Don’t Pigeonhole Me! -a Mo Willems Sketch Book

“Always think of my audience, but never think for my audience”

-Mo Willems

Mo Willems is one of the most memorable children’s authors of all time. Writing books like Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The bus, Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie, Because, This Is Not A Good Idea! and more! Of course every person has their alter-ego. In Don’t Pigeonhole me!, we see a compilation of sketchbooks that allow us to explore the more mature-side of one of our favorite children’s authors.

In Don’t Pigeonhole Me! each section begins with a small summary of the sketchbook and the process of its publication. The first few sketchbooks are basic doodles that will most likely give you a quick chuckle or two. In sketchbooks like “I’m Fine” we get too see a story line that is illustrated through drawings meant to demonstrate the very simple sentences. We can even see the early birth of our favorite pigeon in the original “DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS!” and “The Pigeon Tells A Story.”

As someone who personally enjoys art, I tried to read some of the comics slowly, over and over to try to fine some deep meaning but then I realized that not all art has a powerful meaning behind it. Comics like “The Red Truck” and “Olive Hue Show Mutts” are perfect examples of this because they are silly, simple and funny.

Mo Willems did an excellent job showing us his complex and quite hilarious mind, and I loved every part of it. The Mo Willems sketchbook compilation is a well executed book for all mature audiences.

What if it’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

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It’s the summer and Arthur is in New York. He lives in Georgia but every summer his mother sends him to New York City to stay in her office. Thanks to Broadway plays he believes in the universe and romance.

One day when he was walking to the post office he sees this handsome boy.  He can’t resist- he has to go up and talk to him! They start to make small talk and with butterflies in his stomach, Arthur realizes this boy is gay, like him.

Arthur notices he has a big box with a name on it, Hudson. It’s probably his name but Arthur doesn’t want to be creepy and ask. Once they both dropped their stuff off, they head back outside. They’re so engrossed in conversation that they don’t see a marching band coming towards them! The band separates them, and they lose each other.

Arthur gives up and goes back to the office, but he can’t get that Hudson boy off his mind. Neither can the Hudson boy. They want to find each other so badly but it seems impossible. How can they track each other down without even knowing their names?

When I read this book I instantly got hooked on to it. It shows both of the main characters perspectives and has such a good story line. There’s some parts that made me  parts that made me really emotional because Arthur  was trying his hardest to look for “Hudson”, he wanted to be with him and love him but he tried everything. I think people who like romance will really enjoy this book.

What if it’s us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera can be found in the library under FIC ALB.

Scythe: Book review

Scythe by Neal Shusterman (FIC SHU) takes place in the future, a future where there is no war, no hunger and no misery. Humanity has conquered everything, even death and has encountered the secret to eternal youth.  We surpassed our greatest fears. We are the top of the food chain. We are gods. Although a new problems has arose. The population. Since no one is dying, the populations grows. Rapidly. To solve this problem, an organization has arisen from the shadows with one simple objective. Thou shalt kill.

Citra and Rowan must apprentice Scythe Faraday, although neither of them is pleased.  In doing so they must study various subjects including, Bokator, an ancient martial exclusive to scythes, Killcraft, and various other subjects that have to do with the art of taking life. Only one of them will be chosen, whoever succeeds will become the next scythe, while the other will just return to their regular life.

Scythe is a spectacular book. A book that will make you question, do we really want eternal life? Neal Shusterman has taken what all men and women have always dreamed and revealed the dark truth behind it. If you like action-packed and mysterious books, Scythe is the book for you.

Truth is Stranger Than Fiction Debut

Image curtsy of the New York Times.

Real Life:

In Leogane, Haiti there was a small hospital that was lacking oxygen. The oxygen was only enough for 24 hours, leaving the hospital with a difficult choice to make; provide the oxygen to the adults recovering from strokes and other dangerous conditions or send the new born children, clinging for dear life?

According to Monday New York Times article, Haiti is under a political crisis leading the country on to the brink of collapse. An uprising against president Jovenel Mo√Įse has manifested into violence. Although the country has undergone multiple political and economical crises before, this has to be the worst of them all.

To read the complete article, click here.

Fiction:

On the corner of American street and Joy road, Fabiola Toussaint realizes that what she thought would be an American dream would be an American nightmare. As soon as Fabiola arrives in the United States, her mother was apprehended by U.S. Immigration.

What will happen as Fabiola is left to maneuver a new life, school, home and relationships in a new world she knows nothing about.

You can find this book in the fiction section with the call number FIC ZOB.

Through The Woods

The graphic novel, Through the Woods is a book with five breathtaking tales that will have you at the edge of your seat. Emily Carroll did an extraordinary job at these five tales she wrote. Although some of the tales are short, they are by far very interesting. While I was reading this book I kept wanting to read more. Most of the stories gave me the chills after reading them.

imagesMy favorite from all five tales was one about a little girl who had to cross the woods to get to her grandmother’s house and she was always told to be careful of the wolf. I really liked this tale because at the end there is a strange wolf looking creature out her window who says a quote that gave me some creepy vibes.

“But the wolf…the wolf only needs enough luck to find you once.”¬†Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 8.33.45 AM

I really recommend this book if you like a horror vibe. The artwork is very intriguing  to me. Most stories use mostly black, bits of red and blue. The artwork is very vivid. It requires a lot of imagination in order to be able to visualize what is going on in the short stories.

 

By: Ivette Aucapi√Īa

What I Leave Behind

Will has a daily routine.

He works at the Dollar Only store, attempts to recreate his father’s cornbread recipe and never takes public transportation. Instead of taking the bus or the train, Will chose to walk to get to his destination. However, there are things he tries to avoid at all costs. He doesn’t walk past the blessings store, his childhood friend Playa’s house and the bridge on Fourth street….

where his father committed suicide.

After his father’s suicide, Will decided to walk in order to escape his own problems. It’s been three whole years, yet, Will still has a habit of walking. However, after finding out that Playa has been raped at a party, Will comes to realization that instead of avoiding his problems, he¬†needs to face it head-on. Especially the fact that he could’ve easily prevented that if he had just hadn’t left the party early. Since that, he begins to put some good in the neighborhood by leaving gifts for people. Along with that, he uncovers the truth about his father’s cornbread.

what i leave behindReading¬†What I Leave Behind by Alison McGhee was a meaningful experience for me. It brought me back to reality, showing me the dark side of the tunnel and how to get out of it. Alison McGhee did a spectacular job at unraveling the story. She managed to make Will a character that’s complex and deep. The reader feels like he’s real, and has a chance of discovering themselves within the ink that stains the pages.

Kudos to Allison McGhee.

Find out what happens next in the library.

Long Way Down

Written in the format of poetry,¬†Jason Reynold’s¬†Long Way Down has caught my interests, being the first novel in verse I’ve encountered. Will, the main character, lives in a neighborhood where there are certain rules to follow or else there will be consequences. He is kept there, along with his mother and older brother, Shawn. His older brother is someone Will looks up to, yet some dark secrets are kept hidden in Shawn’s drawer.¬†

The rules Will needs to follow include…

Long Way Down

NO. 1: CRYING
Don’t. No matter what. Don’t
NO. 2: SNITCHING
Don’t. No matter what. Don’t.
NO. 3: REVENGE
If someone you love gets killed,
find the person who killed
them and kill
them.”¬†¬†-pg. 31-33

Everything changes after his brother is shot, leading to his death that sets a spark off within Will. Sadness has taken another level, taking a form of a monster that Will cannot control. It brings light to Shawn’s character and who he truly is, revealing secrets and what led to his death.

Will decides to take action into his own hands, seeking revenge for the death of his brother. He suspects it was Shawn’s friend, Carlson Riggs, who has moved to another part of the neighborhood where it’s the most dangerous. The only problem was…how can he do it without getting himself killed? Was Carlson Riggs even the murderer, or was Will just mistaken? How will he make sure that no one will come after him after he kills Carlson as revenge?

Favorite quotes:

Another thing about the rules…
They weren’t mean to be broken.
They were meant for the 
broken
to follow.”
-Another Thing About the Rules, page 35

People always love people more when they’re dead.”
-It Used To Be Different, page 43

The second quote is more meaningful for me due to the fact that it speaks the truth in some dark way. For example, Vincent Van Gogh received no recognition throughout his career as a painter, but after his death, people began recognizing his work and he became¬†someone. He wasn’t a nobody anymore but gained a title.

While reading this, I felt this anticipation for learning even more secrets that would impact the story.¬†Long Way Down is one of those novels where you have to pay attention to every single detail or else you’ll become lost, sort of like a detective. It shows the way fear manages to change people and what that can do to you.

Find out what happens next in the library.

 

An Abundance of Katherines

Before there was a Hazel, there was An Abundance of Katherines. This time, love seems to steer away from Colin Singleton, the protagonist of the novel. The thing is, Colin only dates girls that are named Katherine, and all of his relationships have ended by Katherine dumping him.

“Colin Singleton’s type was not physical but linguistic: he liked Katherines. And not Katies or Kats or Kitties or Cathys or Rynns or Trinas or Kays or Kates or, God forbid, Catherines. K-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E. He had dated nineteen girls. All of them had been named Katherine. And all of them- every single solitary one-had dumped him.”¬†-page 15.

Victor is a fool

Makes sense that his last name is Singleton, right?

K-19 (Katherine nineteen) is the one that breaks his heart, unlike the rest. Before that, most of the Katherines had different ways of parting ways with him, from thinking boys were gross, wanting to be just friends and eventually one of them dumped him through e-mail.

Colin’s friend, Hassan, suggests they go on a road trip to prove Colin’s theory. The theory? It’s the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability.

Throughout the road trip, they drive around aimlessly, just looking for adventure. They pass by Kentucky and Tennessee, encountering many things from monuments to dangerous feral hogs. Colin hopes that he’ll be able to avenge all the Dumpees in the world, as well as win himself a girl, perhaps another Katherine. Will he prove his theory correct, or is he just cursed to get dumped by Katherines?

Reading this book made me feel like I had something to connect to. He reminded me of a friend I have, making me wonder if he’ll actually do the same things Colin does. When it comes to talking, both of them tend to be socially awkward, sprouting out random facts about anything. Now that I think about it, Colin also reminds me of Sheldon, from the¬†Big Bang Theory.

To wrap this up, I can connect with Colin’s behavior, personality and how he strongly resembles people I know. It’s a whole adventure while reading this book, full of laughter and the truth of the real world. The thing that attracted me to this book was because instead of love coming to him, love runs¬†away¬†from him.

Find out what happens next on Colin and Hassan’s road trip in the library.

 

The Impossible Knife of Memory

Written by Laurie Halse Anderson, author of¬†Fever 1793, which won a Margaret A. Edwards award, The Impossible Knife of Memory takes a turn to examine the reality of war for the children of today’s soldiers. Hayley Kincain and her father have arrived back to the town where her father grew up. The main purpose of the move was so Hayley could attend a proper school, but it isn’t that easy for her.

Hayley has to deal with her supposed ‘step-mother’, Trish. Trish isn’t the best parental figure out there. ¬†She raised Hayley while her father was serving the military but walked out on them years ago. Now she manipulates and attempts to control Hayley’s life, once again, by providing ¬†the principal with information that her father was hiding. ¬†Who does she think she is to interfere, now?

She’s not my stepmother. (…) She’s a cheating, alcoholic a**hole who can’t open her mouth without lying. She… You can’t talk to her about me. Can I go?”¬†

-Hayley Kincain to the principal, about Trish, page 27. 

The Impossible Knife of Memory

Due to her father returning from the war in Iraq, he isn’t in the most stable condition. Having no job and unable to escape from the evil spirits that haunt him, he isn’t the best father, either. He has PTSD and chooses to depend on drugs to escape from his terrible memories.

“PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, is a mental disorder that is characterized by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event” (Mayo Clinic). ¬†PTSD often affects soldiers, due to the fact that they’re in the battlefield witnessing many gruesome things that not many people can handle.

PTSD can cause anxiety and flashbacks, nightmares, and the inability to participate in something that can bring back the trauma. They may have behavior changes, emotional detachment and much more. Due to Hayley’s dad experiencing that, he isn’t the same father she had before he went to the army.

Picture this; Your father entered the army years ago and finally returned, but he’s not the same person anymore. He’s different. You could say he’s broken or being haunted, the past lurks, waiting to take its chance and pounce. What do you think would happen if that happened to your own father? Would he be able to handle it?

Hayley Kincain is honestly the most relatable character out of all the characters I’ve met when reading different books. Unlike many protagonists who have a life changing moment where they gain powers, meet their soulmate, etc, Hayley struggles to get over regular things. For example, she wants to help her father cope with PTSD and wants to think about the future. She has hope for the future.

Hayley is in conflict with her own self. If anything, we’re able to do a character analysis on Hayley Kincain, analyzing her entire persona, personality and choices. I believe¬†that‘s¬†the most interesting thing about it, the reason why I decided to keep reading. I recommend this book to anyone seeking to find a protagonist that doesn’t have powers or their lover to save them from their problems, to deal with the true reality of the world and it’s dark side. Find out what happens next in the library.

Attack On Titan

Attack On Titan, Also known as “Shingeki no kyoin” Takes place in the year 850. Humanity has been forced behind three Walls approximately 50 meters high each Going by the names of three saints. The interior-wall sina, The center-wall Rose, and the extiorior-wall maria. Their purpose of existence is to protect Humans from the man eating monsters¬† known as titans. The reason¬† for titans targeting humans is completely unknown being that they don’t attack animals or need to eat to survive, They don’t even have a digestive system. Leaving the main theory that it’s out of sheer pleasure. There’s been a century of peace within the walls that many doubt wImage result for attack on titan manga coverill ever come to an end, But Suddenly the walls are breached by a new class of titan that appears out of thin air. It’s bigger then anyone has ever seen being approximately 60 meters high, The colossal Titan. A moment latter another appears, The armored titan.¬† Which breaks it’s way straight through the wall.

The story follows Eren Jeager and his childhood friends Mikasa Who’s incredibly strong¬† and Armin who may be weaker then the average person but has brains like no other, His dream being to see the ocean that many don’t even believe in. The day wall Maria had fallen They stood side by side seeing things no person let alone child should. With 20% of the remaining human population lost in only one day Eren Vows to destroy all titans and avenge his mother who was eaten before his very eyes if its the very last thing he does. Jumping 5 years into the future him and both of his friends become part of the cadet corps to take action and fight back. What Eren doesn’t realize is how difficult facing the titans and staying alive actually is. Will he really avenge his mother? Will Humans ever be able to reclaim Wall maria? And how do they plan to survive in such conditions?

Check out attack on titan, In the library To find out. And please read it before you watch it!

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