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Showing posts from September, 2019

ZIGGY, STARDUST & ME, by James Brandon--a review by Charlie, 17

This blog is for Indigo--thanks for mentoring me like a little bro. Miss you like a million--

I've done some hard reviews/essays. This may be the hardest. I'm not coming from a place of "I'm a critic and I want to cut this author." I'm not settling a score and I don't want to be unfair or hurt anyone. I'm being true to my just turned 17-Black Seminole-African American-pansexual-2SQ/Indigiqueer self. And others like me. That's all I can do.

My librarian texted me this article about ZIGGY, STARDUST AND ME author James Brandon and put the physical copy and eBook on hold for me. She wrote: "I am spotting some issues. You will see more. Read when you're ready, if at all." That was a good warning. But I am so hungry for Two-spirit relationship content in YA, I didn't take a minute.

When I picked up the book at the library, the first thing I did was read the back matter. Those are the author's notes at the back of the book. I never …

AT THE MOUNTAIN'S BASE, by Traci Sorrel, with illustrations by Weshoyot Alvitre--a review by Ashleigh, 13

Traci Sorell wrote one of our favorite picture books, WE ARE GRATEFUL, Otsaliheliga. She also finished Charlene Willing McManis' novel INDIAN NO MORE. Ms. Traci is a Cherokee Nation citizen, and she writes great books for kids! Her newest book is another picture book based on Cherokee history and traditions: AT THE MOUNTAIN'S BASE.

The book has a simple text like a poem. It starts with:
At the mountain's base/ grows a hickory tree/ Beneath this sits a cabin. Then it turns to:
On that stove/ simmers savory goodness in well-worn pans/ By those pans sits a grandma, weaving
At this point we see the grandma hand-weaving with her granddaughter standing beside her looking on. From the beginning of the book, there are many colored strands of fiber around the pictures, each one connected to the next. This is a very beautiful technique by Tongva/Scots-Gaelic illustrator Alvitre. The weaving connects not just the text and images, but also the Cherokee women in the story, on the land…