Landau, Elaine 1948-

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LANDAU, Elaine 1948-

PERSONAL: Born February 15, 1948, in Lakewood, NJ; daughter of James and May (a department store manager; maiden name, Tudor) Garmiza; married Edward William Landau (an electrical engineer), December 16, 1968; children: Michael Brent. Education: New York University, B.A., 1970; Pratt Institute, M.L.S., 1975. Religion: Jewish. Hobbies and other interests: Botany.

ADDRESSES: Home—11810 Southwest 92nd Lane, Miami, FL 33186.

CAREER: Reporter on community newspaper in New York, NY, 1970-72; Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, editor, 1972-73; Tuckahoe Public Library, Tuckahoe, NY, director, 1975-79; Sparta Public Library, Sparta, NJ, director.

MEMBER: Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, American Library Association.

AWARDS, HONORS: New Jersey Institute of Technology awards, 1977, for both Death: Everyone's Heritage and Hidden Heroines: Women in American History, 1981, for both Occult Visions: A Mystical Gaze into the Future and The Teen Guide to Dating, and 1989, for both Alzheimer's Disease and Surrogate Mothers; NCSS/CBC Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies, 1990, for We Have AIDS, 1991, for We Survived the Holocaust, 2002, for Columbus Day: Celebrating a Famous Explorer and Heroine of the Titanic: The Real Unsinkable Molly Brown, and 2003, for Osama bin Laden: A War against the West; ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 1991, for We Have AIDS; Science Books and Films (SB&F) Annual Best Children's Science Book List, 1991, for Neptune, 1994, for Rabies, 1996, for ESP and The Curse of Tutankhamen, 1997, for Ocean Mammals and Tropical Forest Mammals, and 1998, for Joined at Birth: The Lives of Conjoined Twins; Society of School Librarians, "Best of 1993," for The White Power Movement; NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children, 1994, for Rabies; Booklist Selection of the Best Rain Forest Books of the Decade, 1997, for Tropical Rain Forests around the World, and Tropical Forest Mammals; SB&F Best Science Books for Junior High and High School Readers, 1998, for Tourette Syndrome and Joined at Birth: The Lives of Conjoined Twins; Ohio Farm Bureau Award for Children's Literature, 2000, for Corn; New York Public Library Books for the Teenage, 2001, for Heroine of the Titanic: The Real Unsinkable Molly Brown; Voya 7th Annual Nonfiction Honor List, 2001, for Heroine of the Titanic: The Real Unsinkable Molly Brown; Society of School Librarians International Book Award, Honor Book, 2002, for Osama bin Laden: A War against the West; Booklist Top 10 Biographies for Youth, 2002, for Osama bin Laden: A War against the West; International Reading Association Young Adult's Choice, 2003, for Slave Narratives: The Journey to Freedom; Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List, 2003-2004, for Smokejumpers;

WRITINGS:

(With Jesse Jackson) Black in America: A Fight for Freedom, Messner (New York, NY), 1973.

Woman, Woman! Feminism in America, Messner (New York, NY), 1974.

Hidden Heroines: Women in American History, Messner (New York, NY), 1975.

Death: Everyone's Heritage, Messner (New York, NY), 1976.

Yoga for You, Messner (New York, NY), 1977.

Occult Visions: A Mystical Gaze into the Future, illustrated by Carol Gjertsen, Messner (New York, NY), 1979.

The Teen Guide to Dating, Messner (New York, NY), 1980.

The Smart Spending Guide for Teens, Messner (New York, NY), 1982.

Why Are They Starving Themselves?: Understanding Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia, Messner (New York, NY), 1983.

Child Abuse: An American Epidemic, Messner (New York, NY), 1984, 2nd edition, 1990.

Growing Old in America, Messner (New York, NY), 1985.

Different Drummer: Homosexuality in America, Messner (New York, NY), 1986.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 1986.

Alzheimer's Disease, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1987.

The Homeless, Messner (New York, NY), 1987.

On the Streets: The Lives of Adolescent Prostitutes, Messner (New York, NY), 1987.

Surrogate Mothers, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1988.

Teenagers Talk about School—and Open Their Hearts about Their Closest Concerns, Messner (New York, NY), 1988.

The Sioux, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1989.

Black Market Adoption and the Sale of Children, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1990.

Cowboys, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1990.

Teenage Violence, Messner (New York, NY), 1990.

Tropical Rain Forests around the World, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1990.

Nazi War Criminals, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1990.

Lyme Disease, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1990.

We Have AIDS, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1990.

Weight: A Teenage Concern, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1991.

Wildflowers around the World, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1991.

We Survived the Holocaust, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1991.

Armed America: The Status of Gun Control, Messner (New York, NY), 1991.

Dyslexia, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1991.

Mars, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1991.

Chemical and Biological Warfare, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1991.

Interesting Invertebrates: A Look at Some Animals without Backbones, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1991.

Colin Powell: Four-Star General, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1991.

Jupiter, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1991.

Robert Fulton, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1991.

Saturn, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1991.

Neptune, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1991.

Endangered Plants, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1992.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, New Discovery (New York, NY), 1992.

Terrorism: America's Growing Threat, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1992.

Big Brother Is Watching: Secret Police and Intelligence Services, Walker (New York, NY), 1992.

Teens and the Death Penalty, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 1992.

The Cherokees, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1992.

State Birds: Including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1992.

State Flowers: Including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1992.

Bill Clinton, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1993.

Sexual Harassment, Walker (New York, NY), 1993.

Yeti: Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, Mill-brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1993.

The White Power Movement: America's Racist Hate Groups, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1993.

Sasquatch: Wild Man of the Woods, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1993.

The Loch Ness Monster, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1993.

Rabies, Lodestar (New York, NY), 1993.

The Right to Die, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1993.

Interracial Dating and Marriage, Messner (New York, NY), 1993.

Environmental Groups: The Earth Savers, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 1993.

Allergies, Twenty-first Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 1994.

Epilepsy, Twenty-first Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 1994.

Deafness, Twenty-first Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 1994.

Teenage Drinking, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 1994.

The Chilulas, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1994.

Blindness, Twenty-first Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 1994.

The Beauty Trap, New Discovery (New York, NY), 1994.

Sibling Rivalry: Brothers and Sisters at Odds, Mill-brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1994.

Diabetes, Twenty-first Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 1994.

The Pomo, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1994.

Cancer, Twenty-first Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 1994.

The Hopi, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1994.

Breast Cancer, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1995.

Your Legal Rights: From Custody Battles to School Searches, the Headline-making Cases That Affect Your Life, Walker (New York, NY), 1995.

Hooked: Talking about Addiction, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1995.

Ghosts, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1995.

Tuberculosis, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1995.

The Abenaki, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1996.

Temperate Forest Mammals, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Tropical Forest Mammals, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

ESP, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1996.

UFO's, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1996.

Mountain Mammals, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Stalking, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1996.

The Ottawas, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1996.

Fortune Telling, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1996.

Foretelling the Future, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1996.

Grassland Mammals, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Desert Mammals, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Ocean Mammals, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Near-Death Experiences, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1996.

The Shawnee, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1996.

The Curse of Tutankhamen, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1996.

Bill Clinton and His Presidency, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Joined at Birth: The Lives of Conjoined Twins, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Short Stature: From Folklore to Fact, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Standing Tall: Unusually Tall People, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Living with Albinism, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

The Sumerians, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997.

Your Pet Cat, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Your Pet Dog, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Your Pet Gerbil, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Your Pet Hamster, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Your Pet Iguana, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Your Pet Tropical Fish, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Minibeasts As Pets, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Parrots and Parakeets As Pets, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Wild Children: Growing Up without Human Contact, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1998.

Multiple Births, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1998.

Tourette Syndrome, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1998.

Apatosaurus, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Pterodactyls, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Stegosaurus, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Triceratops, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Tyrannosaurus Rex, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Velociraptor, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Angelfish, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Electric Fish, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Jellyfish, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Piranhas, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Sea Horses, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Siamese Fighting Fish, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Apples, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Bananas, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Corn, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Sugar, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Tomatoes, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Wheat, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Australia and New Zealand, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

India, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Israel, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Korea, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Norway, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Puerto Rico, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Parkinson's Disease, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1999.

Jupiter, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1999.

Mars, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1999.

Saturn, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1999.

Air Crashes, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1999.

Fires, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1999.

Space Disasters, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1999.

Maritime Disasters, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 1999.

Canada, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

France, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Dominican Republic, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Egypt, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Peru, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Land Mines: 100 Million Hidden Killers, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2000.

Pizza: The Pie That's Not a Dessert, Rourke Press (Vero Beach, FL), 2000.

John F. Kennedy, Jr., Twenty-first Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

The New Nuclear Reality, Twenty-first Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

Holocaust Memories: Speaking the Truth in Their Own Words, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2001.

Slave Narratives: The Journey to Freedom, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2001.

Autism, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2001.

Heroine of the Titanic: The Real Unsinkable Molly Brown, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Ice Cream: The Cold Creamy Treat, Rourke Press (Vero Beach, FL), 2001.

Chocolate: Savor the Flavor, Rourke Press (Vero Beach, FL), 2001.

Pretzels: One of the World's Oldest Snack Foods, Rourke Press (Vero Beach, FL), 2001.

Chewing Gum: A Sticky Treat, Rourke Press (Vero Beach, FL), 2001.

Hamburgers: Bad News for Cows, Rourke Press (Vero Beach, FL), 2001.

Canals, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Bridges, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Tunnels, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Skyscrapers, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Independence Day: Birthday of the United States, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2001.

Columbus Day: Celebrating a Famous Explorer, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2001.

Thanksgiving Day: A Time to Be Thankful, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2001.

Spinal Cord Injuries, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2001.

Presidential Election 2000, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Prince William: W. O. W., William of Wales, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Smokejumpers, photographs by Ben Klaffke, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Head and Brain Injuries, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.

St. Patrick's Day, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.

Valentine's Day: Candy, Love, and Hearts, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.

Veterans Day: Remembering Our War Heroes, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.

Earth Day: Keeping Our Planet Clean, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.

Mardi Gras: Music, Parades, and Costumes, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2002.

Osama bin Laden: A War against the West, Twenty-first Century Books (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Popcorn!, illustrated by Brian Lies, Charlesbridge (Watertown, MA), 2003.

Fearsome Alligators, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

Scary Sharks, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

Sinister Snakes, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

Killer Bees, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

Creepy Spiders, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

Fierce Cats, Enslow Publishers (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2003.

A Healthy Diet, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2003.

Alcohol, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2003.

Cigarettes, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2003.

Cocaine, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2003.

The Civil Rights Movement, Franklin Watts (New York, NY), 2003.

A President's Work: A Look at the Executive Branch, Lerner Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Friendly Foes: A Look at Political Parties, Lerner Books (Minneapolis, MN), 2003.

Contributor of reviews to New York Times Book Review.

SIDELIGHTS: A prolific author of nonfiction for younger readers, Elaine Landau has been praised by reviewers for her well-researched and well-written books. In topics ranging from the legendary Loch Ness Monster to the presidency of Bill Clinton and the terrorist Osama bin Laden, and from UFO's and ESP to up-to-the minute advances in Alzheimer's disease research, Landau presents factual information often highlighted by case studies, interviews, and other information that provides readers with added insight into the topic at hand.

Born in New Jersey in 1948, Landau had written her first book by the time she was nine years old, composing it "in the children's room of my local library," as she once recalled to CA. "I spent a lot of time in that room, reading and growing, while remaining safely hidden from a mother, older sister, and aunt who assured me that to dream of becoming an author was an unrealistic career aspiration." But Landau was not to be discouraged by the advice of her family. "The relative hasn't been born who can dampen the magic of a well-spun story," she declared. "Besides, I was a very determined little girl. So determined that by the time I was fifteen, I had written over two dozen books—the longest of which was a full nine pages!"

When Landau was in her mid-twenties and living in New York City, she published the first of her many books. "Although being a 'real' author is often a very lonely occupation (you can't entertain friends while completing a chapter), it is also my greatest joy," she once explained. "I've always loved the idea of reaching out to share my thoughts and feelings with others, and I still can't think of a better way to do so."

Many of Landau's books have been of particular interest to modern teens facing a far different world than that of previous generations, a fact that makes older nonfiction books irrelevant. Eating disorders are dealt with in detail in Why Are They Starving Themselves? Understanding Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia, which contains interviews with several women and teens, as well as a list of resources on where to get help for both anorexics and their families. The book received a starred review from Booklist. Landau's related work, Weight: A Teenage Concern, published in 1991, examines the social pressures on young women to be thin, and the prejudice that overweight teens often face. "Readers will enjoy the testimonials of teens and appreciate the author's nonjudgmental tone," according to Voice of Youth Advocates reviewer Joyce Hamilton. The Beauty Trap, which Landau published in 1994, focuses on the root cause of eating disorders: society's obsession with physical beauty and how that obsession is internalized and acted upon by women. Providing basic information on the consequences of falling into the beauty trap in four chapters, the book also includes a list of organizations that offers readers more information on ways to break the cycle. "Landau's insightful and disturbing examination" of modern culture's obsession with the physical appearance of women and girls "should be required reading for all young girls, their parents, and their teachers," according to Jeanne Triner in Booklist.

Other books of interest to teen readers have concerned topics of equal seriousness. Teenage Drinking, published in 1994, involves readers in the personal life of teens whose lives are controlled by the out-of-control drinking of either themselves or someone close to them. Praised for her ability to "reveal the impact and danger of alcoholism much more clearly and compellingly than the typical statistics and charts" by Voice of Youth Advocates reviewer Joanne Eglash, Landau combines stories of young alcoholics with information and advice to family members and friends. Similarly, in Hooked: Talking about Addiction, the author divides her discussion into causes of addiction, its effects, and the steps that must be taken in the recovery process, using three case histories of teens as the focus of the book. Susan Dove Lempke, writing in Booklist, felt that Landau's book is a "good jumping-off point for students who want to learn about addictions." Teenagers Talk about School—and Open Their Hearts about Their Concerns, which features interviews with a wide variety of students across the United States, encompasses many of the topics covered in more detail in Landau's other books. "Teens will surely recognize themselves and their friends in Landau's bittersweet mosaic of the American teen social environment," according to Libby K. White, reviewing the 1989 work for School Library Journal.

Sexuality figures prominently in teen life, and Landau has written several books dealing with various aspects of human sexual relationships, from dating to marriage. Interracial Dating and Marriage covers everything from the history of cross-race relationships between men and women to interviews with those involved with partners of a different race. White praised the book in School Library Journal, calling Landau's approach "warmly supportive of those who find love outside their own group," adding that "there is no attempt to minimize potential difficulties." Concerns over the medical hazards associated with sexual intercourse are covered in 1987's Sexually Transmitted Diseases and We Have AIDS, a 1990 work that "will surely help to dispel the notion among teenagers that, 'it can't happen to me,'" according to Appraisal reviewer Tippin McDaniel. Landau speaks with nine young adults who have contracted the deadly disease, illustrating the fact that AIDS does strike across racial, cultural, and economic boundaries. The AIDS epidemic also serves as one of Landau's topics in her Different Drummer: Homosexuality in America. Examining homosexuality as it currently exists throughout the American social fabric—from same-sex parenting to homophobia—the author "aims to foster a better understanding of homosexuality rather than to offer direct support to those who are questioning their sexual orientation," in the words of Stephanie Zvirin in Booklist.

Landau has also examined social issues such as child abuse, sexual harassment, homelessness, and surrogate parenting. The Homeless, published in 1988, features several interviews that illustrate the serious plight of Americans with no permanent place to live. Landau's "writing is sober, the text carefully organized, the topic important," noted Zena Sutherland in Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. In Surrogate Mothers, the author discusses the various causes of infertility, and the ethics involved in some of the solutions to this problem. In addition to providing an in-depth examination of the "Baby M" case, Landau also includes several other case studies involving couples who wished to have children but, for various reasons, were unable to either bear children of their own or adopt. "The clarity of the writing and the organization of the material work together to capture and hold the reader's interest," commented Leonard J. Garigliano in Appraisal.

Additionally, Landau has turned her attention to medical topics. Her 1996 title Alzheimer's Disease is constructed to aid young readers understand this devastating illness. Using real life stories as an opener, Landau goes on to describe the progressive effects of the disease, including loss of memory and physical debilitation. Landau takes a similar approach in Parkinson's Disease and Living with Albinism. In the former title, she explains the basics of this motor disorder, from its subsequent tremors to speech problems as well as the problems doctors have in diagnosing it. Landau "has crafted another well-written, well-organized overview," declared Christine A. Moesch in a School Library Journal review of this title.

Also writing in School Library Journal, Joyce Adams Burner found Landau's Living with Albinism a "positive book, written without sensationalism." Focusing on one eleven-year-old with the condition, Landau again personalizes medical problems and thereby makes them more understandable. Spinal Cord Injuries is another title with appeal for young teens, a survey that includes the personal histories of celebrities such as Gloria Estafan and Christopher Reeves. Booklist's Roger Leslie called the book "informative" as well as "accessible."

Noting that "kids are fascinated by those who look different from them," Booklist's Ilene Cooper found that Landau answers such queries "in a straightforward way" in two different books: Short Stature: From Folklore to Fact, and Joined at Birth: The Lives of Conjoined Twins. The author deals with height in Short Stature, a book that lets young readers know that people with dwarfism can lead normal and productive lives. In Joined at Birth, Landau takes a look at several examples of such cases, from Eng and Chang to Angela and Amy Lakesberg, who shared a heart before they were separated, and to Abigail and Brittany Hensel, twins sharing one body from below the waist. Thomas Plaut, reviewing the latter title in Science Books and Films, felt the "writing style is comfortable and suited to late elementary school youngsters," and Cooper also praised the text, noting that "as always, Landau's writing is clear and cogent." In Tourette Syndrome Landau investigates this neurological condition that gives rise to tics and overly verbal behavior. Again using case histories—from athletes to an actor and a surgeon—to explain the disorder, Landau employs an "unadorned style and easily understandable language," according to Randy Meyer in Booklist. Moesch, writing in School Library Journal, also noted that the "writing is clear and well organized," providing for young readers an "excellent overview of a misunderstood condition." Similarly, Kevin S. Beach, writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, found that the "attractive format and accessible reading level make this an effective guide."

Natural history is another specialty for Landau, who has written books about the planets, dinosaurs, and plants and animals. Working in the "True Book" series, she has written about a wide array of fish, including angelfish and piranhas. Writing in School Library Journal, Karey Wehner called the books of this series "clearly written, well-organized, and attractively formatted introductions." Carolyn Phelan, reviewing Jellyfish and Siamese Fighting Fish in Booklist, commented on the "distinctive look" of the books, dealing with types of fish that are of "special interest to children." Animals as pets is the subject for another series, dealing with the acquisition, care, and feeding of animals from fish to dogs. Reviewing Your Pet Tropical Fish in Teacher Librarian, Jessica Higgs remarked that it was a "good title for younger readers."

Landau also turns her attention to flora as well as fauna in Apples and Corn, "simple introductions to food staples," according to Ilene Cooper in Booklist. In 2000 Corn was awarded the Ohio Farm Bureau Award for Children's Literature. Corn is again examined in Landau's first picture book, Popcorn! Kay Weisman noted of the book in Booklist, that Landau "uses a lighthearted approach in this picture book for older children." School Library Journal's Barbara L. McMullin wrote, "Children will love this enjoyable, oversized compilation of historical facts, legends, trivia, and recipes."

History and biography provide further inspiration for Landau. Her John F. Kennedy, Jr. is a "poignant tribute," according to William McLoughlin in a School Library Journal review. Landau tells of the last days and tragic airplane death of this young man who was the son of the assassinated president, John F. Kennedy. McLaughlin further noted that this biography was an "appealing choice." Peter D. Sieruta, writing in Horn Book Guide, found the biography "balanced and well-rounded." Booklist's Cooper also had praise for the profile, noting that Landau does "an excellent job" in detailing the events in the life of this young man who "meant more to his country than just his resume." In Heroine of the Titanic: The Real Unsinkable Molly Brown, Landau provides a "realistic biography of an independent and strong-willed woman," according to Andrew Medlar writing in School Library Journal. A socialite and social activist, Margaret Brown organized relief for survivors when the ship she was sailing on, the famous Titanic, sunk in 1912. Landau traces the humble origins of Brown until her marriage with a wealthy silver miner thrust her into the socialite role. However, she remained a tireless crusader for social justice, crusading for miners' rights, and her strong character came to the fore when the Titanic went down and she took charge of her lifeboat, helping to rescue others in the water. "Landau hits just the right tone in this complete portrait," Medlar concluded. Another biography with contemporary appeal is Landau's 2002 Osama bin Laden: A War against the West. Cooper, writing in Booklist, noted the urgent need for such a book, praising the author's "absorbing" narrative. "Landau, who is known for her solid research, applies her considerable talents here," Cooper further remarked. A contributor for Kirkus Reviews wrote that the story of bin Laden's transformation from son of a privileged family to international terrorist is "intrinsically chilling."

History of a more general nature is presented in several volumes from Landau, including Maritime Disasters, Space Disasters, and Slave Narratives. In the first two titles, the author deals with disasters such as the Titanic, the Lusitania, and the Andrea Doria as examples of accidents at sea, and with the Challenger and several other less high-profile disasters in space. Kathy Broderick praised both Space Disasters and Maritime Disasters in Booklist, calling them "clearly written," and sure to "enhance a school's curriculum." In her Slave Narratives: The Journey to Freedom, Landau combines both a general historical outlook with four first-person voices and testimonies of onetime slaves, replaying the daily drudgery and terror of the slave life, as well as the dangers of escape and of finding a new home. Edith Ching, reviewing the title in School Library Journal, thought it was a "good introduction to the topic as well as a telling account about slave life in various circumstances."

Landau also deals with current affairs in titles such as The New Nuclear Reality and Land Mines. Anne G. Brouse found the former title to be a "clearly written, accessible overview" in a School Library Journal review, and John Peters, writing in Booklist, felt this "systematic look . . . will leave readers marveling that the world hasn't already been bombed into radioactive slag." Landau points out nuclear dangers which include rogue states with nuclear weapons, the selling of such weapons by the former Soviet Union, and the danger of such weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. Land Mines paints an equally chilling picture of the thousands of mines in the world and the awful toll they take on a civilian population. "Landau offers important and persuasive facts about this problem in an effective resource for students," wrote Lynn Evarts in a Voice of Youth Advocates review. Further social history, of a less urgent sort, is served up in the "Finding Out about Holidays" series, in which Landau profiles such national holidays as Thanksgiving and Columbus Day. Reviewing Columbus Day: Celebrating a Famous Explorer, Janie Schomberg noted in School Library Journal that "Landau gently challenges the myths and assumptions about Columbus" in a book that "gives readers food for thought about the man, the period, and how the holiday might be interpreted and celebrated in today's world."

Writing nonfiction remains Landau's chosen occupation. "Being a nonfiction writer is like taking an unending voyage in a sea of fascinating facts," Landau explained to CA. "Through extensive research and travel, I've learned about desert camels, dolphin intelligence, UFO's, the Loch Ness Monster, and some very deadly diseases. The best part of the experience is sharing the information with young people across America. Even though I may never meet all my readers, I feel as though I'm talking to them whenever they open one of my books."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Appraisal, winter, 1989, Leonard J. Garigliano, review of Surrogate Mothers, pp. 44-45; summer, 1990, Tippin McDaniel, review of We Have AIDS, pp. 31-32; winter, 1991, p. 35; winter, 1994, pp. 55-56; winter, 1995, pp. 118-119; summer, 1996, p. 54.

Booklist, November 1, 1979, p. 450; March 15, 1986, Stephanie Zvirin, Different Drummer: Homosexuality in America, p. 1074; December 15, 1987, p. 710; February 1, 1989, p. 932; May 1, 1993, p. 1586; March 15, 1994, Jeanne Triner, review of The Beauty Trap, p. 1340; June 1, 1995, Merri Monks, review of Tuberculosis, p. 1744; September 15, 1997, Ilene Cooper, review of Joined at Birth and Short Stature, p. 228, April Judge, review of Bill Clinton and His Presidency, p. 228; December 1, 1997, Carolyn Phelan, "The Rain Forest Collection," pp. 628-629; January 1, 1998, Lauren Peterson, review of The Sumerians, p. 805; July, 1998, Randy Meyer, review of Tourette Syndrome, pp. 1870-1871; November 15, 1998, Karen Hutt, review of Multiple Births and Living with Albinism, p. 583; June 1, 1999, Carolyn Phelan, review of Jellyfish and Siamese Fighting Fish, p. 1818; July, 1999, Roger Leslie, review of Parkinson's Disease, p. 1936; October 15, 1999, Ilene Cooper, review of Apples and Corn, p. 449; February 1, 2000, Kathy Broderick, review of Space Disasters and Maritime Disasters, p. 1020; July, 2000, John Peters, review of The New Nuclear Reality, p. 2017; December 15, 2000, Ilene Cooper, review of John F. Kennedy, Jr., p. 806; August, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Slave Narratives, p. 2105; September 1, 2001, Hazel Rochman, review of Holocaust Memories, p. 94; September 15, 2001, Gillian Engberg, review of Thanksgiving Day, p. 234; January 1, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of Osama bin Laden, p. 834; February 1, 2002, Roger Leslie, review of Spinal Cord Injuries, p. 933; June 1, 2002, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Smokejumpers; February 1, 2003, Kay Weisman, review of Popcorn!

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December, 1976, pp. 59-60; October, 1983, p. 31; June, 1986, pp. 187-188; January, 1988, Zena Sutherland, review of The Homeless, pp. 94-95; November, 1988, p. 76; June, 1991, p. 242; September, 1993, p. 15; February, 1994, pp. 191-192.

Horn Book Guide, fall, 1998, Gail Hedges, review of Tourette Syndrome and Living with Albinism, p. 389; fall, 1999, Gail Hedges, review of Parkinson's Disease, p. 353; spring, 2001, Peter D. Sieruta, review of John F. Kennedy, Jr., p. 146.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 1975, p. 1292; December 15, 1982, p. 1339; May 1, 1986, p. 722; October 15, 1991, p. 1345; June 15, 1993, review of Sexual Harassment, p. 787; December 1, 1993, review of The Right to Die, p. 1525; February 1, 2002, review of Osama bin Laden, p. 183.

Publishers Weekly, May 7, 2001, review of Heroine of the Titanic, p. 248.

School Library Journal, February, 1976, p. 46; March, 1980, p. 134; February, 1981; September, 1983, p. 131; November, 1987, p. 110; January, 1989, Libby K. White, review of Teenagers Talk about School—and Open Their Hearts about Their Closest Concerns, p. 100; June, 1990, Nancy E. Curran, review of Black Market Adoption and the Saleof Children, p. 142; September, 1993, Libby K. White, review of Interracial Dating and Marriage, p. 257; January, 1994, p. 138; March, 1994, p. 243; January, 1996, p. 134; September, 1997, Rosie Peasley, review of Bill Clinton and His Presidency, p. 232; March, 1998, Cynthia M. Sturgis, review of The Sumerians et al, pp. 234-235; July, 1998, Christine A. Moesch, review of Tourette Syndrome, p. 107; August, 1998, Joyce Adams Burner, review of Living with Albinism, p. 177; June, 1999, Christine A. Moesch, review of Parkinson's Disease, pp. 148, 150; August, 1999, Karey Wehner, review of Piranhas and Siamese Fighting Fish, p. 147; February, 2000, John Peters, review of Mars and Jupiter, p. 135, Eldon Younce, review of Space Disasters and Maritime Disasters, p. 135; September, 2000, Anne G. Brouse, review of The New Nuclear Reality, p. 250; February, 2001, Joyce Adams Burner, review of Hamburgers and Chewing Gum, p. 113; March, 2001, William McLoughlin, review of John F. Kennedy, Jr., p. 271; July, 2001, Andrew Medlar, review of Heroine of the Titanic, p. 126; August, 2001, Edith Ching, review of Slave Narratives, p. 200; September, 2001, Janie Schomberg, review of Columbus Day and Independence Day, p. 216; December, 2001, Linda Beck, review of Autism, p. 165; January, 2002, Pamela K. Bomboy, review of Thanksgiving Day, p. 120; July, 2002, Anne Chapman Callaghan, review of Smokejumpers; March, 2003, Pamela K. Bomboy, review of The 2000 Presidential Election, p. 220; April, 2003, Barbara L. McMullin, review of Popcorn!

Science Books and Films, May, 1998, Thomas Plaut, review of Joined at Birth, p. 114.

Teacher Librarian, March, 1999, Jessica Higgs, review of Your Pet Tropical Fish, p. 48.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 1981, p. 45; December, 1987, pp. 46-47; April, 1989, p. 60; August, 1990, p. 177; June, 1991, Joyce Hamilton, review of Weight: A Teenage Concern, p. 126; December, 1991, p. 337; June, 1992, Colleen Macklin, review of Teens and the Death Penalty; August, 1993, p. 179; February, 1994, p. 397; December, 1994, Joanne Eglash, review of Teenage Drinking, p. 300; February, 1995, p. 360; December, 1998, Kevin S. Beach, review of Tourette Syndrome, p. 382; February, 2001, Lynn Evarts, review of Land Mines, p. 443.

ONLINE

Elaine Landau Web Site,http://www.elainelandau.com/ (May 11, 2003).

About this article

Landau, Elaine 1948-

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