OOMMGGG!! THE POET X is everything that Hispanic girls need right now. Elizabeth Acevedo tells the story of Xiomara (See-oh-MAH-ruh),a twin born fighting angry. Her mother constantly gets after her for the way that men look at her (which she can't help) and wants X to be a devout Catholic, like she is. The interaction between X and her mom felt familiar in not just a Hispanic family dynamic but with any teenage girl and her mother. X keeps a journal where she writes poems that are never meant to see the light of day.
X has never been interested in the attention that she gets from boys, but when she meets her lab partner, Aman, who is quiet but listens to her poems and doesn't push her to do more than she is ok with, X starts to develop feelings that make her question everything that she's ever been taught.
Xiomara's English teacher, Ms. Galiano notices X's potential and invites her to a poetry club and eventual poetry slam. After some catastrophic events, X finally gives in and allows herself to be heard.
This book will leave everyone teary-eyed and wanting more from X. Her poems are honest and full of life that you can't help but feel what she is feeling and cheer for the outcome that X deserves. This book is a perfect reflection of those crazy mixed-up feelings that we have as teenagers and is a light in what seems like a dark time for Hispanic girls.
The world has been invaded by aliens that abduct teenagers and children from their families, people who are identified as "strong," and loaded up into robots that are taken to other planets (I assume). In this particular graphic novel, the two main characters, Sam and Wyatt, are twins who are trying to help other people from their town while searching for their parents. Wyatt, who has autism, classifies the aliens and helps Sam escape them. The two deliver food and supplies to other people under the code name "Bird One." When the aliens trick them by using a video of their parents to lure them to them, one of them is taken and the other has to find a way to save them on their own.
While the plot took a while to pick up, I enjoyed this graphic novel. The theme of working together and looking past weaknesses is one that really shines through the illustrations. The people of Elizabethtown learn to work together despite their differences to rally against the aliens that are ripping their families apart.
My first book sketchnote in a LOONNGG time! THE LOVE LETTERS OF ABELARD AND LILY is a super sweet romance between a boy on the autism spectrum and a girl with ADHD. I LOVED it so much that I finished it in a day! I also really liked that it was set in Austin so I could actually picture where events were taking place! I used the Apple Pencil and the Doodle Art app, which is why there’s an awkward border on the left. 😂😂. I’ll be booktalking this book and a few others in a Junior Library Guild webinar next month-check back for details!
ALL SUMMER LONG, a graphic novel by Hope Larson (illustrator of the Wrinkle In Time graphic novel) was a fun, quick read. 📚Austin and Bina have been friends their entire lives and spend every summer together. The summer before eighth grade, though, Austin goes away to soccer camp while Bina stays home and learns how to play guitar and indie bands. A really sweet sort of friendship and growing apart while staying friends and growing into who you are.
Today's vlog is super awesome because it features TWO books:
1. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky ALbertalli, and
2. Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova. (Bruja Born was so awesome that I had to review it twice. (Read the blog review here.)
This second instalment of the Brooklyn Brujas series was SO MUCH BETTER than the first! Where the first book felt too fast and missed opportunities, BRUJA BORN was WONDERFUL! I felt so much closer to this character, Lula, then I did to Alex. Where Alex was quick-tempered, Lula was thoughtful. She felt how things would affect not just herself, but her family, which was one of the things that I didn't like about Alex, but all three of the sisters seem to have grown in this book.
Lula, the oldest of the Mortiz sisters, has just been broken up with before boarding the bus to the district championship soccer game with her friends and teammates. On the way to the game, there is a terrible accident and everyone is killed except for Lula. In the hospital, she and her sisters stop death from coming for Macks, Lula's (ex) boyfriend and create a much bigger problem than 28 dead teenagers-they end up keeping them all from fully dying and creating an army of "casimuertos" or non-dead people who live off of human hearts and can't pass on. Lula has to figure out how to help these casimiertos move on from this world BEFORE they destroy all of New York, and free Lady de la Muerte-Lady Death-who is trapped between worlds.
The whole "having to find the Spear of Death" piece of the story honestly felt a bit unnecessary, but I see how it made the family and community have to come together to help Lula. The scenes leading up to finding the spear and returning it to La Muerte felt rushed, but great and anticipatory nonetheless.
Overall, the book had a very familiar feel as the movie Practical Magic, but with more culture and history embedded which I appreciated. Strong female lead characters, a great family theme, and plenty of magic gave this book five stars. My favorite thing about this book that the first didn't have was how there are other magical groups at play in New York that are both for regulatory purposes but also that help keep the non-magical people safe as well as some hinting as to where Lula and Alex' father was while he was "gone."
Zoraida Cordova outdid herself with this story; my only complaint is having to wait for the next one!
I actually really enjoyed this book! I couldn’t put it down. Mega Princess is super cute and incredibly relatable despite being a princess. Mega Princess shows that a princess can be more than just frilly dresses and riding horses. This princess wants to be a detective and does so by finding her lost baby brother when he has been abducted. She demonstrates strength, good character, and poise in the faces of danger and adversity. She also will show students how to work with others in dire times that they don't normally get along with. She’s Fierce and fearless-just what girls need right now 💛
A very cute story with a different kind of romance and a fun mystery.
Sophia and her brother, Felix's parents are ghost hunters. They had a paranormal family business until their parents got a divorce. Sophia meets a ghost named Whitney and decides to help her herself. She learns more and more about Whitney's murder but also learns about herself along the way. Felix tries to stop her from solving the mystery and tries to banish Whitney's ghost, but ends up causing more harm than good. This was a great story of self-acceptance and a great murder mystery with an awesome AHA moment! Thanks to NetGalley for this one!