2019 Rainbow Book List

The Rainbow Book List has announced their 2019 picks. The list focuses on books wit significant LGBTQ content for children and youth, ages birth to 18. The list includes 107 titles and also has a top ten selected that follows:

Darius the Great Is Not Okay DeadEndia: The Watcher's Test

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Deadendia: The Watcher’s Test by Hamish Steele

Girl Made of Stars Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire, #1)

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Hurricane Child Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)

Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender

Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by L.C. Rosen

Let's Talk About Love Odd One Out

Let’s Talk about Love by Claire Kann

Odd One Out by Nic Stone

34204247 Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag

Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

Sewing the Rainbow: The Story of Gilbert Baker and the Rainbow Flag by Gayle E. Pitman

Review: Let ‘Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

let 'er buck! george fletcher, the people's champion by vaunda micheaux nelson

Let ‘Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by Gordon C. James (9781541541801)

George Fletcher moved to Pendleton, Oregon, a place where there weren’t a lot of African-Americans. He made friends with the children from the Umatilla Indian Reservation and learned how to train horses with gentleness. George started riding in competitions at age 16, though he was often shut out of competitions because of the color of his skin or judged unfairly. He got his chance to really show off his skill at the 1911 Pendleton Round-Up, the biggest rodeo in the Northwest. He made the top three finalists for the Saddle Bronc Championship. He outrode the other two competitors, and when the white person was named champion the crowd booed. One man in the crowd decided it wasn’t alright and sold small pieces of George’s hat to the crowd for $5 each. He turned the money over to George and it ended up being more than the grand prize. George was crowned the “People’s Champion” that day.

Nelson writes with a lovely western twang in this nonfiction picture book. She captures the spirit of the west in the words she uses and in particular in her metaphors. George took to the ways of the Umatilla tribes “like a wet kitten to a warm brick.” Ranching suited George “like made-to-measure boots.” These are just two examples of the vivid way that Nelson uses language to firmly place her book in its setting. She also creates a compelling portrait of Fletcher and faces the inherent racism of the system head on.

The illustrations by James are full of color and motion. Created with oil on board, they are a stunning mix of movement, depth and history. One can almost see the action playing out from the lines he uses. Stunning

A strong picture book about racism, horses, rodeos and heroism. Appropriate for ages 4-8.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Carolrhoda Books.

2019 Great Graphic Novels

Young Adult Library Services Association

YALSA has announced their 2019 list of the best graphic novels and illustrated nonfiction for those aged 12-18. The full list can be found here. They also select a top ten which follows:

Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaptation Crush (Awkward, #3)

Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation by Anne Frank and Ari Folman, illustrated by David Polonsky

Crush by Svetlana Chmakova

Hey, Kiddo Illegal

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett Krosoczka

Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Adrew Donkin, illustrated by Giovanni Rigano

My Brother's Husband, Volume 2 On a Sunbeam

My Brother’s Husband, Volume 2 by Gengoroh Tagame

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

Royal City, Vol. 2: Sonic Youth 銀の匙 Silver Spoon 1 [Gin no Saji Silver Spoon 1]

Royal City, Volumes 2 & 3 by Jeff Lemire

Silver Spoon, Volumes 1-4 by Hiromu Arakawa

Speak: The Graphic Novel The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Emily Carroll

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown

 

Review: This Promise of Change by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy

this promise of change by jo ann allen boyce and debbie levy

This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy (9781681198521)

This nonfiction novel in verse tells the story of Jo Ann Allen, one of the twelve African-American students who were among the first in the nation to integrate a segregated high school in the South. The small town of Clinton, Tennessee became one of the first communities to attempt desegregation after the Supreme Court ruling made segregation illegal. A year before the Little Rock 9, this lesser-known group of brave students at first attended their new school without incident but then outside agitators, the KKK and other white supremacists got involved. As the issue grew, simply attending school became too dangerous for the African-American students. When they were escorted by a local white pastor to school, he ended up beaten and almost killed. Jo Ann became a spokesperson for the group of students and for integrating schools in general. Her story is one of resilience and tolerance.

Levy very successfully uses various forms of poetic verse to tell Jo Ann’s story in this book. In her author’s note, she speaks about why verse was the logical choice as it captured the musicality of Jo Ann’s speech. Her skill is evident on the page, capturing both the quiet parts of Jo Ann’s life and the dramatic moments of desegregation including acts of hatred against the students. Jo Ann’s story is told in a way that allows young readers to understand this moment in United States history in a more complete way. The images at the end of the book and additional details shared there add to this as well.

Perhaps most surprising is the fact that these moments have been lost to history and this group of twelve students is not as well-known as the Little Rock 9. At the same time, that is what makes this book all the more compelling to read as their story is more nuanced since the mayor and governor did not defy the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Beautifully written, this heartbreaking and dramatic story of courage in the face of hatred belongs in every library. Appropriate for ages 12-15.

Reviewed from ARC provided by Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

2019 Amelia Bloomer Top Ten

The Amelia Bloomer Project Committee has selected their annual list of the top books that are “well-written, well-illustrated books for young readers with significant feminist content. Their full list will be coming soon. Right now their top ten picks are available:

Amal Unbound As the Crow Flies

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman

Blood Water Paint Crush (Awkward, #3)

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

Crush by Svetlana Chmakova

Damsel Learning to Breathe

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

Learning to Breathe by Janice Lynn Mather

Naondel (Punaisen luostarin kronikoita #2) The Poet X

Naondel by Maria Turtschaninoff

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Speak: The Graphic Novel 35738307

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Emily Carroll

Sugar and Snails by Sarah Tsiang, illustrated by Sonja Wimmer

Review: Sincerely, Harriet by Sarah Winifred Searle

sincerely, harriet by sarah winifred searle

Sincerely, Harriet by Sarah Winifred Searle (9781541542723)

After moving to a new city with her parents, Harriet is stuck sitting around their new apartment alone while her parents start new jobs. She is missing camp back in Indiana and writes her camp friends postcards about sightseeing in Chicago, even though she hasn’t gone anywhere. She starts to pretend that the mailman is sinister, that the third floor of the house is haunted and that the kind owner of the house, Pearl, is a murderer. Pearl though continues to try to connect with Harriet during her long summer, using books and stories as a way to relate to one another. As the book steadily reveals, Pearl’s son had polio while Harriet herself has MS. This book beautifully portrays a teen’s long summer and dealing with a chronic illness.

Set in the 1990s, this graphic novel depicts a Latinx family as they move closer to Harriet’s doctors in Chicago. The family is warm and lovely, connected to Harriet but not hovering or overly worried about her. The graphic novel uses warm colors, sultry breezes and just enough mystery about what the truth of the house could be to keep the pages turning. The focus on books and reading is conveyed through the eyes of a teen who doesn’t really enjoy reading her assigned books. Filled with diversity, there are lots of people of color as well as people experiencing disabilities in this graphic novel.

Harriet herself is a rather prickly character, so I loved when she faked reading The Secret Garden, saying that she didn’t really like the main character that much. Readers will develop a sense of connection with Harriet as her vivid imagination comes to life, even though she may have misled the readers as well as herself at times. There are few graphic novels that have characters with invisible disabilities who sometimes need mobility aids and other times don’t. This is particularly effective in a graphic novel and portrayed with grace and gentleness.

A quiet graphic novel for tweens and teens that is just right with some lemonade and pizza. Appropriate for ages 12-15.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Graphic Universe.

2019 Newbery Medal

HONOR BOOKS

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

WINNER

Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

2019 Caldecott Medal

HONOR BOOKS

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin

The Rough Patch by Brian Lies

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora

WINNER

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

2019 Geisel Award

HONOR BOOKS

The Adventures of Otto: See Pip Flap by David Milgrim

Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories

King & Kayla and the Case of the Lost Tooth 

Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri

WINNER

Fox the Tiger by Corey R. Tabor