Author Archives: valerie

Cover of "A Raisin in the Sun"

Guest Book Review: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

M.C., the reviewer, is a Junior in high school.

Book stats:

Number of pages: 151

Genre: Realistic fiction

Included in a series:  No

Estimated reading level: grades 8-high school

Summary:

This play, whose title is derived from the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes, depicts the lives of the Younger family who live in Southside Chicago. Set in the 1950s, the family of five—Mama (Lena) Younger, Walter Lee Younger, Beneatha Younger, Ruth Younger, and Travis Younger—face a family crisis as a life insurance check of $10,000  is placed in the family’s possession from the deceased Walter Senior. Walter—son of Mama and Walter Senior, father of Travis, husband of Ruth and brother to Beneatha—works as a chauffeur for white men and wants to use the money to invest in a liquor store. Beneatha attends college and wants to become a doctor; to her, the money would be best spent paying for school, however she isn’t as forceful with the check as Walter is. Mama works as a housemaid for rich white families and would like to spend the money on moving out of their less-than ideal home into a bigger home. Ruth is a housewife and would also like to spend the insurance check on a bigger home.

With this crisis at hand, the family must decide how the money should be spent to benefit the family as a whole; along the way, many obstacles arise which need to be overcome by the family in order to thrive.

Personal opinions:  

I felt that many obstacles in this play were quite realistic and relatable; the issue of an undesirable financial status—an underlying theme in this play—is experienced by many across the world, while the desire to fulfill one’s dreams is the ultimate wish of many. All in all, this play was a short, light, and easy read which is always well-appreciated. Try it, who knows? You might like it!

Rating:  4 – better than most

Bon Air Science Fair!

This upcoming Tuesday at 6pm, Bon Air Library will be hosting a program full of science experiments for teens, all supplies provided! Experiments will include Elephant Toothpaste, Silly Putty, Ice Cream, and building a wave machine. Come check it out!

What’s Elephant Toothpaste? Here’s a more extreme demonstration!

STRONGLY Recommended: Children of Blood and Bone

When I first got my library copy of Tomi Adeyemi’s debut novel Children of Blood and Bone, I groaned a little. I had been excited about it because I had seen the hype surrounding its release – Adeyemi had publishers fighting for the chance to print it, the title has been *heavily* advertised in the book world, and there’s already a movie deal! – but I had missed that it was over 500 pages long! Usually that’s not too much of an issue for me, as I am a bookworm (heck, I work at the library!), but for whatever reason I just wasn’t feeling a long book. But I knew if I didn’t read it when I got it the first time, I probably wouldn’t be able to get my hands on it again anytime soon (as of my writing this, there are 20 people waiting on LFPL’s 5 copies). So I forced myself to check it out. And immediately got sucked in. I am so glad I read this book, and now I’m going to gush about it because no one else has had the chance to read it yet and I need to talk about it!

So, to start off, know that the author, Tomi Adeyemi is a 24 year old (!!!) Nigerian-American who LOVES anime, especially Avatar: The Last Airbender, and has said that her main inspiration for this series (that’s right, it’s the first book in a series) comes from that love of anime, the beauty of Yoruba culture, and the constant feelings of fear and hopelessness she has due to the reality of police brutality that’s so prevalent in the United States. So. That’s definitely a REAL and interesting combination of things, but it honestly does all come together in an amazing way.

Here’s the blurb that’s on the back of the book, and it does a much better job at summarizing it than I did when I tried (I tend to get distracted and go on tangents, which can be fun sometimes but not the best for summaries).Cover for Children of Blood and Bone

THEY KILLED MY MOTHER.

THEY TOOK OUR MAGIC.

THEY TRIED TO BURY US.

NOW WE RISE.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for an enemy.

If you can’t wait to get started reading it, here are the first 6 chapters of the book, made available in a Sneak Peek by the publisher! And, once you finish it, please come talk with me about it at Bon Air Library!