I chose this book because I enjoyed Relish, a graphic novel all about food that is also by Lucy Knisley. An Age of License is a "travelogue," or reallI chose this book because I enjoyed Relish, a graphic novel all about food that is also by Lucy Knisley. An Age of License is a "travelogue," or really, a travel journal told in graphic novel format. Lucy travels to Europe, first to present at a comics convention in Norway, then to Sweden to visit this guy she met in NYC, then to Berlin, and then meets up with her mom and travels around France. Lucy is going through somewhat of a quarter life crisis, agonizing over love and work and what she should do with her life. The guy that she visits and has a "love affair" with is not at all likable. When she is in Norway with the comics convention her travels are interesting, but become less interesting as the book continues. The book is just okay. ...more
I enjoyed reading about the many families that Senior interviewed and studied, from all around the country. She was able to have many parents openly sI enjoyed reading about the many families that Senior interviewed and studied, from all around the country. She was able to have many parents openly speak about their experiences parenting, that was very interesting to read. There was a large variety in family structure and situation, from stay at home parents, two working parents, work at home parents, grandparent parents, divorced parents, etc. She talked to parents in three different locations in the U.S. Also a lot of the statistics she gathered and quotes from parenting books and other experts were interesting.
However, there were several large problems with this book. The first was that most of the book was the author voicing her opinion - too much opinion for a non-fiction book. She unnecessarily brought in politics where it should have been left out. She openly criticized middle-class parents throughout the entire book, lending the book a strong negative tone. She was too strong in her criticizing of over-scheduling. Yes, you can make a point about why over-scheduling may not be the best, but you don't have to judge those who choose that lifestyle quite so critically. Many times it felt that she herself didn't like something about parenting, which is fine, but then she erroneously assumes that everyone is just like her in disliking it. Several times she accused parents of their "irrational" fear for their children's safety preventing the children from playing outside. Her evidence for this was driving around one Houston suburb one time. There could have been many reasons why the kids were not playing outside at that moment- there are no children living in the neighborhood (many Houston neighborhoods are generational), school was in, it was too hot, etc. Also, she couldn't visit Houston without throwing in a bunch of jabs at the size of highways, cars, and oil. Yes, New York, we understand you don't like Houston. But this is supposed to be a book about parenting, not about your open disdain for everything Texas.
Like I mentioned before, her research was really strong and interesting. But the second problem with this book was her lack of insight. It seemed as though she had already made up her mind of what to write before she did the research, so she was stretching to have it fit her premise. There really didn't seem to be any paradox, though the word paradox is in her subtitle. What she kept coming back to was the "economic value" of children. Additionally, she contradicts her own title in the last chapter, quoting two different people who say that parenting is "fun." After reading the entire book, I am still not sure what the paradox of modern parenting is supposed to be. ...more
I liked this graphic novel autobiography. It was very refreshingly open and honest. I have to admit that I prefer graphic novels that are in color, buI liked this graphic novel autobiography. It was very refreshingly open and honest. I have to admit that I prefer graphic novels that are in color, but the art was quite good and many of the spreads really conveyed her emotion and sentiment quite effectively, in particular on page 196 when the author/main character looks directly at her audience. I could have done without all of the f bombs, and the smoking/drugs. Like other reviewers said, it would have been nice to be able to recommend this to upper elementary & junior high kids who are also struggling to fit in, since she does eventually find a crowd where she fits in and can be herself. Kids need to hear that message. ...more