Sreedhar - Test Review list

BOOK REVIEW

The Quests for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

Brown (THe Gifts of the Imperfaction; Rising Strong) contends that one of the major

VERDICT: Bound to be another best seller. A sold option for all collections.

Elementary

Deuchars, Marion. illus. by Marion Deuchars. Bob's Blue Period. Laurence King. May 2018. 32p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781786270702. K-Gr 2–The beret-wearing Bob is a sensitive bird who is also an artist. Friendship and loss are the focus in this second iteration of his adventures. Bat is his best friend. Of all the things they do together, their favorite is painting. When one day Bat leaves a note explaining that he must go away for a while, Bob is despondent. His zest for life is gone, and his paintings are all done in blue. “There was a big blue hole where Bat used to be.” Owl, Cat, and the other birds step in to help; a vivid sunrise is all Bob needs to help him snap out of his funk. The universe responds to positivity, and a postcard arrives from Bat, who is returning from his hibernation; “Bob's world is full of color again.” Deuchars's loose, nimble watercolors, fingerprint characters, and hand lettering will inspire an “I can do it” feeling in young readers; not surprising since her oeuvre includes several “how to” art-making books. VERDICT Use this picture book in an art class to introduce Picasso's Blue Period or to support a social-emotional curriculum. Recommended for larger collections.

Fiction

Orange, Tommy. There There: 7 CDs. Books on Tape. Jun. 2018. 801p. ISBN 9780525635581. Audio. $35. “[B]eing able to understand where we came from, what happened to our people, and how to honor them by living right, by telling our stories” could be goals for any community—but the words are especially resonant for debut novelist Orange's sprawling Native American cast: “the world is made of stories, nothing else, just stories, and stories about stories.” Most important, “we should never not tell our stories,” a dying mother urges her daughter. Orange presents more than a dozen men, women, and children confronting broken families, socioeconomic entrapment, cultural erasure, and tenacious reclamation who initially seem to share little more than their Oakland setting. Their Native connections will link their stories as Orange—of Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma—moves each toward the Big Oakland Powwow, an epic, explosive event that will both reunite and destroy. Narrator Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Kyla García, and Alma Cuervo help to keep characters distinct; that all but Cuervo identity as Native American/First Nations undoubtedly enhances their nuanced performances. ­VERDICT While bearing witness to history (his piercing preface fiercely encapsulates a half-millennium of Native experiences), Orange commands urgent, immediate attention in this masterly montage of voices, lives, visions, tragedies, and dreams. [“A broad sweep of lives of Native American people in Oakland and beyond”: LJ 4/1/18 starred review of the Knopf hc; a June LibraryReads pick.]—Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC

VERDICT: While bearing witness to history (his piercing preface fiercely encapsulates a half-millennium of Native experiences), Orange commands urgent, immediate attention in this masterly montage of voices, lives, visions, tragedies, and dreams. [“A broad sweep of lives of Native American people in Oakland and beyond”: LJ 4/1/18 starred review of the Knopf hc; a June LibraryReads pick.]

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