Sunday, December 30, 2018

While Alexander's short poems celebrate those who have "gone" before it is Nelson's illustrations that make this book inspiratonal. Muscular athletes, dedicated artists, a civil war soldier or a field worker are all portrayed in their strength and courage. And these characters make the empty page, which symbolizes sacrifice, all the more memorable.
Saeed Aisha Amal Unbound Amal becomes a servant in the home of the local Pakistani despot to pay off her father’s debts. She has dreams of being a teacher but as the eldest daughter had to drop out of school when her mother suffered post partem depression There are many issues here, boys valued more than girls, famiy obligations but they don’t drive the story, Amal’s humanity does and the way she reflects the dreams of young girls everywhere

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Vanderbeekers are back, this time the children plan to surprise their neighbor who has suffered another stroke by creating a garden on an abandoned lot. Their is guilt here, and some growing up and lots of sweet moments as each child, in his/her own way tried to create some good around them. A wonderfully positive book in these troubled times and a great sense of the joy of inner city life and human connectedness.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Following his Statue of Liberty book Eggers directs readers to be active and engaged, a part of society. With a slight rhyme to his text which moves us from one possibility to another this is all about being a part o society. Harris's illustrations are powerful and eye-popping, most double page spreads, all making clear what the possibilities are. An important book especially at this time.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Coming in September from the author/illustrator Drowned city and The Great American Dust Bowl this is a powerful visual experience of the horrors that have caused the Syrian people to flee their country and those they face as refugees. The final pages of the book describe three refugee camps that Brown visited in researching this book and it is clear he has seen life that is hard and ugly and at times hopeless....but the people keep coming and his book helps us understand why. It can be read in one sitting but will long be remembered. Pair with Kate March's fiction book coming the same month, Nowhere Boy about a Syrian boy who hides in the home of an American family living in Belgium.