Kadir Nelson shines again with this beautifully illustrated depiction of "Father of South Africa" Nelson Mandela. With the former President reportedlyKadir Nelson shines again with this beautifully illustrated depiction of "Father of South Africa" Nelson Mandela. With the former President reportedly doing well and in remission from a grave illness, this book is both timely and relevant, having just been released in 2013.
The story begins with Mandela's childhood in Africa. Given the sceneic illustrations, it's not hard for the reader to imagine his early life on the "grassy hills of Qunu," as Nelson draws a picture of three young boys with stick-like toys playing on top of a knoll. With the wavy hills behind them, Nelson depicts a serene hometown which serves to add sentiment when we find out that at age 9, Mandela's father passes away and he is sent away to live with a powerful chief.
Attending the finest schools in Johannesburg, we learn that after witnessing Europe's conquer over South Africa, Mandela perseveres to become a lawyer and defend those that could not defend themselves at the time due to color of race and heritage.
As Europe implements harsher and harsher policies against native Africans, now referred to as apartheid, Mandela spearheads rally after rally to win back his country. Following this text are touching illustrations of both Mandela's growth into manhood, and his unwavering campaign for his people.
Thrown into jail for over 25 years, Nelson depicts, in captivating illustrations, how the world outside Mandela's jail cell changes, and his never-ending promise to return to his people upon release.
The book ends with Mandela's freedom as an older man (age depiction noted) to a world that is no longer plagued with "European Only" signs as the surrounding nations pressed Africa for change. The final page ends with one of those fighting images we all have in our minds when we think of a strong leader rising again. Fist in the air, and a smile on his face, Nelson illustrates the tenderness in Mandela's emotions as he is elected President of South Africa.
A great way to bribe your kids into reading nonfiction lit, we here at BtB highly recommend this depiction of Nelson Mandela....more
Based on the true story of Youme Landowne and Anthony Horton's uncanny friendship, Pitch Black tells the story of how Landowne, a Brooklyn-based artisBased on the true story of Youme Landowne and Anthony Horton's uncanny friendship, Pitch Black tells the story of how Landowne, a Brooklyn-based artist, meets Horton, street artist and member of the underground community known as the "mole people", on the platform of a subway stop one day. Both admiring the same piece of art, Horton asked Landowne if she was an artist. "Isn't everyone?" she replied. From there the two struck up conversation and spent an entire afternoon riding the train, uptown and back down again. After inquiring about his life in the tunnels, Horton takes Landowne to his underground home where upon seeing his art, she asked if he'd like to collaborate with her in sharing his story.
Depicted through tone appropriate B&W illustrations, Pitch Black is the graphic novel that was created between the two to showcase Horton's life. From his parents abandonment, to the tragic flaws of the social service system, to his eventual dissent into the tunnels, the illustrations coupled with blocks of dialogue depict with haunting subsistence the ways in which people become lost to society. Sitting on the train on my way home, I was asked by two nearby passengers what the graphics were telling. Inching closer, the three of us flipped through these images until we reached our perspective stops, a quietness lingering between us.
There is something raw about each of the illustrations depicted in this book. Knowing that each represent Horton's actual life adds a touch of humanity, and a continuous nagging in the back of your mind that forces you to think about those living in the shadows of our ever-present society and culture.
He shares, with little modesty, the rules of living underground:
-Remember anything you need can be found in the garbage -Always have a way out that is different from the way in -For everything you find there is someone to buy it -You would be surprised what you find in other people's garbage -Always keep a light on you
His depictions of each leave you feeling wide-eyed, if not squirmy. But that, to me, is the point of his story. We here on the insides of society cannot possibly grasp what it would mean to take yourself out of it, or understand the rules we'd instinctively create in order to survive. While Horton cannot force us to understand what we as the reader have not lived, he and Landowne do a great job at painting us a picture to this lifestyle.
I highly recommend sifting through the pages of this book. The dialogue short and crisp, the story illustrations speak for themselves and tell with remarkable clarity and sadness of what it means to be truly in "pitch black."...more
A strange and wonderful combination of thriller, political satire, fashion fairy tale and love letter to New York, this book is a collision of the mosA strange and wonderful combination of thriller, political satire, fashion fairy tale and love letter to New York, this book is a collision of the most unlikely elements, but Gilvarry has managed to make them stick. I loved the well crafted absurdity that permeates the whole novel, and the dark humor in the tone. It's the best sort of white knuckled read that has you giggling madly as Boy's life explodes in a cloud of smoke, satin and sequins.
On a side note, the author, Alex Gilvarry will be doing a reading at Behind the Book's wine tasting event in New York on June 28th at 6:00. Get a ticket at: http://www.nycharities.org/events/Eve... if you're in New York and you liked Gilvarry's book....more
A definite page-turner - I read this book almost in one go. Great pacing, and some unexpected twists kept me racing towards the end. I loved how wellA definite page-turner - I read this book almost in one go. Great pacing, and some unexpected twists kept me racing towards the end. I loved how well he used a few crucial details, both as clever narrative mechanisms, and symbols for larger existential questions. (Love love love how he interwove Picasso's Girl In Front of Mirror with so many different strands of the story).
In the Author's Note, Paul mentions some real life inspiration, and that this book was his way of trying to understand the inexplicable behaviors of people he has known/heard of. Reading it, I definitely felt that sense of seeking - between Jay and everyone around him, as he discovered unexpected kindnesses (or cruelty) and evolved his understandings as well as his suspect list; between Nicole and all the people in her life who didn't quite get her; but most of all, between the reader and the 'villains' of the book, whose incomprehensible actions and desires are lifted aside to reveal the vulnerabilities and pathos of the souls underneath.
-Weihui, Programs Intern
All in all, another great book by Paul - Behind the Book is proud to work with such a talented author. ...more
This collection of poems is simply incredible. It is an anthology of works that each showcase the difficulties and small triumphs of minority groups iThis collection of poems is simply incredible. It is an anthology of works that each showcase the difficulties and small triumphs of minority groups in various cities around America. The poems are unsympathetic and achingly truthful, which makes the read highly cathartic and enjoyable. It is clear that the poets feel their work, and it is very easy pretend they are reading to you, which makes the entire experience more personal and direct.
What is, perhaps, most important about these poems is that it draws back long-lost attention to poetry and to the stories of people so often forgotten. It makes the hardships of poverty and oppression and hatred visible again, and it does so in a way that illuminates the simultaneous inevitability and difficulty of social change.
Bum Rush the Page also makes inventive use of humor, irony, and metaphor, and can certainly be used as a relevant way to teach these skills to young, aspiring writers and readers.
Say Hola to Spanish at the Circus is a fun, inventive story that teaches kids Spanish vocabulary related to the circus. The illustrations are fun, andSay Hola to Spanish at the Circus is a fun, inventive story that teaches kids Spanish vocabulary related to the circus. The illustrations are fun, and the circus is lively and visually interesting. The Spanish words are all accompanied by images that help to pair the word with the object or subject, which helps the reader learn quickly....more
This is the heartwarming tale of a girl named Sofia, who helps her mother to dance again. After her father dies, her mother stops dancing, and Sofia,This is the heartwarming tale of a girl named Sofia, who helps her mother to dance again. After her father dies, her mother stops dancing, and Sofia, along with the rest of her town, eagerly looks around for a new dancing partner for her mother.
The tale is well-written and beautifully illustrated. Leiner does an incredible job of depicting the depth of familial relationships and the true nature of love through the lives of Sofia and her mother....more
This book teaches the importance of rule enforcement. While it is necessary to have rules to maintain order and keep peace, the Library Lion helps teaThis book teaches the importance of rule enforcement. While it is necessary to have rules to maintain order and keep peace, the Library Lion helps teach readers that sometimes, under certain circumstances, there is good reason to break the rules. The Library Lion also teaches the reader how to act under an emergency - remain calm, and ask for help.
A majestic, adventurous tale, Library Lion is an adorable, useful read....more