New Book Spotlight: The Astonishing Color of Us

The New Book Spotlight highlights new-to-us titles in the the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) Library

The Astonishing Color of Us / written by Emily X.R. Pan / 2018

This is an intensely emotional young adult novel about Leigh who is battling
grief after the loss of her mother. She journeys to Taiwan in order to meet her
maternal grandparents for the very first time, and embarks on a path to remember her
mother, the events that led up to her death, and the deep impact on her family.

Pan uses magical realism to create an immersive and touching atmosphere to tell the
story, weaving in themes of friendship, coming-of-age, grief, hope, and ultimately
love. Mental illness plays a large part in telling the story, and we get an engaging look
into family life in Taiwan, as well as the culture that also plays a large part within the
story and Leigh’s family history. Pan’s use of color to describe emotions throughout
was a beautiful touch to the story. The Astonishing Color of After is an alluring story
woven together by various important themes, and an important look at the impact of different cultures on mental illness and familial relationships.

The Astonishing Color of After is available from CECH Library,  as well as the OhioLINK and Search Ohio lending networks.

Review by Alyssa Gruich, CECH Library Student Assistant | Political Science, A&S 2022

New Book Spotlight: Lovely War by Julie Berry

book cover lovely war by julie berryThe New Book Spotlight highlights new-to-us titles in the the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) Library

Lovely War / written by Julie Berry / 2019

A mix of historical fiction, romance, and mythology, Lovely War sees Greek Gods narrating an emotional story of two relationships, two wars, and the power of love. Accused of unfaithfulness by Hephaestus, Aphrodite has the chance to avoid trial by the Gods and tell the story of four mortals during WWI and the transcendence of love. It tells the story of James, a young British man drafted to serve in the army in France, falling for Hazel, a young and hopeful pianist. It also spans the story of Aubrey, a black soldier and ragtime pianist with Colette, a singer from Belgium who lost her family in Dinant. Showing perspectives on racism, sexism, mental health issues, and the tragic nature of war, Berry does an excellent job in incorporating the historical aspect during the time period, as well as the heart-wrenching circumstances young adults faced during the time. Topping my favorite books of 2020, Lovely War was an excellent and timeless read, showing the importance of hope, humanity, and friendship perfect for any young reader.

Lovely War is available from CECH Library,  as well as the OhioLINK and Search Ohio lending networks.

Review by Alyssa Gruich, CECH Library Student Assistant | Political Science, A&S 2022

Native American Heritage Month Collection Spotlight: We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell

This Collection Spotlight highlights titles in the the CECH Library’s Kretschmer Collection of Native American Children’s Literature. This special collection features children’s books with Native American themes, written and illustrated by Native American authors and artists.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga / written by Traci Sorell ; artwork by Frané Lessac / 2018

We Are Grateful is a stunning picture book with vibrant illustrations that takes the reader through every season in the perspective of the Cherokee people. Focusing on the Cherokee word otsaliheliga which represents gratitude, we see all the ways that one might use it in their culture. Sorell provides the phonetic spelling of each Cherokee word, as well as a list of definitions and a syllabary at the end, providing a great introduction to the traditions and language.

Through the depictions of Cherokee food, games, and holidays, young children may explore gratefulness and what it means to be thankful in other cultures. This is a perfect read for Native American Heritage Month, and a great, modern introduction to the Cherokee culture, providing children a way to connect and learn more about the heritage.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga is available from CECH Library, as well as the OhioLINK and Search Ohio lending networks.

Review by Alyssa Gruich, CECH Library Student Assistant | Political Science, A&S 2022

Book Review: How to be a Good Creature


In How to be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals, Sy Montgomery shares her life of loving and studying animals. Sy is a National Book Award Finalist and naturalist. Each chapter focuses on a different creature who transformed her life. Throughout the essays, she reflects on the effects the animals had on her and how she practiced life a bit differently, thanks to their influence. One of the most amusing stories involved a pig named Christopher Hogwood, a beloved pet.

How to be a Good Creature is available as an e-book and a hardback.

Penny McGinnis
Technical Services Manager
Clermont College Library

Book Review: Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan

Through painted portraits, and the voices and thoughts he imagined for them, three-time Coretta Scott King winner, Ashely Bryan, has created a beautiful picture book relating the lives of eleven slaves. Using an authentic estate document from the Fairchild’s Appraisement, July 5, 1828, that listed each slave with a price, Bryan breathed life and humanity into what was then believed to be the owner’s “property.”

My favorite parts of the book are the pages that express the slaves’ inner thoughts. The illustrations come across as dream-like, which gives a surreal feel to their personal expression. Written in free verse—this would be a perfect read aloud for Black History month.

Check out Freedom Over Me from the Clermont College Library.

 

Penny McGinnis
Technical Services Manager