Category Archives: Books

Local Mother-Daughter Team Expresses Unconditional Love in Children’s Book

by Jacob Uitti

A day after giving birth to her fourth child, Catrice Dennis felt a strike of inspiration. Sitting on her bed at home with her newborn daughter, looking out the window to the world outside, Dennis whispered the words, “I love you just because.” Suddenly, the material for a new children’s book, I Love You Just Because, flooded her mind.

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Urban Book Expo holds up local fiction, poetry and memoir for third year

by Susan Fried

Twenty authors, publishers, an online book store and several other vendors greeted more than 400 visitors to the 3rd Urban Book Expo August 26th at the Centilia Cultural Center. Attendees could talk directly with the authors, learn about publishing opportunities and listen to the writers and poets read from their works.

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Rad Books for Rad Kids: Comics About Geeky Girls for Kids of All Genders

By Maggie Block

“Rad Books for Rad Kids” is the Emerald’s spin on a book review column featuring South End librarian Maggie Block’s analysis of youth literature through a radical lens.

When I was a kid I loved comics, but I didn’t really buy them or collect them myself – they didn’t really feel like they were for me. And they kinda weren’t – it’s still a male-dominated medium – but during my childhood, it was nearly impossible to find a comic series fronted by women that I could relate to. If there were women they were always too sexy, too femme, too stylish, too one dimensional, too focused on their love interest, too actually-a-man-reincarnated-into-a-woman’s-body (no, for real) for me to find my child self in them.* It’s important to point out that authentic representations of people of color, in particular women of color, were even harder for young readers to find (after I sent this piece to editing I read about how a variant cover for Marvel’s new Iron Man series, featuring Riri Williams, a 15-year-old Black Girl as Iron Man, was released. The picture was hyper-sexualized, and in no way looked like a 15-year-old girl. Which is to say the comic industry’s over-sexualization of women and girls, in particular, Black women and girls, is not a thing of the past). Continue reading Rad Books for Rad Kids: Comics About Geeky Girls for Kids of All Genders

Rad Books for Rad Kids: Self Discovery, Sci-Fi & Struggle in “More Happy Than Not”

By Maggie Block

“Rad Books for Rad Kids” is the Emerald’s spin on a book review column featuring South End librarian Maggie Block’s analysis of youth literature through a radical lens.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera is the single most underappreciated book of 2015. Silvera invites us into a perfectly described world, with an astoundingly complex and beautiful cast of characters, and a subject so contemporary and familiar that somehow manages to tell a completely unique story. How it didn’t rack up every YA award and prize imaginable, I cannot tell you.  Continue reading Rad Books for Rad Kids: Self Discovery, Sci-Fi & Struggle in “More Happy Than Not”

Rad Books for Rad Kids: Conjuring Friendly Spirits and Exposing Privilege in “Shadowshaper”

By Maggie Block

“Rad Books for Rad Kids” is the Emerald’s new spin on a book review column featuring South End librarian Maggie Block’s analysis of youth literature through a radical lens.

So, the first book I wanted to recommend to the Emerald’s readership is Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older. This book busts expectations of Afro-Latino representations in YA fiction every possible way. I mean, just look at that cover. It is so refreshing to see a teen novel with a beautiful young woman who has dark skin and natural hair taking up the entire cover! And that’s all before you even glance at the first page.  Continue reading Rad Books for Rad Kids: Conjuring Friendly Spirits and Exposing Privilege in “Shadowshaper”