In the Westerns I devoured as a teenager, the good guys made a point of leaving the trails they traveled in a better condition than they found them: moving a branch off the trail here, settling a rock into place there (provided, of course, that they weren’t grievously wounded and/or being pursued by the bad guys at the time).
The lesson has stuck with me: the portages I recently traveled have been left in better shape than I found them. Thank you, Mr. L’Amour.
Far Away by Victoria Blake
Troubador Publishing Ltd / Matador
Genre: History, Fiction
Rating: * * *
Two soldiers captured in Africa in WWII meet in an Italian prison camp. Along the homeward journey, they write journals: one a memoir, the other a fairy tale. Interspersed with the soldiers’ story is the story of the soldiers’ grown children years later, unraveling the war experience they didn’t hear firsthand from their parents.
What I like about this story: I knew next to nothing about Italy or the Italians during WWII, and this book filled in some details.
Thank you to NetGalley and Troubador Publishing for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
I Hear a Red Crayon: a Child’s Perspective of Her Brother’s Autism
by Bonnie Feuer
(c) October 2015
The Connecticut Press and Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction
Rating: * * * *
A combination of the title and the cover image drew me to this book about a girl growing up with an autistic brother.
The illustrations really make this book work: I felt an instant connection with the confusion and disorder as well as the breakthrough moments of joy and understanding through the black-and-white images.
While the text may appeal mostly to older kids and young adults, the illustrations make the book equally – or perhaps even more – accessible for younger children.
Thank you to NetGalley, The Connecticut Press, and IBPA for the Advance Reader Copy I received in exchange for an honest review.