Reviews and Blog Posts: poverty

An invisible thread

by Laura Schroff

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An Invisible Thread is the true story of a New York City businesswoman and an 11-year-old panhandler. The title comes from the Chinese proverb, "An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle. But it will never...

Little White Duck : a childhood in China

by Andrés Vera Martínez

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This graphic memoir gives a glimpse into post-Mao Chinese society through the eyes of a child.  The stories are well told by appealing to a child's sense of curiosity and introduce readers to the cultural climate of the period such as nationalism, mythology, and rural/urban divides .  The beautiful illustrations...

Eleanor & Park

by Rainbow Rowell

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Trigger warnings for: domestic abuse, implied domestic violence, sexual harassment, and bullying.

Eleanor has an abusive stepfather, an emotionally distant father, and any number of bullies at her new school. She thinks Park is beautiful.

Park has the only parents on the block who are still together. When he's not being ignored...

Alchemy and Meggy Swann

by Karen Cushman

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Alchemy and Meggy Swann is set in Elizabethan London, 1573, when many of the superstitions of the Medieval era were just starting to give way to the seeds of Empiricism; when the printing press was revolutionizing the ways people thought, read, and communicated; and when the theater was about to...


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Viewed as a metaphor for the failure of high rise public housing, Citadel is a brilliant work of social commentary.  Theorists postulate that outrageous youth to adult population ratios and indefensible space (along with a myriad of other design, bureaucracy and social issues) contributed the demise of public high-rises. Not...

A Man With No Talents

A Man with No Talents: Memoirs of a Tokyo Day Laborer

Talk About Bleak

Oskar here, again, to share another InterLibrary Loan gem -- A Man with No Talents: Memoirs of a Tokyo Day Laborer. Maybe "gem" is a little strong because this book gave me some trouble with its extremely introverted and destitute characters, most of whom lead a zombie-like, meandering existence. So how about "find" or, better yet, "warning"?

Deer hunting with Jesus : dispatches from America's class war

by Joe Bageant

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This book is a provocative look at southern rural communities in general, and Winchester, Virginia, the author's hometown, specifically. The author describes the culture and traditions of the inhabitants of these areas, and he pulls no punches in his descriptions. Do not look for any semblance of political correctness in...

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