Tangles: A Story about Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me by Sarah Leavitt
(Skyhorse, 2012, 127 pages)
When I first opened the book and saw the very simplistic drawings, I was afraid that I would be let down by this story. I decided to read it at a slow pace and really study the pictures. I was in awe of how much raw emotion could be shown in the simple black and white drawings.
I applaud Sarah Leavitt for having the courage to write something so incredibly personal. It had to be an incredible undertaking to be able to open up and tell her life’s story of those few short years after her mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She did not live close to her parents and she goes into so much detail about how she handled the stress of staying in touch and the traveling back and forth. Each family member is clearly presented along with the relationships she has with her aunts, sister, dad, and especially her mother. It is very inspiring to see a family through the eyes of the daughter (who is going through some extremely tough situations); for them to know that it’s okay to be able to laugh, get angry, cry, but above all else, love unconditionally.
Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry
(Disney-Hyperion, 2015, 224 pages)
A chaotic class trip to DC starts on the plane ride there, when an 8th grader named Wyatt and his friend Matt are convinced that these two suspicious men are carrying a detonator to possibly blow up the White House. They decided to take matters into their own hands (literally) and a few fellow classmates get involved. Are they going to be able to save the day?
If you are looking for a book with a hysterical, steady-paced story that has an unexpected twist, this might just be what you are looking for. It is not realistic but it is just plain fun. A great read for juvenile comedy fans.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
(Riverhead Books, 2016, 278 pages)
I decided to listen to the audio of this book and I am so glad I did. The talented narrator was able to use different voices to portray the different characters. She really brought the story to life. When I first started listening I was worried that it would be a story that would not hold my attention, but I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly it drew me in.
This novel touches on aspects of life that I think many people can relate; the longing for close friendships, a parents’ love, trying to find a place in this world, and even sometimes having to make decisions that could possibly have a lifelong effect on you and/or your loved ones. Bennett writes this story beautifully. She is a great new voice with a compelling debut novel. Definitely an author to keep an eye on.
Took: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn
(Clarion Books, 2015, 272 pages)
Very creepy folklore! Fun read.
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West
(Hachette Books, 2016, 260 pages)
Fierce feminist views. Rally call!
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
(Balzer + Bray, 2017, 444 pages)
Important, Powerful, Real-World Happenings
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
(Harper Perennial, 2014, 320 pages)
Memoir blended with educational resources.
Webster: Tale of an Outlaw by Ellen Emerson White
(Aladdin, 2015, 256 pages)
Entertaining, adventurous animals. Heartwarming story.
Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez
(Hogarth, 2017, 202 pages)
Unsettling, dark terror; no conclusions.
Beneath by Roland Smith
(Scholastic, 2015, 272 pages)
Courageous journey to the underworld.