Reviews

Mixed Media
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Social Jusitce

A Prisoner in the Garden

by The Nelson Mandela Foundation

reviewed by Sonya VanderVeen Feddema

In 2004, Nelson Mandela launched the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory and Commemoration Project, intending through it to systematically open his prison archive. Mandela allowed his record of 27 years in prison to be made public because, as he states, “the struggle against apartheid can be typified as a pitting of remembering against forgetting.” This record includes photographs, video footage, diaries, and handwritten letters to family, friends, jailers, and political authorities. A Prisoner in the Garden tells the story of the project. It details the government’s efforts to destroy the archive, the intriguing story of the return of two of Mandela’s prison notebooks, and the prisoners’ struggles against the prison authorities for the control of the archive. A recurring theme throughout this fascinating book is the role public archives play in restorative social justice. (Penguin)

Fiction

A Map of Glass

by Jane Urquhart

reviewed by Jim Romahn

This novel by one of Canada’s most acclaimed authors begins in the 1800s on an island where Lake Ontario drains into the St. Lawrence River. It evolves as a multi-generational story of families whose fortunes were first made from marketing old-growth timber and building sailing ships, then lost and buried under the shifting sands of greed and neglect. Urquhart is at her best, using history and landscape to craft her presentation of character. She treats her characters with loving respect, exposing their inner turmoil gradually, as they explore the events and relationships that shaped them. Urquhart exhibits the eye of an artist, the passion of a poet, and the skills of an accomplished professional. (McClelland and Stewart)

Website

www.flickr.com

reviewed by Kelly Crull

I flipped through a photo album with my parents recently. I sat at my laptop in Spain, and my parents sat at their computer in Iowa. Flickr.com is my photo sharing website for a few reasons: the basic service is free, setting up an account is easy, and I can organize and share my photos. I upload photos, tag them with searchable keywords, and add notes that pop up when visitors move their mouse over a photo. I can invite friends and family to view my photos, watch a slideshow, and leave comments. Flickr.com won’t put your photos in your hand, but it will keep your photos handy.

www.missionfish.org

reviewed by Philip Christman

Charitable giving is more convenient, thanks to the Internet. Register your old golf clubs or extra dishes for sale at missionfish.org and you can direct proceeds to any of nearly 5,000 charities. Our own CRWRC and Christian Reformed Home Missions are registered there, alongside Amnesty International, Food First, and Catholic Charities. Nonprofit organizations can use the site to facilitate their own fundraising—one high school raised nearly $10,000 via a 10-day online auction, which beats bake sale cash hands down. If you buy or sell things online, or if you’re with a nonprofit, you’ll find this site helpful.

FICTION

Mimus

by Lilli Thal

reviewed by Sonya VanderVeen Feddema

Prince Florin, betrayed and captured by his father’s archenemy, King Theodo, is forced to become the apprentice to the king’s jester, Mimus. Florin quickly learns that being a jester is not a laughing matter; instead, it is “another form of death.” While enduring hunger, humiliation, rigorous training, and bawdy humor, one goal keeps Florin’s hope alive: freeing his father, King Philip, from Theodo’s castle dungeon. This thrilling medieval tale reveals an era in which the church had abdicated its role as spiritual leader—among other ungodly actions, declaring that jesters had no souls—and a time when kings tried to destroy each other in God’s name. Though designated as young adult fiction, this book is more appropriate for adults. (Annick Press)

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