I've been reading Allen Zadoff's book in this first month of my own journey with weight loss through Weight Watchers. Allen's book has been on my rada...moreI've been reading Allen Zadoff's book in this first month of my own journey with weight loss through Weight Watchers. Allen's book has been on my radar for some time.
Allen was among those first authors that came on board RAW INK Online with this title, FOOD, GIRLS, AND OTHER THINGS I CANNOT HAVE. I remember seeing a picture of Allen that didn't seem to connect. If I remember correctly, he is wearing a red-striped shirt at the beach. His hair is curly and he is notably (using observation, not perception) overweight.
But if you saw Allen today, you'd have a hard time connecting the two people too. Today, Allen appears to be the model of health and success with two successful young adult titles, with a new one that just released this fall, SINCE YOU LEFT ME, that is sure to follow in the successes of the first two titles.
Allen's first book, HUNGRY: LESSONS LEARNED ON THE JOURNEY FROM FAT TO THIN is a like a love letter to the person who also struggles with weight and food issues, but don't expect the typical coddling that might come of a celebrity's exploration of this issue. Allen renders his journey in shorter chapters that read like vignette's that seemingly dropped out of the journey of someone named Anyman.
Social situations, attempts to mask those isolated situations, and earnest attempts to enter into a healthier lifestyle are all explored in Allen's personal journey. I want to say more about Allen's book, but this is Allen's journey. His story. If you wish to dive into the book, do so. It has been very meaningful for me. Many times, I found myself quietly thinking, "Yes. I've felt that way too" or finding something that Allen shared that made me think, "This is how I might also avoid feeling __________".
I read this on my Kindle, but I intend to get a physical copy to use as a journal as I continue on my own path.
HUNGRY is the kind of book you'd wish WEIGHT WATCHERS would pick up and offer in the lobby to their members. This is not a HOW-TO book, but a BE YOU book. It comes with Mr. Hankins's highest recommendation as a inspiring work that could be shared with young adult readers in the room. (less)
Super example of what memoir might look like in the secondary classroom with some reader advisory. Comic and graphic novel readers would line up aroun...moreSuper example of what memoir might look like in the secondary classroom with some reader advisory. Comic and graphic novel readers would line up around the door to see a book like this one. I have a colleague that is just waiting for the first day of school to grab this one up!(less)
Love this one. Ladder it up with THE BOYS NEXT DOOR, selections from DEAR BULLY, BE GOOD TO EDDIE LEE, HOW SMUDGE CAME, and with the wonderful film, L...moreLove this one. Ladder it up with THE BOYS NEXT DOOR, selections from DEAR BULLY, BE GOOD TO EDDIE LEE, HOW SMUDGE CAME, and with the wonderful film, LIKE STARS ON EARTH.
The true story of Joyce Carol Thomas's trip from Oklahoma to California in 1948 is brought to life not only by her own words but by the hand of gifted...moreThe true story of Joyce Carol Thomas's trip from Oklahoma to California in 1948 is brought to life not only by her own words but by the hand of gifted artist, Floyd Cooper.
Early on, Joyce Carol Thomas remembers the words of her parents in regard to knowing when they would be close to the "land of milk and honey" as she shares their hyperbolic renderings:
"If the lemons are big as oranges/if the oranges are big as grapefruits/if you bite into a strawberry/and taste heaven in your mouth/why, you're in California/the Land of Milk and Honey."
On a two-page spread wherein Joyce looks out the window of the train at the passing landscape, the text reads:
And so we ride into early afternoon past quick and slow-stepping lizards basking hood-eyed on dazzling rocks
We ride into late afternoon past a snake whose body is a pen writing calligraphy on the paper-dry earth
We ride into dusky evening past a cactus raising hairy arms to catch the last light from the falling sun
Just this page alone could stand as a writing workshop mentor text. This one is not to be missed for the standards it hits alone, but what we really see is the masterful team of Joyce Carol Thomas and Floyd Cooper bridging writing and art to create something very special in this new picture book. (less)