Elevate Difference

Reviews of Harcourt

A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta

Here’s the thing about reading a book that’s set in the place you live: it obliges you to scrutinize the setting, the authenticity of the dialogue, and the accuracy of the story in a way you may not have done otherwise. This effect becomes magnified when the place in which you live is not the place you are from, and when your own situated existence in that un-rooted place resembles that of the author’s.

Lucky Billy: A Novel about Billy The Kid

Anything that the imagination can concoct in the way of murders and desperate deeds may be heard upon the streets now in regard to Billy The Kid, but getting at the truth of the many rumors is another thing altogether. -- The Daily New Mexican, May 5, 1881 Billy they don’t want you to be so free. -- Bob Dylan I: Backstory Billy The Kid earned his renown in the Lincoln County War (1878-1881), a mercantile conflict that tore apart New Mexico.

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa

Wangari’s Trees of Peace is a beautifully imagined account, designed for young readers, of the life and career of Wangari Maathai, the Kenyan scholar, activist, and environmentalist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her leadership of the Green Belt Movement and her resistance to deforestation. Often, “message books” like these underestimate kids’ level of sophistication and come across as preachy or cloying.


Ursula K. Le Guin is the author of short stories, essays, volumes of poetry, books for children, and many novels. She has won the National Book Award, five Hugo and Nebula Awards, a Pushcart Prize, and the Howard Vursell Award of American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Everything I'm Cracked Up To Be

Everything I'm Cracked Up To Be is a rock and roll fairytale. Jen Trynin is trying to find her place in the world of music. Her thirtieth birthday is just around the corner and she wants to be a rock star by then. Sending her tapes out to radio stations and playing in clubs is just the start. After her songs get recognized on the radio she pulls together a band. With a new bass player and drummer her band is complete.

The End of Mr. Y

The End of Mr. Y is a science fiction fantasy story. Ariel Manto is a doctoral student writing about a mysterious author, T.E. Lumas. His final book, The End of Mr. Y has never been read by anyone alive because whoever reads the book disappears.

The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, a Fortune, and a Dynasty

Margaret Hardenbroeck Philipse, the first woman to build her own lavish fortune in the New World, had the Midas touch when it came to trading everything from furs to slaves in seventeenth century colonial Manhattan, then called New Amsterdam.