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MIXED MEDIA

The Lowells of Massachusetts (St. Martin’s)

The Kennedys, Roosevelts, and Rockefellers have sparked endless fascination, but no “great” family has embodied American optimism and spirit of reinvention as completely as the Lowells. This influential dynasty finally gets its due in an exhaustively researched biography by Nina Sankovitch, J84. Richly detailed stories of extraordinary individuals shape a dynamic family narrative that spans nearly three hundred years. There’s patriarch Percival Lowell, a prosperous merchant, who left Bristol, England, for Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1639 (he was in his seventies), and the Reverend John Lowell, a studious and faithful preacher buffeted by the winds of the emotional eighteenth-century religious revival known as the Great Awakening. Judge John Lowell served in the Continental Congress and established the family as preeminent Boston Brahmins, while businessman Francis Cabot Lowell founded the city of Lowell, Massachusetts, and brought the Industrial Revolution to the United States. Complex and controversial, Lawrence Lowell battled egalitar- ian and elitist impulses as one of Harvard’s longest-serving presidents. James Russell Lowell helped to forge an American poetic voice that rivaled British verse, and Amy Lowell, a lesbian who rebelled against the confining gentility of her upbringing, won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1926. Each took seriously the family legacy of duty and hard work, but all defined opportunity on their own terms.

BOOKS

The Spark of Learning: Energizing Your Classroom with the Science of Emotion (West Virginia University Press)
What’s a teacher to do in this age of 140-character attention spans and capricious student reviews—become an “edutainer” or stand firm on the notion that learning is a serious business based on an unemotional examination of facts? Fortunately, Sara Rose Cavanaugh, G04, G07, has solid scientific reasons for rejecting this binary. Citing evidence from psychology, neuroscience, and education, she argues that educators need to consider the emotional impact of their teaching style if they want to capture students’ attention, sharpen their memory, and increase their motivation. With humor and insight, she covers the relevant research and offers a variety of techniques to target students’ emotions, including breathing exercises, intentionally confusing your class, showing silly YouTube videos, and sharing stories about your own failures.

American Sentencing (Winter Goose Publishing) and The Treasures That Prevail (Whitepoint Press)
Two recent volumes of poetry by Jen Karetnick, J90, navigate territories that often feel foreign—the human body and a city threatened by climate change. American Sentencing lays bare the indignities of night sweats, migraines, allergies, and other invisible illnesses, as well as the strange intimacy of the doctor-patient relationship. Shot through with humor, delicacy, and pathos, Karetnick’s verses also probe motherhood, Jewish heritage, and poetry itself. In the opening poem of The Treasures that Prevail, the poet’s hometown, Miami, asserts its intention to “run this story like a country of my own,” indicating that the following poems will dive into the overflowing reality of a rising Atlantic and the low-lying coastal areas it imperils. Both pained elegy and clarion call to action, this volume also confronts the danger of an “invisible” disease—climate change denialism.

Colored Travelers: Mobility and the Fight for Citizenship Before the Civil War (University of North Carolina)
Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, J89, an assistant professor of history at Smith College, shows how the basic act of travel—for example, riding in steamships, stagecoaches, and trains, and holding a U.S. passport—emerged as a frontline in the battle for African Americans’ equal rights before the Civil War, one hundred years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus.

Growing Peace (Lee & Low)
On September 11, 2001, J.J. Keki, a musician, composer, and coffee farmer, was about to visit the World Trade Center when he witnessed firsthand the devastation wrought by religious intolerance. Back home in his village of Namanyonyi, Uganda, he resolved to unite his own community—a blend of Muslims, Christians, and Jews—toward the pursuit of a common goal: creating a Fair Trade–certified coffee cooperative. In just eleven years, the Peace Kawomera Growers cooperative has grown from two hundred five members to more than a thousand. This uplifting story, told by award-winning photojournalist Richard Sobol, A76, is intended for children ages seven to twelve, but its message of economic cooperation, religious harmony, and hope will resonate with readers of all ages. Sobol’s vivid photographs transport readers to Namanyonyi, where they can see the ripe, jewel-like coffee berries, feel the exuberance of youngsters playing pick-up soccer, hear the homemade music of celebrating farmers, and applaud the book’s final words: Salaam. Shalom. Peace.

Kahlil Gibran: Beyond Borders (Interlink)
Published in 1923, The Prophet is one of the most beloved books of all time, but the work of its author, the Lebanese-American artist and poet Kahlil Gibran, is broader in scope than most people realize. The late Kahlil G. Gibran, a sculptor and the poet’s cousin and namesake, and his wife, Jean Gibran, J54, drew on a wealth of previously unpublished material for this timely biography. As a young boy, Gibran emigrated from Lebanon to the tenements of Boston’s South End, where his talent was encouraged by settlement house social workers. His work took him to Beirut, Paris, and New York, and he introduced important elements of Middle Eastern aesthetics and philosophy to Western artistic circles. Gibran’s work spoke to ordinary people, particularly immigrants who felt stranded between two worlds. His perseverance and ability to transcend cultural barriers are inspiring in a world still marred by injustice and fear of outsiders.

More New Titles

Student Success in Higher Education
Elaine J. Brzycki and Henry G. Brzycki, G03, present their “integrated student success” model for developing psychologically healthy and self-aware students.

Bison Track
This first novel by Rahul Chak, A13, tells the story of thirty-one-year-old Navin Razdan, who arrives in an Indian mountain town to teach at a private school in the aftermath of a sexual harassment scandal.

Are Pirates Polite? (Scholastic) and Does a Fiddler Crab Fiddle? (Persnickety Press)
Two new children’s books by Corinne Demas, J68, teach and tickle the funny bone. The rhyming text and wacky illustrations of Are Pirates Polite? depict buccaneers who remember to say “please” and “thank you.” Does a Fiddler Crab Fiddle?, co-authored with Demas’ scientist daughter, Artemis Roehrig, uses an engagingly silly question-and-answer format to explore the habits of fiddler crabs.

Ararat (St. Martin’s)
Christopher Golden, A89, A16P, writes about a mountain adventure that goes horrifyingly awry when, fleeing to a cave to escape an avalanche, a couple finds what many believe to be the remains of Noah’s Ark.

Urban Social Listening (Palgrave MacMillan)
Justin B. Hollander, A96, an associate professor of urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts, and his graduate students co-authored this analysis of new software tools and social media data that can be used to explore the attitudes of urban dwellers.

Choosing the Hero (Kiwai)
This is the story of how K. Riva Levinson, J83, helped Ellen Johnson Sirleaf become the president of Liberia and the first woman elected to lead an African nation.

Seasoned Moments
In this collection of more than forty recipes for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, Michal Levison, J99, shares new twists on traditional fare, as well as inventive new dishes.

Mom & Dad—I Promise I’ll Get into College (THiNKaha)
Jeff Shavitz, A88, wrote these reflections on the stressful college admissions process with his daughter, Lexi.

International Farm Animal, Wildlife, and Food Safety Law (Springer)
Gabriela Steier, A07, and Kiran K. Patel edited this valuable and reader-friendly resource for professionals working in food regulation and students studying environmental policy.

Sunrise, Moonrise (Little Simon)
Day turns into night as animals wake and rest according to their natures in this charming, vibrantly illustrated board book by Betsy Thompson, J92.

A Teen’s Guide to Gut Health (The Experiment)
Rachel Meltzer Warren, N04, offers savvy advice for the 14 percent of high school students suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s, colitis, and other digestive disorders.

The Shimmering Road (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
In the latest thriller by Hester Young, J01, Charlie Cates has a terrifying vision that leads to her discovery of long-buried family secrets.

Send news of forthcoming books, performances, art shows, and other creations to tuftsmagazine@tufts.edu. Review copies may be addressed to Tufts Magazine, 80 George Street, Medford, MA 02155.

 
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