Posted in Reviews

Babysitter’s Club-Kristy’s Big Day

Review

The latest volume in the new series of The Babysitters Club graphic novels finds Kristy, the club’s president getting ready for her mother’s wedding to the man in her life Watson. But everything isn’t easy because Watson has a lot more money than Kristy’s mother and has kids of his own. Both of these things would be complicated on their own but together they make for extra issues.

Wedding planning starts off simple, however, when the wedding has to be moved up by several months it puts their planning into overdrive. Kristy and her family are also moving in with Watson’s family after the wedding, this seems simple at first but when the sale of their house happens sooner than expected they have to plan a wedding in just two weeks!

Kristy, who was unsure about the wedding in the first place now has to face the prospect of moving away from her friends and the Babysitter’s Club. This causes her to be even more unsure about this whole wedding business.

Luckily she has her friends at her side to help her out. When more issues with the wedding come up will Kristy and her friends rise to the challenges the wedding brings, including babysitting 14 kids?!

Will Kristy finally feel better about the wedding?

This, as always, was a cute read. The Babysitter’s Club graphic novels deliver on both artistic style and relevant content. This particular one does a great job going over some of the worries kids might face when blending families.

Likes and Dislikes

Likes 

  1. The way Kristy’s fears about the wedding were dealt with. They were dealt with in a realistic way and from many angles. She talked about the issue with her mother, brothers and friends, and it brought up many questions kids would have about a new marriage.
  2. Kristy’s fear’s about moving-Those were also dealt with in a very realistic and age-appropriate manner and I love the way her friends supported her.
  3. The way it took Kristy a long time to come around to the idea of the wedding-It was genuine to the plot and made the ending better.

Dislikes 

Nothing major.

Rating 

4/5, I’d read again and hope another volume comes out soon. I’ve loved to series so far.

Diversity

Kristy is becoming part of a blended family. That is about the only point of diversity worth noting. One of her friend’s Claudia is a person of color, however, she’s not the focus of this book. When I review the book Claudia shows up in I plan to talk more about the lack of diversity in the series at large.

 

Posted in Reviews

The Witch Boy Review

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD
I recently finished The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag and I can’t help but give it glowing reviews. Before I even get to the plot, it’s simply a beautiful book. Every character’s art is distinct, even the names seem to have a deeper meaning. It’s a world, despite having scary points in the story, that you want to jump into and chill out in.

As for the overall plot, it is well paced and keeps tension throughout the story. There is also a good twist ending that I saw coming but I won’t spoil. Even though I saw it coming I still enjoyed it.

Ostertag gives the characters heart and makes you feel for them. You definitely get a sense of their personalities even though you just meet some of them for a few pages.

The story itself is about Aster who comes from a family of witches and shapeshifters. These roles are gender-based are girls are witches and boys are shapeshifters. Yet deep down Aster knows he’s a witch. Despite his family’s disapproval of his interest in witchery. Aster tries to pick up what he can of witchery by overhearing lessons and trying out techniques in secret.

All the while he keeps his head down as the pressure to become a shapeshifter like his father, uncles, and cousins continue to mount. On a special night when he’s supposed to find the first animal form, he’s supposed to be able to shapeshift into. Something strange happens to one of his cousins

Soon the boys from his family start disappearing and the witches can’t find a solution.

Will Aster and his new friend Charlie be able to help where others can’t? Are they the ones who can face an old family enemy and live to tell the tale.

49592647_2878586392183272_4048960422019245591_n

Likes

Aster and Charlie’s Friendship

It was adorable. The two bonded over berries and gender expectations. Even though Charlie doesn’t get enough page time in this volume, she’s a standout. She helps Aster see a side of himself he’s not expecting and doesn’t think his being a witch is odd. They are great equals, in the way that they are both outcasts.

Charlie

She provides a great ‘real’ world perspective to Aster’s mystical family. She also helps him piece together some difficult problems about what is expected of him. But far from being just a helper, she has a very useful ball bat.

The Grandmother

Though she gets far more page time in the second book, her last couple of pages with Aster in this book make her worthy of a nod. Also, the fact she has a peg leg and I think is purposefully calling everyone by the wrong name.

Dislikes

None really.

Recommendation

I’d recommend this book probably to a middle-grade audience. Probably 8-12. I’d totally read it again. It’s a great story about defying what is expected of you, being who you are really meant to be. It’s especially important for youth from unsupportive families.

Diversity 

Though the cast is diverse, Aster and some of his cousins are mixed race. Charlie is black. Charlie also has two dads and some of Aster’s cousins have two moms. All of this seems to be just seems to be in the background to Aster’s gender role issue. I can understand this, but I would have liked at least a nod to some of the other issues.

Rating 

This book deserves 4.5 stars, it’s well paced, I love character relationships, and the art is fantastic. Also, I’d totally re-read it. I think it’s going to be one of my favorites this year.

Posted in Uncategorized

Welcome!

Hello everyone and happy 2019! How is your January going so far? I’ve finished two books so far, which will be reviewed and up soon. But I thought I’d introduce myself, my name is Solara. I’m currently applying to P.h.D programs and reading children and middle-grade books help me relax.

I’m also a fan of YA, but more selectively. I don’t like romances and they often crop up a bit in every genre of YA. However, I will give props to a few well-written ones in a later post. But this somewhat limits what YA books I like.

Now that I’ve said what I don’t like, I’ll talk about things I do like:

  1. #WeNeedDiverseBooks-

we-need-diverse-books

This whole movement is one of my favorite things. And I try to keep my reading as diverse and inclusive as possible. Whether its books by diverse authors who don’t get the attention they deserve or about characters who aren’t often represented, this movement is literally my jam!

2.  Plaid

buffalo_plaid_red__68383.1509730238

It’s in the name, it will show up in the photos. Don’t try to convince me the 90’s grunge movement is over.

3. Princesses and Magical Girls

sailormooncrystaltwo

I even did my Masters thesis on Disney Princesses! Reframing the princess story is one of my favorite tropes. Some of my favorite stories revolve around princesses. I’m probably going to review a lot of books with strong female leads whether or not they are princesses.

4. Disney

o-frozen-disney-facebook

Not only do I love their princesses. But I love the songs, their children’s television shows, and cartoons. While I love what they do I’m also critical of their progress, and that’s something I write about in my academic life. However, I’m sure some of my Disney fandom will show up on this blog.

 

5. Bookstagram

50183208_468782250320192_1494981387085753910_n

I love the community and the camaraderie. I’m also trying to become more active on Twitter. So please drop your links to your Instagram and Twitter accounts so we can follow each other.