Wonder by R. J. Palacio (2012, Knopf Books For Young Readers; 320 pages)
"I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse." That's how this entertaining and touching story about August Pullman, a young boy born with facial birth defects, begins. It follows the boy, his family, and his new friends as he enters his first year in public school.
A #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
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Recommended by: Brooke
Weather, Weather by Maira Kalman and Daniel Handler (2016, Museum of Modern Art; 64 pages)
This is the third volume in a series of collaborations between the artist Maira Kalman, the writer Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket), and The Museum of Modern Art. This time the artist and the writer explore in an evocative way different physical environments and their metaphoric implications. The photographs that are the source of inspiration belong to the MoMA's collection and the point they share is that all offer points of departure. The book also includes ten vibrant new paintings by Maira Kalman, and poetic prose by Handler that embraces the photos with new meaning.
Sarah Hermanson Meister, curator of the department of photography at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, writes a beautiful reflection of this project included in the book. She explains that a picture may be worth a thousand words, but often they are accompanied by even more: a title or caption that complicates or clarifies what we see in them, for example.
The project takes us from Czechoslovakia in 1957 to Albuquerque in 1973 to Saratoga Springs, New York, in 1957, etc. Weather, Weather is a reflection “on passing seasons, changing perspectives, and the unpredictability of life.”
Recommended to those adults and young adults who love old photographs, philosophical reflections, wryness and tenderness, and to those who believe in creativity as a way to surrender.
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Recommended by: Maite
EYES OF THE WORLD: ROBERT CAPA, GERDA TARO, & THE INVENTION OF MODERN PHOTOJOURNALISM -- a riveting, tragic, and ultimately inspiring story
Eyes of the World, Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, & the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson & Marina Budhos (2017, Henry Holt and Co.; 304 pages)
If you have ever seen a photograph of a scene from the Spanish Civil War (check The Falling Soldier for example) chances are that it was taken by Robert Capa or Gerda Taro. Those photographs that went straight from the action to the covers of news magazines, are among the best when it comes to the history of photojournalism. The book Eyes of the World is a masterpiece on the invention of modern journalism based on photographs, and it is an incredibly inspiring story about the lives and careers of two incredible courageous, kind, strong, and idealistic human beings.
Robert Capa and Gerda Taro were young Jewish refugees, and they were in love. As photographers in the 1930's, they set off to capture their “generation's most important struggle-the fight against fascism.” Their work on the Spanish Civil War for example brought a human face to war. Shots of a loving couple resting, a wary orphan, and, always, more and more refugees driven from their homes by bombs, guns and planes are masterpieces of a time and era that civilizations should never forget. They were pioneers of the idea of bearing witness of history though technology.
The book takes the reader though an inspiring journey with a cast of characters ranging from Hughes and George Orwell to Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway. Eyes of the World is of course packed with dramatic photos, posters, mini biographies and a fantastic narration of events based on the riveting, tragic and encouraging story of Robert Capa and Gerda Taro.
Three appendices, a chapter on cast of characters, a time line and sources are also part of this treasure. There is also a delightful section, called “Collaboration,” where the writers of the book reflect on that concept: “One of the reasons we wanted to write about Capa and Taro is because they were an artistic couple who worked together as equals. (…) What is collaboration? What are the challenges, the rewards? What makes it work?” The authors go on to share their thoughts on that process, and the result is truly worthy.
This book is such a treasure! A must read by all. Read it. Now.
Find this title in our catalog: Eyes of the World
Recommended by: Maite