Posts

Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Image
Bird Box by Josh Malerman


I have many, many thoughts regarding this book, but first I want to say that I really enjoyed Bird Box. This review might come off a little critical at times. I had to keep reminding myself to stop comparing this to other dystopian books that I’ve read and movies that I’ve seen. Overall this was an intensely disturbing novel, that has an extremely interesting premise and this really boils down to survival and trying to hold on to remnants of society even when no such society exists any longer. Malorie had just moved in with her sister Shannon when reports started coming in. It started in Russia and the videos would show people being randomly attacked. There were reports of people going into rages and attacking other or harming themselves. The reports began to trickle in from Alaska and then different areas of the northern part of the United States. Something was causing people to commit these acts, something they were seeing. People began covering their window…

Odd One Out by Nic Stone

Image
Odd One Out by Nic Stone



Courtney and Jupiter have been best friends since he moved into the house next door eleven years ago. And even though she proclaimed she was a lesbian years ago, that hasn’t stopped him from falling head over heels in love with her. Everyone knows them as Coop and Jupe. They’ve always been inseparable and none of his relationships have ever stood a chance because of how close they are. Then there was Rae, some girl Jupiter had been texting for a while. All three ended up being friends and while Jupiter may be developing feelings for her, Rae is trying to sort out her feelings for Cooper. And Jupiter. Love is complicated. Sexuality is complicated. Stone created a book that shows just how complicated and disorienting it can be figuring out your sexuality while also trying to be regular high school students. I really liked Coop, Jupe and Rae. They were extremely well developed and felt genuine. Each one is in a different place in their teenage lives but all three …

The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad

Image
The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad


Nadia Murad is the survivor of a genocide. She lived in a small village in Iraq called Kocho. She was born into Yazidism, a monotheistic religion spread in the oral tradition. It is a religion that you can only be born into. There are only about one million Yazidis alive in the entire world. The Islamic State captured her village, killed the men and kidnapped the women and children. Nadia and other Yazidi women were forced to become sabaya, sex slaves. She was sold and raped multiple times, by multiple men before escaping. Nadia is now a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking. She travels telling her story and demanding justice for the Yazidi genocide taking place in Iraq at the hands of terrorist. I cannot imagine the strength it took to survive this. I cannot imagine the fear that one would experience during a genocide. This book tore me to pieces a…

The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality by Anna-Lisa Cox

Image
The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality by Anna-Lisa Cox



I don’t know if I have ever even stopped to think of the existence of Black pioneers. The image of a pioneer that automatically comes to mind are the images that I’ve been shown: white men and women, with their children in tow making their way across the land like in the old (and epically amazing) game “Oregon Trail.” That’s the history I’ve always been shown in school. It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned of the atrocities committed against Native Americans on that march West. And it isn’t until now that I’m learning about the existence of the courageous Black men and women who settled in the Northwest Territory, cultivated the land and became successful farmers.
Hundreds of Free Black men and women chose to settle in the Northwest Territory. They owned hundreds of acres of land and for a while, the men even had the right to vote. They started families, brav…

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Image
Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Sierra Maria Santiago should be finishing the mural at the Tower. Instead, she is heading to the first party of the summer, meeting up with some of her best friends and enjoying the end of the school year. Well, that was the plan. Until her grandfather tells her that she is a shadowshaper and that the weird kid at school that has drawings all over his clothes will help her finish the mural. Sierra has no idea what he is talking about. Her grandfather had a stroke a year ago, and has barely said anything coherent since. That is until tonight. But what does it even mean to be a shadowshaper? The people who know won’t give her a clear answer, and the night she asks Robbie she ends up being chased by a reanimated dead body known as a corpuscule. But shadowshapers use magic to help the dead and unknown to Sierra, she comes from a family of them and she will be part of the legacy.
Hold on to your garters because things happen quickly in this book. From very …

Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves edited by Glory Edim

Image
Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves edited by Glory Edim


I’ve always been a voracious reader. My mother used to read me bedtime stories at night and as soon as I learned how to read, more often than not you would find me with a book in my hands. There are two books that stand out that were an obvious reflection of me and my family: The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton and Pass It On: African American Poetry by Wade Hudson. Those two books had Black people on the covers, Black people on the pages and were about Black people. Those were the two books I would always go back to. Even after years of reading Goosebumps, Fear Street and Stephen King. Even after imagining myself as Hermione in Harry Potter and well into my teenage years I would still find myself randomly grabbing those two books and reading the pages that influenced me so much when I was young. Reading this anthology brought me back to those books even though it’s been over a decade since I’ve…

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King

Image
The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King


What memories do I have of Fred Rogers? I remember his show and I remember puppets but I don’t remember much of the man. Regardless I was intrigued by this biography and the concept of learning more about this man, whose songs I remember but whose life I do not. I feel like everyone remembers the man in the cardigan but no one knew him. After reading this book I feel like I know him and more than that, I miss him. I wish that I had incorporated him into my child’s life at a young age. I wish I could remember the lessons he taught and the make belief neighborhood he created. King does an amazing job letting readers into the life of a man who cherished children and was so invested in their education. From his family, to his upbringing, to his passions and drives this book puts everything together and really emphasizes the things that made Fred Rogers the man he was. I would have never even considered the amount of work t…