“The prolific author and playwright parcels her stream of consciousness into wily and witty essays in Life in New York.” —Sam Roberts, The New York Times
Seven Sisters Book Award Winner for Best Nonfiction
Laura serves up a hilarious memoir about three decades of city life as she experienced the best and worst of times. Neighborhoods that now feature chai bars, Pilates, and Gymboree were drug dens, ganglands, and shantytowns. A trip to Central Park often ended at Central Booking, checking out perp lineups. New Yorkers are portrayed as being as diverse as the city they so colorfully inhabit, cautious but generous, brash but welcoming. Enjoy an uproarious romp down memory lane as the city emerges from its “late middle-age Elizabeth Taylor period” to become the modern metropolis we know today.
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“A child discovers that she has a special gift for spotting and solving engineering problems. In her realistic illustrations, Penny Weber emphasizes close-ups of the young inventor’s mobile expressions and light bulbs going off overhead as she visits in turn each member of her mixed-race family. Bright encouragement for young scientists and makers.” —Kirkus Reviews
A hilarious tale of a young person’s misadventures while pursing some inventive ideas she’s hatched. The story inspires young people to pursue the STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math. Women in the US earn just over 57% of bachelor’s degrees in all fields, yet they receive less than 20% of degrees in computer science, engineering, and physics. Ask people to picture a physicist, and they will likely imagine Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, or Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.
Wanda’s Better Way depicts a young person struggling to find solutions without substantial parent or teacher involvement as some children don’t have a strong support system. Likewise, the projects don’t require financial backing or access to expensive equipment. The book contains diversity in the portrayal of its characters, including within the family. Wanda’s brother plays an active role in the story so it should appeal equally to boys and girls. Wanda’s Better Way can be read aloud or individually. It can also be read to children who are not yet reading on their own. This is a terrific book for story time at schools, libraries, and camps that promotes imagination and should provoke a lively discussion.
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Laura Pedersen is an author, humorist, and playwright. She was also the youngest person at age 20 to have a seat on the American Stock Exchange, while earning a finance degree at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She wrote about that experience in her first book, Play Money, which received rave reviews and became a bestseller. At age 25, she was the youngest columnist for The New York Times.