November 3, 2017

First Friday 5: Brave Girls

This month's theme came together so perfectly that it'd be easy to pretend I was planning it all along. The books I've read over the past few weeks were filled with leading ladies who are strong, brave, and unabashedly persistent when it comes to solving their own problems. In addition to the physical challenges they encounter, it's how they work to overcome their inner challenges that makes each of their stories shine. Observing the journeys in these books is an absolute honor, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

Written by Melanie Gillman

Charlie Lamonte is queer, black, and questioning her belief in God, so it makes total sense that she's spending a week of her summer vacation at an all-white Christian backpacking camp, right? And did I mention she's not a fan out of the outdoors? But despite her determination to stay aloof, Charlie finds herself connecting with the other girls around her, realizing that maybe her perceived "differences" aren't so different after all. Can you believe Melanie Gillman made this entire book with colored pencils?? Amazing!

Written and illustrated by Katie Green

Warning: this will be one of the toughest, most rewarding books you'll ever read. Katie Green's stunning graphic memoir is about eating disorders and abuse, but more importantly it's about her decision (yes, decision) to recover. Readers follow along as Katie dives deeper and deeper into her eating disorder and struggles to understand the things that have happened to her as she's worked to find a balance with food.
Written and illustrated by Nidhi Chanani

In this debut, we meet Pri and her many, many unanswered questions: Why did her mother leave India all those years ago? Why won't she go back? And most importantly, who is her father? But her mom refuses to talk about India, and it seems that Pri will have to live with these questions for the rest of her life. That is, until she finds a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase that holds a hidden world...and the answers to some of Pri's burning questions.
Written and illustrated by Tillie Walden

Another tough but valuable read, Tillie recalls her years as a figure skater and the emotional toll that it took on her young adulthood. When Tillie begins to inwardly question how the close-minded world of figure skating fits in with the rest of her life — and if it's even worth it if she won't make it to the Olympics — everything else in her life follows. Tillie struggles to find her own voice and discover who she is apart from figure skating, as well as to embrace her sexuality, which she has kept hidden from her family.
Written by Ginger Ly and illustrated by Molly Park

Suee has always been a loner, and that doesn't change much when she transfers to Outskirts Elementary. Especially given that bullied kids (called Zeroes) end up turning into zombies. But when her shadow suddenly comes alive and forms an evil plan, Suee realizes just how much is at stake in this small, creepy town..

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