Complications – book review

Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science By Atul Gawande Nonfiction * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) In 2006 when he published this, Atul Gawande was a general surgeon at the Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston as well as an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School (in addition to being a writer for The New Yorker). Here, he collects some patient/doctor stories that give insight into the training of doctors (surgeons in … Read more

Mexikid – book review

Mexikid by Pedro Martín Autobiography Biography Graphic Novel Nonfiction * * * Stars (Pretty good) Peter/Pedro Martin is a Mexican-American and one of 9 kids (he’s the 7th-born in his family). This memoir is about how his folks decide to bring the whole family to Mexico so they can bring Abuelito (Pedro’s grandfather) back to live with them. He’s been alone since his wife passed away and Pedro’s parents have been trying to get him … Read more

I Am Malala – Read It and Rate It

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb Autobiography Biography Nonfiction Review #1 * * * * Stars (Great!) This is the real-life story of Malala Yousafzai, a current activist who fights for female education. She is the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner at age 17. In Swat Valley in Pakistan, females couldn’t even go out due to being at risk … Read more

Sunshine – book review

Sunshine by Jarrett J. Krosoczka Biography Graphic Novel Memoir Nonfiction * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) While in high school Jarrett Krosoczka volunteers at Camp Sunshine, a summer camp for children with life-threatening illnesses. He is assigned to be a one-on-one companion to thirteen-year-old Diego who has brain cancer and uses a wheelchair. It’s an intense assignment for a new volunteer and Jarrett takes his new responsibilities seriously. He also interacts with other teen … Read more

In Limbo – book review

In Limbo by Deb JJ Lee Biography Graphic Novel Memoir Nonfiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Deborah is Korean American (she came to the US with her family when she was 3) and she’s struggling to find a path for herself. Her mother has Great Expectations for her future and becomes angry and physically violent with Deb when she fails to get perfect grades, speak Korean fluently, and become a musical virtuoso. Deb wants … Read more

Four Eyes – book review

Four Eyes by Rex Ogle & Dave Valeza Autobiography Biography Graphic Novel Nonfiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Rex Ogle (the author) is going into middle school and is super excited about it until his first day, when he discovers that because of new school districts being created, most of the kids he knew from his old school are going somewhere else. His friend Drew is there, though, but he’s obsessed with becoming one … Read more

Other Family Doctor – book review

The Other Family Doctor: A Veterinarian Explores What Animals Can Teach Us About Love, Life, and Mortality by Karen Fine, DVM Biography Nonfiction * * * * Stars (Great!) Karen Fine’s grandfather was her inspiration for becoming a veterinarian. His patients were human, but Karen admired the commitment and care he offered them (he practiced in South Africa and made house calls). She writes about her experiences in vet school, which is arguably at least … Read more

Gender Queer – book review

Gender Queer: A Memoir  By Maia Kobabe LGBTQ+ Autobiography Graphic Novel Nonfiction * * * * Stars (Great!)  This is Maia Kobabe’s graphical memoir of eir (e uses e/em/eir pronouns) journey to self-discovery as a nonbinary, asexual person. It took some time for em to find the language to describe what e felt/was experiencing, and how to explain it to others (this book is part of that process), as well as a supportive community and … Read more

Welcome to St. Hell – book review

Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure Lewis Hancox Autobiography Biography Graphic Novel * * * * Stars (Great!) Lewis Hancox looks back on (visits) his younger self, Lois, who felt awkward and wrong in her body until she realized that she was actually he/him, Lewis. This follows his story into young adulthood (through middle and high school and a bit beyond) with all of the usual teen angst PLUS a really rocky journey … Read more

Just Mercy – Read It and Rate It

Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice (adapted for young adults) by Bryan Stevenson Autobiography Criminal Justice Equal Rights LawNonfiction Thriller Review #1 * * * * * Stars (Amazing!) A lawyer and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson tells us the stories and experiences he goes through raising awareness to the social injustices of many he had as clients. I was absolutely devastated by the stories of the imprisoned who Bryan fought … Read more