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Friday, August 21, 2015

MLC Reads: August 21, 2015

What have you been reading?

Will in Scarlet
written by Matthew Cody
four stars

What makes a person a legend? Why does the world remember some and others fade away? Is it all just collective forgetfulness and wishful thinking? Matthew Cody explores the Robin Hood character in a whole new light in Will in Scarlet: what if Robin Hood weren't actually Robin Hood at all? We had a ball reading this one; it's always fun to see old friends in a new way.

Ever is a Long Time: A Journey into Mississippi's Dark Past, a Memoir
written by W. Ralph Eubanks
five stars
"A siege mentality had taken hold of Mississippi, so informants both black and white made the Commission's members investigate anything and everything that might smell of integration, even something so trivial as a black man fishing in a public park on land normally reserved for the white man."
If you're not from Mississippi, you may not have heard of the Sovereignty Commission. From 1956-1973, this KGB-like, state-run agency policed and spied on Mississippians. It was an omniscient and pervasive organization who's legacy left yet another taint on Mississippi's collective soul. Eubanks, who was born in rural Mississippi less than two years after Emmett Till's murder, grew up in this Mississippi. Ever is a Long Time is at the same time a fascinating family history and a searing look at that family's survival in a place that ostracized them in every possible way. Highly recommended.

Sweet Tooth, Volume 1: Out of the Deep Woods
written and illustrated by Jeff Lemire
five stars

Sweet Tooth, Volume 1: Out of the Deep Woods by Jeff Lemire is a terrific dystopian graphic novel. Gus is just a regular kid... or is he? It turns out that Gus is also part animal, and one of just a few human/animal hybrid children. His life has been turned upside down; he's in trouble and not sure who he should trust. This graphic novel is a mix between The Walking Dead and The Road. It's a little dark and weird, but we loved it! The color illustrations are bright and vibrant and bring Gus's story to pitch-perfect life. The ending was such a cliffhanger that we're biting our nails waiting to get our hands on the next book in the series, In Captivity.

Everything I Never Told You
written by Celeste Ng
five stars

In the first sentence, we learn that Lydia, beloved daughter of the Lee family is at the bottom of the lake. Her family, however, will learn this later--they only know she's late coming down to breakfast. This book is a sharp portrait of 1970s American family life (down to the Salisbury steak TV dinners!) as well as the heartbreak of how families fail to communicate with each other. Gorgeously written and highly recommended.

If I Had a Raptor
written and illustrated by George O'Connor
four stars

As a former little girl with a dinosaur addiction, it was refreshing to see O'Connor's portrayal of a young girl who shares the same gender-bending bent. Add the fact that If I Had a Raptor features a young girl of color, and that the illustrations and text were completely delightful, and we were sold on this lighthearted look at a child's first pet. It brought back memories of The Mysterious Tadpole, a similar book from the 1970s. We highly recommend this 2016 Magnolia Award nominee!

We've lined up some great books to read this week:
  • Mississippi Trial, 1955
    written by Chris Crowe
  • The Lion and the Mouse
    written and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
  • The Other Typist
    written by Suzanne Rindell
  • Nimona
    written and illustrated by Noelle Stevenson
  • Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime that Changed America
    written by Mamie Till-Mobley and Christopher Benson
Until next week, happy reading!

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