Book Review: Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists

ALERT: Great graphic novel by two BIPOC authors ahead.

Looking for a graphic novel introduction to the women’s history, look no further than: Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists by Mikki Kendall and A.D’Amico.

This is a great introduction to some fascinating, fierce, diverse female leaders throughout the history of the world, some that I had not heard of until I opened the book. Each page had so much to look at and gave me some new people to research. I had just been reading Stamped from the Beginning and A Woman of No Importance (Virginia Hall,) so it was also nice to see some familiar names, names that I am intrigued to read even more about.

The only thing that didn’t always work for me was the narrative surrounding and connecting the history bits. The class traveling through time to see these women was a very cool concept and often worked really well. I also liked the dialogue about race that the student’s had with each other, as they learned the history bits. However, sometimes the students asked a question and the instructor said “We will come back to that” or “You’ll find out more later” and they didn’t. I get that it was a lot of material to juggle and it didn’t ruin the reading experience. Just something I noticed.

Definitely worth a read and some book-inspired future reading.

On Recommendations: Continued and Why I Use Databases for Mine

When people find out I “read,” they also want to know my favorite book or what I recommend they read.

This is always a bit of a delicate situation to find myself in. As readers of previous posts know, I am not great at expressing extreme opinions (Libra problems,) I am always loathe to divulge “guilty pleasure” reads that I enjoyed, and I do not want to recommend something that the asker will not like.

So, I tend flip the question back around, “What do you enjoy reading? What is the last book you finished and liked?” Why just recommend a book, when I could recommend something that I know they will enjoy, that suits their tastes, and that might make them think?

The act of recommending books should be a deeply personalized experience. That is why I try to approach book reviews with caution. I want to explain what I liked or did not like, not what everyone will like and dislike. There are many types of readers, just as there are many types of books. What works for one reader, will not necessarily work for every reader. I have been caught up in this pervasive general consensus mentality in 2020 too many times. Everyone has to like the same shows, movies, and books, disliking all the same in those categories. It seems like the only time people are allowed a real opinion is when it comes to food. Our taste buds are allowed to be critical, but our brains are not.

That changes now.

With all of this in mind, I have been attempting to create a database of adult books that I recommend, similar to my book database for students. That way, when I am approached for a recommendation, I can send a link, show them some favorites, and some genres. Thus empowered, they can choose for themselves. They can read what they WANT to, not what they think that they HAVE to.

For now, my database is a Google Doc. Over my summer break, I intend to turn it into a Google Sheet. Check it out here: Kelly Recommends. It is a WIP, with a lot of mystery novels set in England. Oh well, I like what I like.

Also, check out my book database for middle school and high school students. There are some great books for 11-18 year olds and beyond.

What are some books that you always recommend?

My First Blog Post

I made a list.

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I always make a list. One of the best lists I have made is a Google Sheets database of my favorite recommendations for my sixth graders. When the Stay-At-Home order was put in place in Massachusetts, parents reached out to me for recommendations for their students. I asked my usual questions (last book they read? last book they liked? etc.) and appreciated that they came to me. What I wished was that I had a list to pull from and that I had a list to direct them to. I do not want to stop the questions; I want to give better answers. So, enjoy, the work in progress.

Ms. Proulx Recommends

I intend to spotlight some of these books in the blog.

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.