Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Who Do You Love by Brandon Foster

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Title: Family Time: Who Do You Love

Author: Brandon Foster | Illustrator: Pia Prado

Publisher: Allegory Publishing | Published: March 28, 2019

Theme:  Family

Character Origin: Human

Book Type: Comic  | Pages: 28

Ages: 6-12 | Book Level: — | Lexile Measure:

Book Synopsis…

What lengths would you go to in order to recover what was taken from you? Meet Ashlon, a smart young lady with a very active imagination. When she returns home from school she quickly discovers that her most prized possession has been…stolen? Who could have done this, and most of all why? Join her on a day she will never forget. Enjoy Ashlon’s journey as she learns a valuable lesson about life, and how we treat others.

My overall thoughts…

This is my first comic review and I’d like to color myself impressed. It is great to see a comic book that boys AND girls can enjoy. The story centers around The Morgan family which struck me more than any superhero or fantasy comic ever has. What makes this unique is that it’s totally relatable. I loved that it has a Christian foundation but it isn’t overt or in your face. It is interwoven seamlessly into the storyline. After reading this comic and doing a little research, I can now see the appeal of them. They allow the reader to take a immersive visual journey. Having a story unfold visually, frame by frame before you ever read a speech bubble can be a powerful literary tool.

The illustrations and text…

Prado’s illustrations are colorful and drawn with great precision. The gutters are well placed and the layout aids in the flow of the story. The font size is just right and easily readable. The text is concise and synchronizes well with the illustrations. The sequences were easy to follow and were well balanced with imagery and text. I can’t believe that this is Foster’s first comic but it’s easy to see that it was a labor of love. He’s made it to my “Authors to Watch” list.

I’ll give it…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Hammering for Freedom by Rita Lorraine Hubbard

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Title: Hammering for Freedom

Author: Rita Lorraine Hubbard

Illustrator: John Holyfield

Published: September 4, 2018

Theme: Loyalty and Perseverance

Character Origin: Human

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 32

Ages: 7-10 | Book Level: 4.6 | Lexile Measure: 870L

Synopsis: The inspirational story of William Lewis. Born into slavery in Tennessee, William Lewis learned the blacksmith trade as soon as he was old enough to grip a hammer. He proved to be an exceptional blacksmith and earned so much money fixing old tools and creating new ones that he was allowed to keep a little money for himself. With just a few coins in his pocket, Bill set a daring plan in motion: he was determined to free his family.

Winner of Lee & Low s New Voices Award and a Junior Library Guild selection, Hammering for Freedom tells the true story of one man’s skill, hard work, and resolve to keep his family together.

My thoughts…

This was truly a heart-wrenching autobiographical story of determination, will, and long term planning. I absolutely loved reading Bill’s story. His ironclad will drove his hammer into every horseshoe, nail, and ax with commanding purpose. It is disheartening that Bill’s story and others like his have been omitted from the telling of African American history. There is strength, dignity, and perseverance in every word of this text and Hubbard captures it all effortlessly.

Holyfield’s illustrations were melancholy but reflective of the time period and subject matter. With his wit and determination, Bill reshaped his life and the lives of his family. To me that is priceless and reveals the essence of his character. His story is not a sinular one, there are many stories lost through the ages that prove that slaves had the ability, knowledge, and will to be much more than servants. We have to do better–but this is a start. I’m definitely adding this to my top 10 list. William “Bill” Lewis is a name I won’t soon forget and neither should you.

My rating…