A graceful tapestry weaving together personal and global perspectives and a heart-rending memoir of human endurance.

ON THE MOVE

HOME IS WHERE YOU FIND IT

Former U.K. Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen illuminates issues of human migration by attempting to fill the gaps in his Jewish family history.

His introduction explains the distinctions between migrant and refugee and divides the collection of mostly free-verse poems into four thematic sections. In the first section, “Family and Friends,” Rosen explores his immigrant roots by reflecting on significant experiences and people from his childhood. In one deceptively simple poem, “The Songs My Father Sings,” he ponders his paternal ancestry: “Where has my father been? / Who sang the songs that he now sings / and what do the songs mean?” Two poems recall antisemitic slights by Rosen’s childhood classmates. The second section, “The War,” pieces together parental reminiscences of World War II and of family travels in postwar Europe. In “The Migrants in Me,” the potent third section, Rosen investigates missing family members. His father testifies, “I had two French uncles. / They were in France / at the beginning of the war. / They weren’t there at the end.” In the narrative poem “Finding Out,” Rosen painstakingly unearths information about these uncles—Oscar and Martin—and discovers old photos of them in a long-hidden box of family memorabilia. A duad of wrenching poems directly address Oscar and his wife, Rachel, imagining their emotions during escape, discovery by Nazis, and shipment to Auschwitz. Yet another poignant elegy, “Cousin Michael,” memorializes Rosen’s father’s cousin, evacuated to safety as a teen by parents he’d never see again. The final section, “On the Move Again,” explores the disruptions that uproot people and bring different cultures into contact. In Blake’s blue-washed watercolors, faceless figures trek beneath glowering, threatening skies.

A graceful tapestry weaving together personal and global perspectives and a heart-rending memoir of human endurance. (resources) (Poetry. 8-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5362-1810-7

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.

GUTS

Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl.

FRIENDS FOREVER

From the Friends series , Vol. 3

Shannon just wants to get through eighth grade in one piece—while feeling like her own worst enemy.

In this third entry in popular author for young people Hale’s graphic memoir series, the young, sensitive overachiever is crushed by expectations: to be cool but loyal to her tightknit and dramatic friend group, a top student but not a nerd, attractive to boys but true to her ideals. As events in Shannon’s life begin to overwhelm her, she works toward finding a way to love and understand herself, follow her passions for theater and writing, and ignore her cruel inner voice. Capturing the visceral embarrassments of middle school in 1987 Salt Lake City, Shannon’s emotions are vivid and often excruciating. In particular, the social norms of a church-oriented family are clearly addressed, and religion is shown as being both a comfort and a struggle for Shannon. While the text is sometimes in danger of spelling things out a little too neatly and obviously, the emotional honesty and sincerity drawn from Hale’s own life win out. Pham’s artwork is vibrant and appealing, with stylistic changes for Shannon’s imaginings and the leeching out of color and use of creative panel structures as her anxiety and depression worsen.

A likable journey that is sensitive to the triumphs and agonies of being a 13-year-old girl. (author's note, gallery) (Graphic memoir. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-31755-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more