Published Online: January 9, 2007
Published in Print: January 10, 2007, as New in Print

Book Review

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Developmental Disorders and Health

Strange Son: Two Mothers, Two Sons, And the Quest to Unlock the Hidden World of Autism

by Portia Iversen (Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin, www.penguin.com; 416 pp., $24.95 hardback).

Iversen, who with her husband started the Cure Autism Now Foundation after their son Dov was diagnosed with the developmental disorder, recounts how meeting Soma Mukhopadhyay and her teenage son Tito—whom Iversen calls the “Rosetta Stone for autism”—revolutionized her ability to communicate with her child. Tito, who has been profiled in publications such as National Geographic, Scientific American, and The New York Times, was first brought with his mother from India to the United States by CAN in 2000. Severely autistic and nonverbal, Tito nonetheless has been taught by his mother to communicate through writing, and has even published books of poetry and philosophical prose on his condition. In this book, Iversen describes Soma Mukhopadhyay’s teaching method, its effect on her own son, and the scientific community’s reaction to it. In so doing, she details not only a possible medical breakthrough, but also the struggles common to families around the world affected by autism.

George & Sam: Two Boys, One Family, and Autism

by Charlotte Moore (St. Martin’s Press, www.stmartins.com; 320 pp., $24.95 hardback).

A journalist and mother writes on the difficulties and joys of raising two autistic sons.

Understanding the Mind of Your Bipolar Child: The Complete Guide to the Development, Treatment, and Parenting of Children With Bipolar Disorder

by Gregory T. Lombardo (St. Martin’s Press, www.stmartins.com; 384 pp., $24.95 hardback).

An examination of the disorder’s manifestation in children and adolescents, from a teacher turned child psychiatrist.

Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver

by Arthur Allen (W.W. Norton, www.wwnorton.com; 512 pp., $27.95 hardback).

Arguments for and against childhood vaccination are detailed in this history of the field of immunizations.

Urban Education

The Children in Room E4: American Education on Trial

by Susan Eaton (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, www.algonquin.com; 416 pp., $24.95 hardback).
See Also
Read the accompanying excerpt, “Play Imperiled”

An education journalist who is a former assistant director of Harvard University’s Project on School Desegregation, Eaton explores what she sees as the worsening of racial isolation in America’s inner-city schools. She concentrates on Hartford, Conn., where she follows a class of 4th graders and their teacher in an all-minority public school, Simpson-Waverly Elementary. Recognized in 2003 by the Bush administration as a model of urban education, it serves as her testing ground for whether separation can ever mean equality. Hartford is also home to the other focus of her inquiry, the landmark school desegregation lawsuit Sheff v. O’Neill, now, through appeals, stretching into its 18th year. Overall, the picture Eaton creates is one of educational inequity, as the case’s victories remain unrealized by the state and the school’s successes prove to be short-lived. Author Jonathan Kozol has said of The Children in Room E4, “A very important book, it ought to be read widely.”

Examining Comprehensive School Reform

edited by Daniel K. Aladjem & Kathryn M. Borman (Urban Institute Press, www.uipress.org; 368 pp., $29.50 paperback).

A collection of studies and reflections on education programs targeting low-performing, underserved students in high-poverty schools.

Also of Note

Loving Every Child: Wisdom for Parents

"The child must be seen as a foreigner who does not speak our language and who is ignorant of the laws and customs. Occasionally he likes to go sightseeing on his own and when lost will ask for information and advice. Wanted—a guide to answer questions politely and patiently. Treat his ignorance with respect." —Janusz Korczak

by Janusz Korczak, edited by Sandra Joseph (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, www.algonquin.com; 96 pp., $12.95 hardback).

When the United Nations declared 1979 “The Year of the Child,” the organization also named it “The Year of Janusz Korczak” to celebrate both his teachings and the centenary of his birth. A Polish pediatrician, child advocate, educator, orphanage director, and author, he wrote a children’s book, King Matt the First, that is as beloved in Poland as Peter Pan is in England. Korczak unfortunately is also known for his death during the Holocaust: Having rejected several offers to save his life, he joined 200 Jewish orphans whom he refused to abandon as they were rounded up in the Warsaw ghetto for deportation to the Treblinka extermination camp. Few of Korczak’s written works have been translated into English; this collection of approximately 100 quotations marks the first time many of them have been made available in the United States. Though compiled with parents in mind, most of these passages are equally relevant for educators. A brief biography of Korczak is also included.

The English Reader: What Every Literate Person Needs to Know

edited by Michael Ravitch & Diane Ravitch (Oxford University Press, www.oup.com; 512 pp., $30 hardback).

A compilation of classic British writings, songs, and speeches, culled by the education historian and her son for this sequel to their best-selling The American Reader.

Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56

by Rafe Esquith (Viking, an imprint of Penguin, www.penguin.com; 256 pp., $24.95 hardback).

A much-lauded teacher offers practical suggestions for bringing energy into the classroom.

Child and Adolescent Development for Educators

by Michael Pressley & Christine B. McCormick (Guilford Press, www.guilford.com; 484 pp., $60 hardback).

A graduate-level textbook geared toward future teachers, school counselors, and administrators.

Understanding Youth: Adolescent Development for Educators

by Michael J. Nakkula & Eric Toshalis (Harvard Education Press, www.harvardeducationpress.org; 304 pp., $29.95 paperback).

A book for experienced educators and other adults who regularly work with teenagers that aims to translate developmental research and theory into practice.

Courting Failure: How School Finance Lawsuits Exploit Judges’ Good Intentions and Harm Our Children

edited by Eric A. Hanushek (Hoover Press, www.hooverpress.org; 367 pp., $15 paperback).

Several prominent Hoover Institution scholars weigh in on judicial actions in this collection of essays.

Howard Gardner Under Fire: The Rebel Psychologist Faces His Critics

edited by Jeffrey A. Schaler (Open Court, www.opencourtbooks.com; 448 pp., $36.95 paperback).

A debate between Gardner and his scholarly opposition, through analyses of his work and his responses to them.

The Praeger Handbook of Latino Education in the U.S.

edited by Lourdes Diaz Soto (Praeger, an imprint of Greenwood Publishing Group, www.praeger.com; 605 pp., $175 hardback).

Two volumes outlining the major policies, perspectives, historical figures and events, and organizations that have influenced the education of the largest minority group in American public schools.

Reconnecting Education and Foundations: Turning Good Intentions Into Educational Capital

edited by Ray Bacchetti & Thomas Ehrlich (Jossey-Bass, an imprint of Wiley, www.josseybass.com; 528 pp., $55 hardback).

Suggestions on how relations between foundations and educational institutions might be strengthened, published to coincide with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s centennial.

Educators as Writers: Publishing for Personal and Professional Development

edited by Carol Smallwood (Peter Lang, www.peterlang.com; 268 pp., $29.95 paperback).

Insider tips from published educators on every stage of the process, from drafting to book tours.

Vol. 26, Issue 18, Page 30

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