Part Biography, Part History, Totally Inspirational


Growing up, Maya Lin loved to spend time outside and build houses out of paper. She also loved to watch her father use clay, and she later learned how to use it to make things. Although she initially chose zoology as her college major, those loves ultimately led her to study architecture and become an architect. In her senior year at Yale University, she entered a competition to design a Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. She was shocked to learn that she won the competition, and equally shocked at the criticism that followed. This was the first of several historically significant memorials and land sculptures Lin has designed. This is a biography about the life, inspiration, and achievements of Maya Lin.

BTSYA / Teen Reader (15):
There are many things I like about this book. First, it gave lots of information about Lin's most widely known monument. Before reading this book, I didn’t know about the criticism of Lin’s original design or that Lin was a student at Yale when she came up with the idea of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Similarly, I also liked learning about Lin and the backstory of her motivation to create many different memorials and structures that are famous today.

I also found the book a bit frustrating to follow. I didn't like the continuously changing time periods, moving backward and forward, but not in chronological order.  

All that said, I recommend this book to ages 11 and older because of how informative it is. I would definitely give this book to someone else.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Budding architects and artists, history lovers, and those who are always looking for inspirational stories will find themselves captivated by Maya Lin, her methods, her perseverance, and her work.

Content Awareness Factors:

None noted.

Type of Book:
This is a biography of Maya Lin with a focus on her methods and inspiration for the memorials she has created.
Educational Themes:

There is a lot to unpack from this book. It is a biography, it is a history book (architecture and general), it is a methodology, and it is about art, passion, and making a difference.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
12 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
10 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer’s Age: 15
Purchase Recommendation:
For most, this is a borrow. If you have a budding architect or artist, this is a "must buy."

Title Maya Lin: Thinking with Her Hands
Author Susan Goldman Rubin
Publisher Chronicle Books © 2017
ISBN 9781452108377
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Biography, Art, Architecture, Asia | Asian People
be the star you are Cybils
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