A chilling and thought-provoking book about human, political, and economic aspects of the refugee crisis in a medium that...

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MEDITERRANEAN

An art book by Bologna Ragazzi Award–winner Greder (The Island, 2008, etc.) about the European migrant crisis.

Dark-toned, charcoal-dominant illustrations on wordless pages portray two men, one with a light complexion and the other one darker, eating fish. The white man sells the other rifles, which are delivered across the sea and carried by soldiers. A white man resembling the one who sold the weapons stands right behind the soldiers’ commanders, suggesting that he’s commanding too. Then there is war, death, and displacement. The people escaping war walk, then appear crammed on a truck. They talk to smugglers and get on a boat that founders, hopelessly overloaded. The last illustration, of the sinking boat, hearkens back to a man appearing at the beginning of the book, whose drowned body sinks to the bottom of the sea and is eaten by fish—the same fish served to the two men closing the arms deal. In an afterword, Italian journalist Alessandro Leogrande dubs the illustrator’s narrative a human “food chain,” questioning “the relationship between Europe and the dictatorships from which people are fleeing en masse” and connecting Europe’s “inability to understand this modern-day exodus” to a “denial of the humanity of those who travel by sea” and the political reasons behind the journey.

A chilling and thought-provoking book about human, political, and economic aspects of the refugee crisis in a medium that makes it accessible to a wide array of audiences. (Informational picture book. 8-adult)

Pub Date: June 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-76063-095-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Review Posted Online: March 27, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2018

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For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

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BROWN GIRL DREAMING

A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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A well-Crafted, visually rich, truth-telling tale for our troubled times that affirms the eternal importance of friends.

CLASS ACT

Jordan Banks has returned to the elite Riverdale Academy Day School for eighth grade, and although he still doesn’t smell like an eighth grade boy—much to his dismay—his growth spurt comes in other forms.

Unlike New Kid (2019), this sequel offers the perspectives of not just Jordan, but also his best friend, Drew, and his wealthy White friend, Liam. As Jordan navigates what may be his last year at RAD before transferring to art school, he frequently compares his experiences with Drew’s: Both boys are Black, but Drew is taller, more athletic, and has darker skin. Drew also has a new flattop that attracts unwanted touching from non-Black kids. This story focuses on how differently RAD students and teachers treat light-skinned Jordan and dark-skinned Drew and also how middle-class Jordan, working-class Drew, and rich Liam negotiate a friendship of mutual respect and care. RAD administrators and teachers have also realized that they need to work on diversity, equity, and inclusion, but their leadership choice for this initiative results in more microaggressions for the students of color. Jordan’s cartoon “intermissions,” black-and-white pencil sketches, capture his imaginative wit while conveying perceptive observations about race and class that ring true. Each chapter’s title page textually and illustratively echoes popular graphic works for young readers such as Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

A well-Crafted, visually rich, truth-telling tale for our troubled times that affirms the eternal importance of friends. (author's note) (Graphic fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-288551-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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