I finished another from the #MustReadIn2016 list, and it was terrific! See above for the entire list and the explanation of this group.
All American Boys - Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
I imagine all of us have a story that connects with this book. What I hope is that the connection is real, and reminds us to be better, to be strong for making lives different. Reynolds and Kiely have written a story that demands change in all of us.
Who are the "all American boys" in this novel? They are Rashad, black, and Quinn, white, both at the same high school, both alternately telling this story. It is Friday night, and Rashad is anxious to get going, "party time". He stops in at Jerry's the neighborhood store that sells everything, and what could be called laughable events, turns terribly tragic. Rashad is hurt; Quinn is a witness. Two boys talk to us from the mixed-up feelings of what happened that Friday, and in the week that follows, the changes in the way they think about life and what matters. From Quinn: "I didn't want my life to change from the way it was before I'd seen that." and "If I didn't want the violence to remain, I had to do a hell of a lot more than just say the right things and not say the wrong things." From Rashad, looking at Family Circus cartoons that he saved: "To think that life could always be as good as breakfast with your family, and sharing the newspaper with your dad, looking up to him, imagining that one day you'd read the whole entire paper and drink coffee, too. To think that my life could be as perfect as Billy's." The book calls us to change, too, and makes a powerful statement from the lives we live.
I read a few picture books to the granddaughters, and here are some I want to share:
Out this year!
Peddles - written and illustrated by Elizabeth Rose Stanton
Peddles, an endearing pig, tires of the usual pig things, like "oinking and rooting and wallowing". He wants to do things differently, and has big ideas. Stanton's sweet illustrations show him flying and jumping like a frog! He's told to get his head "out of the clouds" by the other pigs, and nothing every happened, until he say, one night, a barn dance. Then he knew what he wanted, to dance! He knew (after watching) that he needed boots, and tried flower pots and even paint cans. They didn't work. Finally, lucky Peddles, he found a sack of many old shoes, and in it was, a pair of red boots. The story still isn't over, but page by page, as frustration mounts, there is a solution, and it's a lesson to learn too. This is a cute story, but I found it a bit farfetched, even though it shows that trying new things can work out after all.
Bear Is Not Tired - written and illustrated by Ciara Gavin
Oh, I do love this bear and his small duck family, because of the story and the very sweetest of illustrations. Remember "Room for Bear"? This time bear is upset that winter is on its way, and it's time for him to sleep. He's afraid of all the wonderful things he will miss, and decides to stay awake. That's when the problems begin, because try as he might, he cannot stay awake. You'll have to read the rest of the book to find out how it all works out, and to see and smile over the amusing pictures of dear Bear and the ducks who help him figure out what to do.
Next: I have to finish Quiet by Susan Cain. It's denser than I thought, but I am enjoying it. I have a few middle grade novels from the library, like Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell--finally!