Había una vez there was a hard-working Student Library Aide who was tasked with processing books. She did not identify as a reader, and so she could handle large numbers of books without temptation–until The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera caught her eye. Did her supervisor look the other way as this book trailed the student worker through her assigned duties at the front desk, while training new co-workers and as she prepped for her eventual departure upon graduation? Yes, I did. I did because I also read The Last Cuentista and know how transportive the story is. Continue reading
I’m selling table seats for Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) African American Student Services’s A Legacy of Excellence College Scholarship Banquet. This black and white (and silver!) event is scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa. Continue reading
My inner black-clad, post-punk RebL soul is totally delighted that Maggie Thrash juxtaposes her memoir with one of Shakespeare’s ghost stories in Lost Soul, Be at Peace. And like angsty Hamlet, Thrash confronts her family’s past where many of us dare not tread. This graphic novel depicts all my teenage angst, though my angst had different origins than Maggie’s. The dark, moody tone reflects what many young people feel—including Hamlet. Continue reading
Jabari is every child who has made a frighteningly ambitious goal. Jabari will leap off the high dive, definitely, at some point. He prepared for this moment by taking swim lessons and passing his swim test. While it looks easy from afar, it takes guts to face the big moment and Jabari casually puts the task off until he is ready. He stretches, he observes successful jumpers, and he even makes a test run up (and back down) the ladder. Dad recognizes Jabari’s need to do things in his own time and gently provides the support required for Jabari to summon the courage to make a big leap.
I don’t know much about hurricanes but as an Oklahoman I know all about tornadoes. Hurricanes and tornadoes are swirly, destructive storms caused by unstable atmospheric conditions, and so I can extrapolate how a hurricane might be like family. I have one of those, too! And thus, I understand the Westfall family’s dysfunction in Kris D’Agostino’s The Antiques.
The edge of his stiff, leather-soled wingtips puts just enough pressure on the coagulating puddle that the skin bursts and a tablespoon or so of blood spills past the membrane levy and under his shoe. This is enough so that when he shifts his weight, his shoe slips in the moisture. For that millisecond, he loses his center. Once the friction from the dry floor boards catches him, he checks to see if anyone noticed. Whether the assembled group of cops, detectives, coroners or whomever saw, they don’t say a word to the reporter barely out of his teens.
A writing prompt given to my son last year asked him to create a list of five things. I’m revisiting it this year because 1) the list accurately reflects his thought process, 2) not only is it thoughtful and creative, it’s funny, 3) public schools, 4) he killed it on his PSAT, which is not related but brag-worthy anyway, and 5) today is his birthday. This is his list.
Reviewed by Jennifer Haas.
Angela Hanscom begins Balanced and Barefoot by laying out the current state of American childhood. Without that introduction, I might not have believed that we need more evidence to persuade us to let kids be kids. She then gathers information from diverse disciplines to make her valid, if simple, point.
Kids need to play. Outside. Without constant adult interference.
If every book read like Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris, nobody would know the TBR struggle. With dry eyes burning from strain, I turned page after page until the wee hours of the morning. This suspense novel satisfies the bookish desire to escape reality and fall into a story world. The experience is so gratifying, I Tweeted St. Martin’s Press immediately upon closing the book.
Though This Too Shall Pass by Milena Busquets has a summery cover and a summery length, it would be a depressing summer read for most of us. We lack the leisure time and the leisure locales of the characters. Most of us have no personal hermitage or even access to such. I don’t even have a tent! Even worse for light summer reading, Blanca spends her entire vacation mourning her mother and seeking the attention of men. That’s depressing!