It was a really busy week with the summer semester starting, so I didn’t read very much, but everything I finished was a five-star read.
I’m not sure I’ve ever read a poetry collection where every single poem speaks to me in some way, where I legit love every single poem in the book. Even in a collection I really love, there are always a couple of poems that I don’t get, that don’t connect with me. But every poem in Citizen Illegal was my new favorite poem. This book is so good! Olivarez writes about growing up Mexican and American in Chicago; these are poems about culture and identity, about family and food and language and love. These are also poems with a trenchant examination and critique of race, class, and gender.
Beautifully crafted, often very funny, elegant AND hard-hitting. Just so good.
I found Lu to be such a satisfying conclusion to Jason Reynolds’s Track series. I do love a middle-grade or YA that manages to have good parents in it and healthy relationships between kids and adults. I think Reynolds writes such incredibly thoughtful and balanced kid-adult relationships, where both sides have something to learn from each other and space within the relationship to grow.
Fantastic photographic nonfiction picture book written by ten-year-old Aslan Tudor, a member of the Lipan Apache tribe, about the movement on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to protect their water supply, agricultural land, and wetlands from the environmental devastation of potential contamination from the inevitable spills and leaks of the big oil pipelines that criss cross major water sources. An astonishing 10,000 water protectors converged on Standing Rock to try to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline from being completed. (The pipeline did end up being built and–surprise, surprise!–it leaks. The Standing Rock Nation continues to try to use the court systems to protect their water supply and the lands of their nation.) Tudor tells the story from the perspective of a young person who was there participating as a citizen activist. His book gives readers a helpful overview of the issues of sovereignty and environmentalism that are at the heart of the crisis as well as an on-the-ground look at what daily life was like in the camp.
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