransom
for a 12-year-old girl but killed her, anyway.
Wilson shows how these acts inadvertently
changed California criminal law, the motion picture industry, and press coverage
of grisly events—a fascinating account that
leads straight to Nancy Grace. But Hickman’s
long dead, and he can’t be punished for that.
Parents Matter: Supporting Your Child
with Math in Grades K– 8.
By Regina M. Mistretta.
Nov. 2016. 128p. Rowman & Littlefield, $50
(9781475821840); paper, $25 (9781475821857); e-book,
$24.99 (9781442221864). 372.7.
The Common Core style of mathematics instruction, which puts an emphasis on problem
solving and critical-thinking skills, can be difficult for parents raised on rote memorization
to grasp. Though Mistretta’s parent-focused
guide to K– 8 mathematics doesn’t specifically
mention Common Core, it’s hovering in the
background as she outlines standard curriculum basics, presenting sample problems as well
as activities parents can use to demonstrate
the everyday uses and real-life applications of
mathematics. Mistretta begins with the “big
ideas” that guide mathematics instruction, followed by chapters focusing on smaller groups
of grade levels (K– 2, 3–5, 6–8) that go into
detail about specific topics taught in each
grade. Each section includes sample classroom scenes, including a problem; the steps
the teacher would use to guide the students
toward a solution; and practical actions parents can take to reinforce what their children
are learning. Parents who find their children’s
math homework baffling will appreciate Mistretta’s clear explanations of what’s going on
with this new way of teaching and learning—
and they may find that it makes more sense
than they thought. —Nanette Donohue
The Best of Both Worlds: How Mothers
Can Find Full-Time Satisfaction in Part-
By Beth Brykman.
Nov. 2016. 280p. Prometheus, paper, $17
(9781633882478); e-book, $11.99 (9781633882485).
Written for mothers seeking that notoriously elusive work-life balance, this guide argues
adamantly for the value of part-time work.
Whether a mother is working full-time or not
at all, Brykman (Second Wind: The Resilience
of Women, 2012) believes the transition to the
part-time working world is not as impossible
as one might think. Brykman’s strategies are
culled from the experiences of more than 100
part-time working mothers, from accountants
to Jazzercise instructors, and she covers such
topics as scaling back from full-time work,
starting your own business, returning to the
workforce with no professional contacts, and
finding the right child care for your situation.
The author operates on the assumption that
most working mothers are married with a
husband available for support, which limits
the scope, however. While there is nothing
especially groundbreaking about Brykman’s
latest, the treasury of anecdotes from women
who found creative solutions to their employment woes could serve as good therapy
for mothers who have already switched to
part-time work or are considering doing so.
Big Bosses: A Working Girl’s Memoir of
Jazz Age America.
By Althea McDowell Altemus. Ed. by
Robin F. Bachin.
Nov. 2016. 192p. illus. Univ. of Chicago, paper, $15
In her remarkable memoir, originally written
under the pseudonym “A Private Secretary,”
Altemus recounts the wildest indiscretions of
her employers between 1918 and 1925. After
her death, Altemus’ grandsons discovered her
typed manuscript, with illustrations by Phineas
Paist, and donated it to the Vizcaya Museum
and Gardens in 2012. Altemus recounts days-long, star-studded parties at the Florida estate
of a manufacturing company’s president. She
takes a job investigating a Chicago businessman for his suspicious wife and launches a
campaign to befriend his secretary in order
to gain access to his office. She goes to underground poker games, sells jewels on her boss’
behalf, and raises both her son and a friend’s
daughter as a single mother. She references
gang violence in Chicago and vaguely hints at
the existence of prostitution and brothels in
New York. Altemus’ stories expose the challenges for young working women in the 1920s,
when employers could fire secretaries for being
married, a mother, or blonde. The annotations
and afterword by historian Bachin provide
context that enriches and clarifies the narrative.
The Fish Market: Inside the Big-Money
Battle for the Ocean and Your Dinner
By Lee van der Voo.
Nov. 2016. 288p. illus. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (9781250079107);
e-book, $12.99 (9781466891739). 338.3.
When, in the early 2000s, the world’s oceans
were dangerously close to being overfished,
the Environmental Defense Fund, backed by
conservative funders like the Walton family
and the Koch brothers, created “catch shares,”
giving fishermen private ownership of territories, with the hope that this would incentivize
sustainability. Surveying today’s fishing communities from Sitka, Alaska, to Madeira Bay,
Florida, to Nantucket, Massachusetts, van der
Voo uncovers the complex, far-from-feel-good
• Young adult recommendations for
adult, audio, and reference titles
reviewed in this issue have been
contributed by the Booklist staff and
by reviewers Michael Cart, Valerie
Hawkins, Kristine Huntley, Krista Hutley, Biz Hyzy, and Lucy Lockley.
• Adult titles recommended for teens are
marked with the following symbols: YA,
for books of general YA interest; YA/C,
for books with particular curriculum
value; YA/S, for books that will appeal
most to teens with a special interest in
a specific subject; and YA/M, for books
best suited to mature teens.