Posted in book reviews, books, children, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Sulwe

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o

 ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

*Published October 15, 2019*

sulweStars are beautiful and I was creating a storytime for my library’s storytime. Then COVID-19 hit and my storytime was cancelled. This book I ordered for that storytime came in and I had to read it because it looked so good! And it was adorable!

New York Times bestseller!

From Academy Award–winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.

This was such a sweet book about a girl who wants to be beautiful and bright like her mother and sister, whose skin colour is lighter than her own. But one night, she is taken on a magical journey that shows just how beautiful her own dark skin is. There aren’t many picture books that show darker skin characters as sweetly as this one. I love this book and it’s definitely one that I’ll bring back as soon as I can when we can have storytimes again.

Posted in book reviews, comic books/graphic novels, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: As the Crow Flies

As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊ ◊

*Published October 10, 2017*

as the crow fliesI literally just saw this book come into my library as a return and it intrigued me and I was very curious about what it was about.

A queer, black teenager finds herself stranded in a dangerous and unfamiliar place: an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp.

This graphic novel was in a vein that I haven’t really dipped into before. A queer black teenager goes to an all-white Christian girls’ backpacking camp and she is trying to understand her place in the world and where God figures into all of this. Now, I really can’t put myself in the main character’s shoes as I am not black and I am not queer. But I can empathize with her being the only person of color (black) in a mainly white community. It can be awkward and interesting all at the same time. And normal language for white communities can have a very different connotation to those who are not white.

Overall, I enjoyed this graphic novel. I liked that there was a book for those who are wanting to find where God fits into their lives when they can/are being told that God doesn’t love them for their sexual preferences. I think what I enjoy most about this book is that it shows that there are many others who are searching for their own place in life. They are trying to discover who they are and what it means to them to be themselves. This is always a hard thing to figure, especially when you’re a teenager in a world that doesn’t feel like it wants you around.

How did you figure out who you are supposed to be? Or are you still figuring that out, like me? Because I still am! and I’m 27 years old! Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, comic books/graphic novels, goodreads, marvel, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Miles Morales Vol. 2

Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man: Ultimate Collection, Vol. 2 by Brian Michael Bendis

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊

*Published October 20, 2015*

miles morales 2In this second volume, we see Miles work to become the superhero that he believes is needed, even if no one else wants/needs him. We also see what happens when those you love are caught in the crossfire you choose to be in.

Miles Morales is still getting used to being Spider-Man when Captain America makes him a very special offer. Is Miles really joining the Ultimates? With a wounded nation crying out for heroes, Miles Morales is determined to prove that he has what it takes! But when a terrifying new Venom symbiote surfaces, armed with the truth about the incident that gave the new Spider-Man his powers, Spidey might have just made his first true archenemy. COLLECTING: ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN (2011) 13-28, 16.1

I think this is the volume where we see Miles grow and change the most, both for good and for bad. We see Miles become Spider-Man, a Spider-Man that is needed, but one that is rejected on several levels because of how young he is. When Miles is offered the chance to join the Ultimates, he jumps at the chance to prove that he can be Spider-Man. It all comes crashing down on his head though when a new Venom symbiote surfaces with info about Miles’s creation and what it means for him, the Peter Parker’s Spider-Man, and Norman Ozborn’s Green Goblin. It leads to the death of a family member, someone who would have believed in Miles indefinitely. It also leads to the injury of another, causing Miles to doubt who he is and what it means to be Spider-Man.

We see Miles vacillate between believing that what he is doing is for the greater good and that he can truly be a superhero to turning his back on being Spider-Man for the pain and trouble that it has not only brought him, but his family has well. Most times when we see superheroes, they are already adults with some of their life in order. Miles is literally just a kid, he was 11 when he got bit and received his powers and I believe 13 when he fully became Spider-Man. A kid who loses a parent, another is injured and he still has to go through puberty all while trying to be Spider-Man?! That’s asking a lot of someone, even when they aren’t Spider-Man.

I think what I liked most about this is that we see Miles go through so much that I would not even blink an eye if he decided that he needed to get away from New York, away from this place of superheroes, and just decide to be a kid. No one needs that much responsibility from such a young age, an age where you barely know what going on inside of you even without the spider bite to make you into Spider-Man. Yet, Miles Morales chooses to continue. He chooses to be Spider-Man. He CHOOSES to do what he thinks will best help his home that is to pull on the mask and save those he can.

What have you chosen to do that would have crushed you? Why did you choose to do so? Don’t comment on this one if you don’t want, this being a bit more personal. But do think about it and what it has brought you in your life.


Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: A Study in Honor

A Study in Honor by Claire O’Dell

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊

*Published July 31, 2018*

study in honorAnother ARC from ALA New Orleans, I highly enjoyed this book! It’s a futuristic LGBTQA version of Holmes and Watson. I absolutely love it!

Dr. Janet Watson knows what happens during a civil war. She knows the damage that can be wrought when two sides of a nation turn on one another. As a field surgeon, Dr. Watson also knows what this damage has cost her; her arm and her career. She makes her way to Washington D.C. where she seeks to make sense of her life with a semi-functioning mechanical arm that replaced the arm she lost in the field. Unsure of what to do and lost in this world she never thought she would leave, Watson struggles to find her way. When Watson meets another queer black woman by the name of Sara Holmes, she starts to find her way.

When Watson and Holmes start living together, Watson has found a job that puts her back in the medical field, but she is frustrated by her new roommate. But she forgets that frustration as her work is starting to poke a mystery in her face. Soldiers that had fought in the New Civil War are coming back and dying one by one, not on the battlefield, but in their homes. As Watson looks into her patients to figure out what is going on, she triggers something much larger, something that could potentially level the nation as they know it.

I absolutely loved how you still have all the original flavors of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but there is still a new story, a new dynamic, a new set of mysteries to solve for Sara and Janet. The only thing that I would say I wasn’t a complete fan of was how Sara Holmes attained her information, but it makes sense in this new world that takes place not many years from us.

What retellings of Sherlock Holmes are your favorite? Or your least favorite? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in author given, book reviews, books, comic books/graphic novels, ebook, goodreads, reading

Tiny Navajo Reads: Becoming Hero

*Thanks to the author this free copy in exchange for an honest review*

Becoming Hero by Jen Finelli

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

becoming heroHave you ever wondered what would happen if comic book characters came to life, or at least came to your universe? In Jacen Howard’s world, he gets just that. Our protagonist is saved from a beating, possible death, from a gang by Caleb, a young Asian man who looks like he stepped right out of a comic book. In inviting him home, Jacen gains a roommate. Throughout the book, we see that Jacen and Caleb grow together, as well as develop relationships with everyone else in Jacen’s life, including his father.

But as we see Jacen and Caleb live and work together, we start to see that there may be something a little off about Caleb, from the way he talks about the comics, to how we know nothing about his home life, or even where he came from. Yet, he’s been living with Jacen and his dad for some time, but we don’t know much about Caleb’s past. As things start to progress, we see that Jacen’s dad is starting to see connects.

We then hear that the author of Jacen’s favorite comics about a superhero called “Skye,” and that Jacen’s dad is called to investigate this. As the author, the illustrator, and now then the writer, are all targeting by someone, asking “Why you would do these horrible things to the characters in your comics if you love them so much?”

For Jacen and Caleb, things go downhill, but they learn more about each other the more they realize that comic characters and their universes are real. And that things are not the way they seem in the comics or what the characters are thinking.

What comic book character would you like to see come to life? What comic universe would you like to visit? Comment below and let me know!

Posted in book reviews, books, goodreads, reading, school

Tiny Navajo Reads: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

the hate u giveAs I mentioned in my review of All American Boys, I haven’t read many books before that one that truly dealt with racism and how that affects everyday real life. This is my second book that I had to read that deals with racism and real life, and this was something that is still hard for me to wrap my head around a little.

Starr Carter has struck an uneasy balance in her world. She lives in a poor black neighborhood, but she goes to a nearly white private school about an hour away. She is Starr Carter, daughter to “Big Mav” in her neighborhood who everyone knows is a former gang member of the biggest gang in the area. At her private school, she is Starr Carter, automatically cool because she is one of the few black kids at her school. She lives as two very different people, being careful that neither of her two lives overlap and spill over into each other. All her caution though is thrown out the window the night her best friend from her neighborhood is killed in an officer shooting.

Starr is the only one to have seen what happened the night Khalil was killed, and now she is struggling with what she should do. Should she go forward and tell the detectives what she saw that night, about the officer shooting Khalil? Or should she stay quiet and hope that every works out for the best? Either way, her life in her neighborhood starts to leak over into her life at school when people find out that Khalil grew up in her neighborhood, and that Starr may have even known him. Starr can’t figure out who she should be when things start to get even worse for her. She is called forward to testify, to tell the truth of what happened that night, but even though she does what she’s told is the right thing to do, things don’t go the way they should have.

As with all things in life, there is prejudice and bias in all that you will do. There is social injustice based on the color of one’s skin, where you live, what you do, and who your family is. And for some people, there is more prejudice aimed at them, whether they want it or not for reasons that are not their own.

What books have you read that have hit you where it hurts? Have opened your eyes to what’s happening, even if it’s not happening to you? Comment below and let me know!