From hijabs and heels to cosplay and cultural garments this book covers aspects of style that have often been overlooked by mainstream culture. An immersive look at various aspects of fashion, the book has gorgeous photographs throughout and highlights a wide and diverse range of artists. This is a quick and engrossing read. I only wish it was longer.
The Power of Style: How Fashion and Beauty Are Being Used to Reclaim Cultures by Christian Allaire
Erica's Picks 5+ tags: art, nonfiction, People of Color
Robin loves her life in Seoul. She loves going to the cafes with her friends and talking about their favorite comics. So when a vacation to America suddenly turns into a permanent relocation after her mother gets married with no warning, she is devastated. English has never been her strongest subject so getting along in her new school is difficult. Trying to find friends she can trust is harder when even her step-cousins shun her. But things start to turn around when she finds a comic club. As Robin learns more about her mother and why she decided to move, she begins to adjust to her new life.
This comic memoir is full of heart and I enjoyed reading about Robin's experience as an immigrant and her life in both Korea and Alabama. I love how she describes her mom in the afterward as "a much more interesting character than I am" and her empathy for her mother's difficult decision shines through, even as it caused her a lot of pain at the time. An insightful and moving comic.
Almost American Girl by Robin Ha Erica's Picks 6th - 8th tags: art, character driven, comics, family life, global perspectives, people of color, school stories
Mona is not excited about facing the new school year after her best friend moves away to Hawaii. With him gone, her depression gets worse and it's harder to make new friends. In the midst of this, she develops a mysterious back pain that won't go away. When everything threatens to overwhelm her, she discovers that she's stronger than she thinks. With the help of her art, her friends, her family, and her therapist she might be able to pull an amazing year out of the jaws of disaster.
This book gets mental illness. I love Gulledge's art and the way she can depict intangibles in a way that makes them instantly recognizable, providing a satisfying mirror for readers with mental illness and an insightful window for those without. At the back she shares her self-care plan and provides a space for readers to create their own.
The Dark Matter of Mona Starr by Laura Lee Gulledge Erica's Pick 6th - 8th tags: art, character driven, comics, contemporary fiction, friendship, mental illness
A young boy is less than excited to spend time with his grandpa. They don't eat the same food. They don't watch the same shows. They don't even speak the same language! The boy soon grows bored and takes out some paper and markers to entertain himself. When his grandpa sees, he excitedly takes out his ink pot and brush. They have finally found a common language! Together, they go on an adventure combining their styles.
The way Santat combines the grandson and grandfather's styles is simply breath-taking. The format goes from comic panels at the beginning to show time passing to full-color spreads in a more traditional picture book layout. I love the way the characters choose to draw themselves and that they exchange their preferred drawing implement at the end. The end papers bring it all together with the front displaying the grandson's style and the back the grandfather's. A sweet, inter-generational tale.
A young man survives a shipwreck in 1766 and goes on to create a dynasty of famous actors in London. Another runs away from his boarding school in 1990 to seek out his estranged and eccentric uncle who lives in an even more mysterious house. Their stories, told through pictures and words, intertwine in unexpected ways that will leave you flipping pages and looking for clues about how their stories meet.
This story completely wrecked me. I was deeply touched by the slowly unraveling story of the uncle and his mysterious house. I was drawn in by wondering how the two stories connected. After reading this, I made a point of visiting the museum that inspired it. The whole experience of this book is simply beautiful.
Saba never imagined as her apartment went up in flames that it would be the beginning of a grand mystery that would change her life for the better. Her school community rallies around her, led by two new kids who seem eager to make their mark. Saba's family moves into a luxurious apartment and an auction is organized to raise money for them. When the donation of a weird piece of art found in an alley turns out to be a valuable work by a famous artist, tensions rise. Who should keep the money: Saba's family? The kids who found the art? The school? And just who set the fire in the first place? Read a series of notes, articles, and testimonies, put together the clues, and find out for yourself!
I loved the format of this book! I find it especially effective in mystery narratives where not all the characters can be trusted and you have to be on a sharp lookout for red herrings. A major subplot of the book involves outsider art, an area that I found fascinating. The final conclusion was perfect and a completely satisfying ending to a compelling mystery.
The Art of Secrets by James Klise
Erica's Picks 6th - 8th Tags: Art, Contemporary Fiction, Mystery, People of Color, School Stories
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but admit it: you've picked up a book just because its cover looked cool. We all have. People put a lot of work into making a book's cover tempt readers to pick it up. Those people are called graphic designers. Have you ever wondered how those people decide what to put on a cover? Would you like to learn some of their tricks to capture people's attention? Then this is the book for you!
This book takes the basic concepts of graphic design and breaks them down into easy to understand and clearly illustrated chunks. The book is playful throughout and it's fun to read or flip through. Kidd's expertise and the clear way he has of explaining concepts make it incredibly informative as well.