Discussion of the above book with the author, illustrator and Georgetown Law Professor Emerita, moderated by our own Deborah Taylor. Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building, Mary 3, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. No RSVP needed unless you want to bring a group of children. Then please respond to: Monica Valentine, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-707-1950.
Author and illustrator learn they must work together despite artistic differences, or the book they each imagine will never exist. The story about Chloe differentiates from the story of the story through cartoon art including balsa backdrops, Sculpey clay figures, and computer graphics.
After a failed attempt to assimilate with the high school masses, 16-year-old Elise Dumbowski contemplates suicide - only to have that backfire as well. Alone and lonely, she stumbles upon an underground dance club while walking around one night to clear her head. At the club she finds more than friendship. Standing behind the turntables, she finds her passion, talent, and ultimately, herself.
This book had me at hello. Elise’s dry humor and pragmatic approach to life are a winning combination. Her voice is honest, funny and rings 100% authentic. She is a character that will connect with teen readers, wherever their place in the high school hierarchy. A thoughtfully drawn cast of secondary characters including parents and siblings who aren’t invisible, classmates who range from cruel to well-meaning to un-noticed and dance club kids rounds out this character-driven novel. Insightful writing that encapsulates big ideas in simple ways drives the novel forward and keeps the reader looking to Elise as a source for humor and honesty. I was struck by passages like “...Sometimes when you are worn down, day after day, relentlessly, with no reprieve for years piled on years, sometimes you lose everything but the ability to cry.” (p.12) “Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe they’re right.” (p. 241) “But you know better than anyone else how the Internet sees everything and nothing, all at the same time.” (p. 262)
And the music! Not only do the songs and bands mentioned throughout the novel make you want to put together an iTunes playlist to put yourself in the club with Elise (even when you don’t know the song or the artist), but a list “Recommended Listening” is included after the acknowledgments that gives a full listing of title and artist to get interested readers started.
An artistic mouse eagerly inserts her self-portrait into twenty-two brightly-hued copies of famous modern art pieces. After faithfully capturing styles from Picasso to Pollack, she finally finds her own uniqueness. An afterward provides biographical information about the artists.
Backderf knew serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer as a weird high-school friend who behaved bizarrely for their amusement. The carefully-crafted illustrations in this graphic novel reveal Dahmer’s seriousness in contrast to his classmates’ disregard and Backderf’s belief that early intervention and treatment might have stopped Dahmer’s violence.
Self-taught artist Henri Rousseau ignored harsh critics by continuing to paint in his surrealistic, primitive style until younger painters like Picasso recognized his uniqueness. Illustrations in Rousseau’s dreamy style feature vibrant colors in both watercolor and acrylic. Backmatter enlarges Rousseau’s story.
Colorful anthropomorphized birds from Bethlehem agree that they must investigate this miracle attracting kings and "heavenly hosts" singing in the night to their town. Their "birds'-eye view" creates an unusual approach to the Nativity story.
Pondering the meaning of infinity, Uma, while wearing her new red shoes, asks friends (“napping figure eight), teachers (endless music), and family (a family tree) for definitions. Creative age-appropriate examples complement whimsical illustration to explore this sophisticated concept.
Graphite illustrations in this monochromatic tale set in Confederate Virginia expressively present an imagined episode about the Underground Railroad.Powerfully--and wordlessly--a young girl's courage fights oppression.
This well-researched and documented assembly of inspiring and incredible stories of individuals and small groups who valiantly fought against the Nazi regime offers a look at people who decided that, regardless of the consequences, they would focus on survival for themselves and others in need. Archival photographs and thorough backmatter complement the text.