Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 09/01/2017 *Starred Review* Though she leads, of course, with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial—submitted to a design competition when Maya Lin was still just a senior at Yale—Rubin’s thorough examination of this modern architect extends far past the memorial for which she is best known. After briefly discussing Lin’s childhood—an animal-lover, she grew up in Ohio to academic parents who had both been born in China—Rubin focuses on Lin’s thought process behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the challenges she faced entering into the architecture world as a young Asian woman. From there, she discusses Lin’s refusal to be typecast as a monument designer, and the exception she made for the Civil Rights Memorial. Projects less likely to be well known by students—Wave Field, Langston Hughes Library, Riggio-Lynch Chapel, the Confluence Project—are given equal page time. Lin’s exploration of her Chinese heritage is examined through her design of the Museum of Chinese in America, images of the Box House showcase her playful side, and her love of animals and conservation is still evident in her ongoing What Is Missing? multimedia project. Compact trim size, color-coded chapters, and frequent glossy photos make this a solid, well-researched, and well-rounded biography of a fascinating woman. A finely designed, endlessly compelling examination of the life and work of one of America’s most notable architects. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 09/01/2017 Gr 4–8—For many, Maya Lin's name is synonymous with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This biography moves beyond that singular project to provide readers with a fuller picture of Lin. Born in the United States to Chinese parents and a "Class A nerd," she never felt that she fit in until college. Rubin incorporates information about Lin's life and family, while putting the primary focus of each chapter on a specific project. Lin's thinking is outlined in each case, whether it is how to help people understand the civil rights movement (the Civil Rights Memorial, Montgomery, AL) or how to raise hopes and spirits with her design for a chapel for the Children's Defense Fund in Clinton, TN. Pages of large text alternate with black-and-white family photos and striking color images of her designs, both as they were taking shape, and upon completed construction. The spare writing style and the book's uncluttered layout provide a reading experience as thoughtful and emotionally connected as one of Lin's installations. The narrative represents the artist's body of work from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to her current involvement with What Is Missing?, a project bringing attention to endangered species. VERDICT Thoughtfully written and visually engaging, this biography is a must for elementary and middle school libraries.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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