HONOR GIRL: A GRAPHIC MEMOIR -- a luminescent memoir that examines a pivotal summer, marked by first love, self-discovery, and some difficult realizations
Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir by Maggie Thrash(2017, Candlewick; 272 pages)
This is an extraordinary book about what it feels like to be a teenage girl, with a heartachy, non-happy ending. It is also a book filled with extraordinarily beautiful art vignettes. It is an honest, funny, "can’t stop reading" type of book. It is also an exceptional memoir, both romantic and devastating, and a story of self-discovery and love. Finally, Honor Girl is the incredible debut of Maggie Thrash, staff writer for Rookie, a popular online magazine for teenage girls.
The story is about a girl named Maggie, who, at fifteen, has never kissed a guy and has spent basically every summer of her life at the one-hundred-year-old Camp Bellflower for Girls, set deep in the heart of Appalachia. She lives in Atlanta and is into the Backstreet Boys. She considers her life is the typical life of a typical teenager with no confounding moments. But then, that confounding moment happens. It is just a second, and it involves an innocent physical contact during a lice inspection. But in that second, Maggie feels something truly different, and falls into gut-twisting love with Erin, an older, wiser, and, most surprising of all (at least to Maggie), female counselor.
Recommended to those readers looking for books that you can’t put down and that stay with you after you get to the end. This one goes right to the heart.
Find this title in our catalog: Honor Girl
Recommended by: Maite
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN': CASS ELLIOT BEFORE THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS -- a poignant graphic novel about the remarkable vocalist who rocketed The Mamas & The Papas to stardom
California Dreamin': Cass Elliot Before The Mamas & The Papas by Penelope Bagieu (2017, First Second; 272 pages)
Bestselling graphic novelist Pénélope Bagieu, as The Washington Post wrote, "can turn paper into flesh. And ink becomes lifeblood." She has certainly done so in this fantastic illustrated biography of Ellen Cohen, the teen girl from Baltimore with an incredible voice, confidence, and dreams that would become the legendary Mama Cass of the folk group The Mamas & The Papas.
The book pencils the life story of a girl that dreamed of being not just a singer but a star, and not just a star, but a superstar. The reader follows her on her adventure that takes her, at the age of nineteen at the dawn of the sixties, far away from her hometown.
The author explores with care and a distinct graphic style how at her size, Ellen was never going to be the kind of girl that record producers wanted on album covers. But Cass Elliot would find an unlikely group of co-conspirators, and in their short time together this bizarre and dysfunctional band recorded some of the most memorable songs of their era. Describing the whirlwind of drugs, war, love, and music that the singer went through, Bagieu brings us a memorable biography of a woman who struggled to keep sight of her dreams, of who she loved, and, most importantly, who she was.
This reading is a fantastic introduction not only to a charismatic American singer, but also to one of the most kaleidoscopic times in the American music scene. Recommended to older teens.
Find this title in our catalog: California Dreamin'
Recommended by: Maite
Twelve Days In May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner (2017, Calkins Creek; 107 pages)
This book tells the extraordinary story of thirteen activists - black and white, young and old, male and female - who, on May 4, 1961, decided to board two buses in Washington, D.C., for New Orleans, Louisiana. James Farmer, James Peck, Genevieve Hughes, Joseph ¨Joe¨ P. Perkins Jr., Walter Bergman, Frances Bergman, Albert Smith Bigelow, Jimmy McDonald, Edward ¨Ed¨ Blankenheim, Henry ¨Hank¨ Thomas, Charles Person, Benjamin Elton Cox, and John Lewis were their names. Their Freedom Ride would last just twelve days, but their mission was clear. The laws prohibiting segregation on buses crossing state lines and at bus stations were being violated. These Freedom Riders were determined to draw attention to the laws' lack of enforcement. What started as a peaceful protest turned violent as they traveled deeper into the South.
“Each Freedom Rider had a small carry-on 'bag containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, and an inspiring book or two' just in case the unexpected included jail. Twenty-one-year-old John Lewis, one of the riders, has three books in his bag: 'one by [Catholic philosopher] Thomas Merton, another about Gandhi and the Bible.'
One of the best nonfiction books of the year, Twelve Days in May brings to the reader the possibility of getting on that historic bus. With astonishing photographs in black and white, and a spectacular design, everything about the book is just extraordinary. Recommended to everybody, a must-read.
Find this title in our catalog: Twelve Days In May
Recommended by: Maite
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