Monthly Archives: March 2016

March Reading Madness

Published / by SarahE / Leave a Comment

Okay I’ve been on a reading spree, and have neglected writing about a single thing I’ve read, so here’s my massive end of holiday reading recap:

First,

Blacksad & The Isle of 100,000 Graves

Isles of 100,000 Graves is beyond anything that I have ever read. It is soooo strange, but in a good way. I liked it. A girl goes looking for her missing father and stumbles upon a school for hangmen, hence the 100,000 graves. The hangmen candidates put treasure maps that lead to the island in bottles and throw them in the ocean, which lures all kinds of ships to the island, so the hangmen students can practice their torturing and killing techniques. That’s where our heroine tracks down her father. Simple drawings, good story.

Blacksad has wonderful drawings. Blacksad is a cat P.I., but he’s not really a cat, he’s a human, but looks like a cat. Everyone else is also a type of animal. Like, the police are dogs, and there’s a bad guy frog, but they’re not frogs and dogs; they’re humans, essentially. It’s a great read, very reminiscent of the old hardboiled noir type mystery novels, i.e. Raymond Chandler. Just imagine Philip Marlowe as a cat…

Now,

Baba Yaga’s Assistant

By: Marika McCoola

Illustrated By: Emily Carroll

Baba Yaga is a witch from Russian fairytales. No one is really sure if she’s a good witch, or bad.. well, maybe people know, but I don’t know! Her role in fairytales is rather ambiguous, but in this graphic novel ‘ole Baba Yaga came off rather well. For a lot of people, Baba Yaga may be unknown. So here’s a picture:

and here’s a description: old, ugly, really long nose, rides around in a mortar with pestle, her house has chicken legs, and she eats children. In this story Masha’s mother and grandmother have died. Now she is left with only her father and new stepmother and stepsister. She feels misunderstood by her father, and her stepsister is awful and angry, so Masha runs away to find Baba Yaga and become her assistant. Baba Yaga is not an easy witch though, and makes Masha perform a series of tasks to prove she’s worthy. It’s a really solid YA graphic novel.

Sisters and Drama

By: Raina Telgemeier

I’m late to the game on this author. I’ve had her books on my to- read shelf for a while, but I’m not big on the whole YA genre, so I wasn’t in a big hurry to read them. Thank God there was little to no romance. Why, oh why, do people, and when I say people I really mean adults, enjoy YA romance? Anyway, Drama was all about theater design, art and identity, and Sisters was a refreshingly simple memoir about growing up with a sibling you don’t really get along with. I loved both novels, and read them in one sitting.

Beetle Boy

by: M.G. Leonard

I challenge you to read this novel and not want one of these when you’re done:

I loved this book! It’s a middle grade reader, so the kids are 10 or 11-ish, which I love because they’re not old enough for the much loathed YA romance. The story moves fast, and you’ll learn a whole bunch of crazy things about beetles and how totally cool they are! Plus, this is the first book in a trilogy, which is really exciting! Oh yeah, and it’s a mystery with a  Cruella Deville type villain (only, she wants beetles, not Dalmatians), can it get much more awesome than that?

Here’s some more beetles to get you in the mood:

That’s it for now, ciao.

Hurricane Katrina for all ages

Published / by SarahE / Leave a Comment

Hurricane Katrina,

Drowned City

By: Don Brown

 

I was ashamed while reading Drowned City.

It’s a graphic novel for kids about Hurricane Katrina. In my humble opinion, it was very powerful, because I didn’t know…

I didn’t know about the convention center (isn’t that awful). I didn’t know about the toxic water. I didn’t know about people drowning in their attics. I didn’t know about the 5,000 children that went missing (later reunited with parents). I didn’t know about the animals that were separated from their desperate owners. I didn’t know about the hospitals losing generators, and people who shouldn’t have had to die, dying because there was no life support. I didn’t know, and I have never tried to know. Most of the people that died were elderly; people that didn’t want to leave their homes.

A lot of people died in their attics… can you imagine: water gushing into your home, you try to get as high as you can, but even up at the top of your house you find that you’ve just cornered yourself into a watery grave, and you slowly drown. One couple cut out a hole in their roof to escape. The elderly had no choice.

I did know about our shoddy government. I knew about FEMA. I knew about the gangs. I knew about President Bush flying over the city. I knew about the Mayor. I knew about the Super Dome. I knew about the looting.

What was more important though? After a tragedy the magnitude of Katrina, everyone starts yelling at one another. It’s you fault! No, it’s yours! Well, at this point who cares, just get your butts in there and help these people!

This was a really great graphic novel, and it’s published for kids! Kids should read it. It’s tough, but it’s important for the next generation to learn about these mistakes. To see the humanity in these disasters, and work to create a future where we do not have to worry about another Katrina.

I don’t know if this was supposed to be as powerful as I felt it was, but I had goose bumps reading this book. Maybe that was due to my ignorance of the whole situation in New Orleans, but I loved this book. Read it as soon as possible.

You knew more than me and crave more in depth “adult” books about Hurricane Katrina? Try these (they’re all fiction I’m afraid, but the nonfiction titles were unfamiliar so I was hesitant to include them):

Zeitoun– Dave Eggers

Salvage the Bones– Jesmyn Ward

The Tin Roof Blowdown– James Lee Burke

 

#WorldBookDay

Published / by SarahE / Leave a Comment

I made a huge bowl of popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, and told my niece to pick out as many books as she wanted: it’s World Book Day!

I love picture books, so we always have a plethora to choose from at home. The library thinks I’m a crazy person.

Here’s a few that we’ve (my niece and I) really loved recently:

This book is heartwarming. I don’t read a lot of heartwarming books, but just look at that cover! The Golden Retriever, the Golden Retriever socks, the Golden Retriever eyes… Tuesday is a service dog that helps a wounded veteran Luis (who is also the author). It’s a great way to explain what a veteran is, and what the purpose of a service dog might be. I loved this book.

This book is absolutely delightful. A little girl decides the squash that her parents buy at the farmer’s market is going to be her new best friend, so she carries it around with her, gives it a face, plays with it, takes it to storytime, but soon the squash starts to get spotty and squishy. She goes back to the farmer’s market to get advice on how to best care for her squash and a farmer tells her it needs dirt, so she buries it, and in the spring her squash is growing again!

Everyone should read this book. I think I almost shed a tear when I read that  human traffic on the ocean is disturbing whale communication. Stupid humans. We suck! Whales are awesome. They live just as long as we do. They never fully fall asleep or they’d drown. They can communicate with each other over 1,000 miles. They’re huge. You can hear their exhale miles away. As you can read, I learned a lot from this fascinating picture book…

If you want to get really pissed about human/whale interaction watch this movie:

But before you do that, acknowledge it’s World Book Day, and grab a good book, a piece of chocolate, and enjoy!

Here’s the website for World Book Day.