A worthy introduction that offers a young Anglophone audience entry into a legend of Africa without the annoyance of...

SHAKA RISING

A LEGEND OF THE WARRIOR PRINCE

From the African Graphic Novel Series series , Vol. 1

Shaka Zulu rises to power amid great regional turmoil to defend his people against the tide of the expanding European-backed slave trade.

Gogo, an elder, opens by announcing that the story of Shaka is the “story that is part of all of our stories…it is in the clay of our homes…in our blood and our bones.” In this series opener, Shaka, the son of Zulu chief Senzanghakona, struggles with his brother Sigujana over the succession and is eventually forced into exile. Shaka recovers under the leadership of northern neighbor King Dingiswayo, and his skills in battle earn him the reputation of a wise and accomplished warrior. Yet as tribes vie to control new territories and imprison soldiers for eventual European trade, he recognizes that he must return home and assume his responsibility to lead the Zulu. This graphic novel admirably allows its hero to retain flaws and scars that keep him squarely in the realm of the human. Molver’s clean panels also emphasize this, advancing the story in well-paced sequences that balance action with calm. In an era when the stories of colonial exploitation and European enslavement overdetermine how global audiences encounter African stories, Molver and O’Connor forthrightly center this tale on the struggles among the indigenous tribes and nations as they seek to maintain their lands and lifeways while still acknowledging that they, too, have a confluence with the “dark days.” Several pages of backmatter offer historical and cultural context, a glossary, discussion questions, and a pronunciation guide.

A worthy introduction that offers a young Anglophone audience entry into a legend of Africa without the annoyance of overtranslation and with refreshingly three-dimensional characters. (Graphic historical fiction. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-946498-99-1

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Story Press Africa

Review Posted Online: Nov. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites.

THIS IS WHAT I KNOW ABOUT ART

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Curator, author, and activist Drew shares her journey as an artist and the lessons she has learned along the way.

Drew uses her own story to show how deeply intertwined activism and the arts can be. Her choices in college were largely overshadowed by financial need, but a paid summer internship at the Studio Museum in Harlem became a formative experience that led her to major in art history. The black artists who got her interested in the field were conspicuously absent in the college curriculum, however, as was faculty support, so she turned her frustration into action by starting her own blog to boost the work of black artists. After college, Drew’s work in several arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, only deepened her commitment to making the art world more accessible to people of color and other marginalized groups, such as people with disabilities, and widening the scope of who is welcomed there. Drew narrates deeply personal experiences of frustration, triumph, progress, learning, and sometimes-uncomfortable growth in a conversational tone that draws readers in, showing how her specific lens enabled her to accomplish the work she has done but ultimately inviting readers to add their own contributions, however small, to both art and protest.

This deeply personal and boldly political offering inspires and ignites. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09518-8

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

A beautiful meditation on the tender, fraught interior lives of Black boys.

THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE (ADAPTED FOR YOUNG ADULTS)

The acclaimed author of Between the World and Me (2015) reflects on the family and community that shaped him in this adaptation of his 2008 adult memoir of the same name.

Growing up in Baltimore in the ’80s, Coates was a dreamer, all “cupcakes and comic books at the core.” He was also heavily influenced by “the New York noise” of mid-to-late-1980s hip-hop. Not surprisingly then, his prose takes on an infectious hip-hop poetic–meets–medieval folklore aesthetic, as in this description of his neighborhood’s crew: “Walbrook Junction ran everything, until they met North and Pulaski, who, craven and honorless, would punk you right in front of your girl.” But it is Coates’ father—a former Black Panther and Afrocentric publisher—who looms largest in his journey to manhood. In a community where their peers were fatherless, Coates and his six siblings viewed their father as flawed but with the “aura of a prophet.” He understood how Black boys could get caught in the “crosshairs of the world” and was determined to save his. Coates revisits his relationships with his father, his swaggering older brother, and his peers. The result will draw in young adult readers while retaining all of the heart of the original.

A beautiful meditation on the tender, fraught interior lives of Black boys. (maps, family tree) (Memoir. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984894-03-8

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more