Imagine Wanting Only This – Kristen Radtke

31160314Imagine Wanting Only This by Kristen Radtke

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: April 28th, 2017
Publisher: Pantheon Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Graphic Memoir, Coming of Age, Life and Death, Family


BLURB:

When Kristen Radtke was in college, the sudden death of a beloved uncle and the sight of an abandoned mining town after his funeral marked the beginning moments of a lifelong fascination with ruins and with people and places left behind. Over time, this fascination deepened until it triggered a journey around the world in search of ruined places. Now, in this genre-smashing graphic memoir, she leads us through deserted cities in the American Midwest, an Icelandic town buried in volcanic ash, islands in the Philippines, New York City, and the delicate passageways of the human heart. Along the way, we learn about her family and a rare genetic heart disease that has been passed down through generations, and revisit tragic events in America’s past. Continue reading

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Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

20821284Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: August 28th, 2014
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Memoir, Social Issues

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BLURB:

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become. Continue reading

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

30253864Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: November 29th, 2016
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Celebrity, Acting

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BLURB:

In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again. Continue reading

Review: I Am Malala (Young Readers Edition)

19161872I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World by Malala Yousafzai

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: August 19th, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Nonfiction, Memoir, Education, Women’s Rights, Religion

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BLURB:

Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school.

Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school.

Now she is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest- ever Nobel Peace Prize nominee. In this Young Readers Edition of her bestselling memoir, which includes excessive photos and material, we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world-and did.
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Review: Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

29340182Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Hachette Book Group Canada
Publication Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: Hachette
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: NonFiction, Memoir, Feminism, Body Image, Sexuality

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BLURB:

Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible–like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you–writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but.

From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea.

With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss–and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps. Continue reading

Review: Ugly by Robert Hoge

28186305Ugly by Robert Hoge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Random House Canada
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Masculine
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Contemporary, Non Fiction, Memoir, Beauty, Bullying

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BLURB:

When Robert Hoge was born, he had a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs. Surgeons removed the tumor and made him a new nose from one of his toes. Amazingly, he survived with a face that would never be the same.

Strangers stared at him. Kids called him names, and adults could be cruel, too. Everybody seemed to agree that he was ugly. But Robert refused to let his face define him. He played pranks, got into trouble, had adventures with his big family, and finally found a sport that was perfect for him to play. AndRobert came face to face with the biggest decision of his life, he followed his heart.

This poignant memoir aboutovercoming bullying andthriving with disabilitiesshows that what makes us ugly also makes us who we are. It features a reflective foil cover and black-and-white illustrations throughout. Continue reading