America is our country, but does it love everyone? Does it love people of different colors from the outside in? Does it love us no matter what language we speak? Does it love our various histories, from all over the world and across the nation? Does it love the way we worship? Does it love the sound of our voices, when we whisper and when we shout? Does it love children who stand up and stand out? What will it take for our nation to love all of us equally?
Voiced in the first person, this picture book takes an interesting approach to racism and bias in America. It shows how our nation itself doesn’t love equally. The words may be simple, but they are profound and deep as well. They point out how children of color must change themselves to fit in, not call attention to themselves. It firmly places the responsibility on our nation itself, rather than on the children to change. The text is laced with Creole and Spanish, showing exactly how language itself can be a barrier and an opportunity.
The illustrations are powerful, beginning with the American flag with the Pledge of Allegiance on it. The illustrations are painted using a color palette of gray, red, white and blue that sings at times of power and patriotism while other times the shadows gather using mostly gray.
A call for change around racism and bias in our nation. Appropriate for ages 5-8.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Greenwillow Books.
Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a plan. She just needs to survive high school and then she can leave her small island and become the real person she keeps secret from everyone. She has a group of friends, but she’s different from them. Her family has fallen apart with her father leaving, her mother sad and her little brother raging. Morgan is about to have another huge secret to keep. When Morgan meets Keltie, she rediscovers someone she met as a child. With a kiss, Morgan allows Keltie to take on a human form and leave her seal form behind. The two become close friends, but Morgan is worried about people seeing them touching or together at all. Keltie though has something she hasn’t told Morgan either. As the secrets pile up, Morgan has to see if she has the courage to live as the person she truly is before it’s too late.
From the author of The Witch Boy trilogy comes this magical sea breeze of a graphic novel that is just right for summer beach reading. The twist on a traditional selkie tale is lovingly created, offering moments of real connection, beauty and pain. Morgan is closeted and pretending to be everything she is not. It’s great to see that as she moves into her truth, she becomes better connected with her family as she shares things with them. The setting of the novel is a large part of the story with the seaside, the island and the seal nursery just offshore.
The illustrations show that setting with detail, inviting readers down to the beaches, out to the seals, deep underwater, and onto the rocks. They are drenched in summer sun, tantalizing moonlight, and the blue greens of the sea.
Beautiful, aching and full of LGBTQIA magical fantasy romance. Appropriate for ages 12-15.