Monday, February 17, 2020

Review: Next Year in Havana

Next Year in Havana Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Marisol is returning to Cuba for the first time since her family's escape during the revolution to return her grandmother's ashes to her homeland. Marisol meets old family friends and neighbors and what was initially an excursion to write about Cuban tourism and travel, results in discovering old family secrets and ignites new political controversy.

I really liked this novel! Told is alternating voices -- both Marisol and her grandmother, Elisa - I was engage with both narratives and stories.

I knew/know absolutely nothing of the Cuban revolution or about Cuba (shame on me), other than Castro, Communism and Cuban refugees and families in Florida. While I'm sure this barely skims the surface of what actually occurred (hopefully it was accurate), I certainly know more now about Cuba than I did before.

This was our book club choice for March. Look forward to discussing it.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Review: New Kid

New Kid New Kid by Jerry Craft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A graphic novel within a graphic novel, Jordan is an aspiring artist, who is now a minority student in an exclusive private school. He sketches his "thoughts" in diary-like entries as he encounters issues of racism, elitism, and social awkwardness at school
A brilliant, very funny, and insightful book.
Illustrations are amazing.
Newbery award worthy.

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