When I was six or seven years old, I remember saying to my father, "We're lucky to have been born in America, aren't we?" I suppose it's pretty easy tWhen I was six or seven years old, I remember saying to my father, "We're lucky to have been born in America, aren't we?" I suppose it's pretty easy to understand that you're privileged. Apparently even a six-year-old can do it. It's another thing entirely to understand what it means not to have that privilege.
Ta-Nehisi Coates does an excellent job of explaining what it is to grow up in America without that privilege. In clear prose he tells the story of his life. He clearly lays out how living in America as a black man means living under the threat of having your body broken.
Part of what makes this book so compelling is that Coates is writing to his son. Imagining having to have a similar conversation with my son is heartbreaking. I've read again and again about these conversations, but Coates manages to make it real in a way that I haven't experienced before.
Coates talks time and again about using writing as a way of interrogating himself and the world around him, of asking questions and exploring possible answers. What shows through more than anything in this book is a relentless search for the answers.
As a result, this book is more open than many essays. Coates shies away from the easy Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis model. Instead the book is a series of questions. These questions lead to books, conversations, events. These provide some answers, but also open the door to yet more questions.
There are no definitive conclusions here, which is fitting for a book that is written from a father to his son. The book is an invitation to keep searching for the answers, to keep working to find a way to a world in which no one has to live in fear of their body being stolen, broken and destroyed....more
I read this with my 7yo son, who decided he didn't want to read because he was “rubbish.” At the same time, he talked about wanting a “real comic bookI read this with my 7yo son, who decided he didn't want to read because he was “rubbish.” At the same time, he talked about wanting a “real comic book.” I did some research on comic books that were good for kids, and Moon Girl came up over and over again. The reviews were right: this was perfect.
As a kid that grew up with Spiderman, I loved this comic. Moon girl is a smart kid who gets in trouble because she can be a little too smart with her parents and teachers. She loves science and isn't ashamed of it. Early on, she stumbles on a device that opens a portal which releases Devil Dinosaur into our world. It also releases the Killer Folk, who are the villains of he piece.
Moon Girl and D Dino become friends and get into a fair amount of trouble. They even have to go up against the Hulk.
My son loved every second of it. We took it in turns with me to read the dialogue (I usually had to be the baddies or the boring grown ups). We're reading more Moon Girl and his confidence with reading has gone way up. Being able to read things like “Omni-Wave Projector” ha that effect, I suppose. And I loved it to: great characters, compelling story arcs and fantastic artwork. I'm looking forward the point when my son wants to go off and read these by himself, but I'll also be reading them after he's done with them. ...more