Will reach both small and older readers struggling to conceal, manage, and express complicated inner worlds.

CHILD OF GLASS

Gisele, a miraculous girl born as clear as a windowpane, must live with her every emotion plain for the whole village to see in this import, translated from French.

Flat matte artwork (a combination of paint and collage) creates Gisele’s provincial town “near the cities of Florence and Bilbao” as a jumble of narrow buildings and people while translucent vellum paper and delicate blue linework relay her fragility and transparency. With Gisele’s thoughts “on display [as if] in a shop window,” she sometimes grows despondent, even furious. Readers, like the townspeople, might stare at Gisele’s flat features, her helmet-shaped head, and her nudity. But once they accept this fable’s premise, they quickly encounter wrenching, interesting questions about emotions, communication, public opinion, and acceptance. Both sensitive young people who broadcast their feelings and those who clutch their emotional cards tightly to their chests will reel at the overwhelming notion of having one’s inner world exposed, revealed for others to dissect, criticize, or coddle. “Aren’t you ashamed to show such awful things, Gisele?” a monstrous, distorted crowd of clothed villagers sneers. Gisele’s pain, articulated by double-page spreads of her wide, pale blue face shedding a multifaceted crystal tear through powerful vellum page turns, will feel acute and familiar to adolescents.

Will reach both small and older readers struggling to conceal, manage, and express complicated inner worlds. (Picture book. 6-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-59270-303-6

Page Count: 52

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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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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Celebrate a truly accepting multicultural character.

LOLA LEVINE IS NOT MEAN!

From the Lola Levine series , Vol. 1

Brown introduces a smart, young protagonist with a multicultural background in this series opener for chapter-book readers.

Second-grader Lola Levine is half-Peruvian and half-Jewish; she is a skilled soccer player, a persuasive writer, and aspires to own a cat in the near future should her parents concede. During a friendly recess soccer match, Lola, playing goalie, defends an incoming ball by coming out of her box and accidentally fouls a classmate. And so Lola acquires the rhyming nickname Mean Lola Levine. Through Lola’s first-person narration, readers see clearly how her savvy and creativity come from her family: Dad, who paints, Mom, who writes, and a fireball younger brother. She also wears her bicultural identity easily. In her narration, her letters to her friends, and dialogue, Lola easily inserts such words as diario, tía, bubbe, and shalom. For dinner, the family eats matzo ball soup, Peruvian chicken, and flan. Interspersed throughout the story are references to all-star soccer athletes, from Brazilian master Pelé to Mia Hamm, Briana Scurry, and David Beckham. Dominguez’s black-and-white illustrations are cheery and appealing, depicting a long-haired Caucasian father and dark-skinned, black-haired mother. Typefaces that emulate penmanship appropriately differ from character to character: Lola’s is small and clean, her mother’s is tall and slanted, while Juan’s, the injured classmate, is sloppy and lacks finesse.

Celebrate a truly accepting multicultural character. (Fiction. 6-10)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-25836-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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