Mandela and the General (Book Review)

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This was an interesting take on the battle that took place for the heart of South Africa. The story follows General Constand Viljoen and his conflicts as the leader of the white nationalist militias that have been bound as one upon Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Mandela is gaining followers rapidly, causing fear to rise among white nationalists. Together, Mandela and the General form an alliance aimed toward achieving peace through nonviolent negotiations.

I enjoyed the illustrations, they were beautiful. I wasn’t expecting to be shown this story from the point of view of history’s villain. Through the eyes of his privilege, I could see how some of his decisions could make sense to him. It was an uncommon take that I’ve been seeing a few other novels move toward, as well. Overall, an interesting read.

I received a digital ARC of this novel through

Pub Date 05 Nov 2018

3.5/5 Stars


Monster: A Graphic Novel (Book Review)

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Is Steve Harmon a Monster? That’s how the prosecutor sees him. Or maybe he’s just a kid who likes to make movies. Whatever Steve is, he’s on trial for armed robbery and felony murder. This trial determines whether Steve gets to live a free life. It’s up to the jury to decide whether Steve Harmon is a monster or not.

I read the original book back in middle school for my English class, so when I saw the graphic novel version, I just had to pick it up. The story resonated with me long after that middle school class, even if I hadn’t remembered all the details. I love how Dawud Anyabwile handled the graphics. His style reminds me of the Boondocks in it’s exaggeration of facial features and great attention to detail. Guy A. Sims did a great job in condensing the novel. The images and text flowed together really well.

This One Summer (Book Review)

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Rose has been going to Awago Beach with her parents ever since she was little. She spends many of these days with her friend Wendy, who is like a little sister to her. This trip serves as a refuge from the hi and bye of everyday life, but this summer things are changing.

Rose’s parents are fighting constantly. Wendy and Rose are growing up and that means discussing their potential chest sizes, swimming on the beach and renting horror movies from Brewster’s, the only real store in Awago.

I have to start by saying, I was absolutely blown away by the artwork. I enjoyed the full page illustrations and how well Tamaki captured the facial expressions and movements. It was so natural and ran smoothly with the writing.


I really wish there was a follow-up novel because I wanted to know so much more about the girls and what their future held. I wouldn’t mind reading more of the Tamaki cousins’ work.

What Does Consent Really Mean? (Book Review)

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In this short story, a group of friends is struck with the question of consent when the newest student is rumored to have been raped. Throughout the book, the topic of consent is struck head-on and explained through conversations that feel all too real.

This was a great conversation starter and quick read. I enjoyed the diversity in choice of characters and the inclusion of so many differing opinions on the topic. It’s a great book to read on your own, or with your older (middle school and up) kids.

The expected release date is November 21st, 2017. I read the digital ARC through NetGalley. What Does Consent Really Mean? can be preordered here:

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty (Book Review)

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Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty is the story of the real-life 1994 life and death of Robert “Yummy” Sandifer. He was an 11-year-old boy with a rough childhood. He had just been accepted into the Black Disciples Nation gang and he wanted to prove himself.

After living through this tragedy and with various sources of research, G. Neri pieces together Yummy’s story. In combination with Randy DuBurke’s style, this is a story that you won’t forget.

A poignant recounting of tragic events that should have never transpired to begin with. This novel displays the facts of what happened and what led up to it in the first place. It will leave you feeling conflicted in understanding but never truly knowing the answer to the simple question of “Why?”