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Slip by Marika McCoola - Book Review

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By Marika McCoola, Aatmaja Pandya (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781616207892
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - June 7th, 2022

Right before Jade leaves for several weeks at a special art camp, she receives a phone call from her friend Phoebe. Phoebe is in the hospital, having tried to hurt herself. This, of course, shocks Jade, leaving her seemingly alone in trying to learn who she is if Phoebe is not there. Through the art she creates, her new friends and some interesting symbolic ceramic pieces, Jade figures out that this summer can open more doors than just being able to win scholarships. While there are trigger issues involved, mature readers will be fine as McCoola has sensitively addressed issues of mental health, sexuality, and emotions. Beautifully created, this graphic novel is a must read for all. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Horse Trouble by Kristin Varner - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781250225887
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: First Second - October 26th, 2021

Kate, our heroine and narrator is up front and center in a graphic novel about friendships, horses, and falling down and getting back up. Kate, is a striped shirt wearing, happy go lucky, horse-loving girl, until "That Day" when she becomes "aware" for the first time how people react to a plus-sized gal. She already knew that being the “horse loving girl” didn’t give her points in coolness, but it is now that she realizes how different she is. There are issues with bullies, horse show incidents, even a few accidents, but in the end Kate learns a thing or two about life, friendship, actions and consequences and most importantly, about herself. Fun illustrations and definitions and descriptions within the margins of this book makes it a treat for horse people and civilians alike. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Honor by Thrity Umrigar - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781616209957
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Algonquin Books - January 4th, 2022

The world of India is opened in a way few know. The Beauty and The Beast of this country with its different cultures, traditions, physical light and ugly are out in the open. When a Hindu woman and her Muslim husband, are attacked by her brothers, killing her husband, an American reporter takes on her story. Not just because another woman was involved in an Honor Killing, but because she is willing to stand up to her brothers and centuries of traditional patriarchy to sue them. But when she is sidelined with a hip injury, she calls on her friend, Smita (born in India and a terrible secret of her own), to help. Smita becomes embedded in this world she wanted nothing to do with. But she must face the past right now. While sometimes heavy in its message, it is always realistic. Trigger warnings: rape/assault and the honor killing/murders. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Amah Faraway by Margaret Chiu Greanias - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781547607211
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - January 25th, 2022

Even though our young hero has had video chats with her grandmother, still when she flies to Taipei to visit, she is understandably nervous. Taipei has odd foods, language, people, and buildings, so our young friend is not sure how she feels about all of it. The theme of change and “warming up” to your situation is at the forefront, yet there is also the relationship between grandparent and grandchild. Based on Greanias’ own experiences. And Subisak illustrates this journey with bright, fun colors and the perfect details. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Where Butterflies Fill the Sky: A Story of Immigration, Family, and Finding Home by Zahra Marwan - Book Review

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Where Butterflies Fill the Sky: A Story of Immigration, Family, and Finding Home Cover Image
ISBN: 9781547606511
Availability: Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - March 29th, 2022

Marwan wants you to feel the emotions of her homeland, the feelings of leaving loved ones behind and that journey one takes. There is much going on the pages as we learn about the culture, hopes and dreams of our characters. The artwork and colors used are expressive, with minimal details that set the stage perfectly. The afterwards gives information that even adults might not be aware of. This book is one that can be adapted to most ages. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette

Big Apple Diaries by Alyssa Bermudez - Book Review

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By Alyssa Bermudez, Alyssa Bermudez (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781250774286
Availability: Click Title for IN STORE Location
Published: Roaring Brook Press - August 17th, 2021

A unique middle school experience due to it being set in a Catholic school shows that the issues of growing up are the same no matter who you are. You can be half Puerto Rican, come from Columbia, have your parents divorced or together, everyone deals with finding the balance of home and a place to call your own. The diary format helps bring to life these ups and downs. Several chapters deal with the emotions and events surrounding September 11, 2001, but they are handled with respect and love as they are based on Alyssa's own middle school years and what she personally experienced. ~ Reviewed by Jeanette


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