The Front Porch prints book reviews, rotating to a different local library or bookstore every month. This month’s book reviews are by Monica Washenberger and Tara Bannon Williamson from Sam Gary Library, 2691 Roslyn.
The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna
Life is a series of choices, some easy and some hard. No one gets too far along before they figure out that there are simply things in life that you have to do whether you like it or not.
Discerning between the paths of should and must can be harder. Figuring out your “must” is a personal journey that can have tremendous benefit to your personal life and professional life. A very quick read that engages your right brain with a colorful artistic journal with splashes of bright paint and ink that is inspirational as well as enlivening to the spirit. Perfect for someone who isn’t comfortable reading a book cover to cover; you can dip in quickly for a quick connection to your inner voice!
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
In a post-apocalyptic future brought on by a flu epidemic, a traveling symphony lives on bringing culture to the few remaining towns. We follow friends of Arthur Leander through their lives past and present in a world ravaged by a flu epidemic. I really enjoyed Mandel’s writing style, but felt as though Station Eleven was a little disjointed. Each character seemed to have a rich back-story, but I felt as though I knew too much about trivial characters and not enough about those central to the story, making it hard for me to really grow attached to anyone. This book would be good for plot-focused readers who don’t mind darkness and a lilting tone similar to the feel of Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Combining medieval knights with modern technology, science and magic, Nimona is a recent, witty graphic novel named for the spunky shape-shifting sidekick to the villain Lord Blackheart. For an evil mastermind, Lord Blackheart is really a very nice guy and the friendship and mentoring between the two of them is heartwarming. Even when she isn’t shape shifting into a shark, Nimona demonstrates her complexity and spirit by being both quirky and quick to action, even when the results are disastrous. The style of illustration and deadpan humor are perfect for fans of Adventure Time!
One of the greatest quotes of all time surely must be, “Unhand that science!” If you like sharks, genetically modified dragons, volatile substances or poisonous magical plants, you will love Nimona!
Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torben Kuhlmann
Translated from the German, Lindbergh tells the tale of a tiny mouse with a big dream. As mousetraps begin popping up across Germany, Lindbergh realizes he must figure out how to safely make his way to America. Inspired by his near cousins, a colony of bats, he begins work on a series of flying machines to carry him across the Atlantic. This tale is filled with detailed steam punk illustrations rendered in brilliant watercolor, showing both the darkest and lightest moments of his adventure. This story parallels the flight of Charles Lindbergh and contains a very brief history of flight in its back pages. While some illustrations might be frightening to younger readers, this story will appeal to second- to sixth-graders interested in historical fiction.