YA

Book Review: Hanna Alkaf’s The Weight of Our Sky

What struck me hardest about The Weight of Our Sky is the tenderness and care that Alkaf imbues in her writing, without sacrificing any of the brutality of historical events. The book is careful not to tip the blame for the riots in one direction or the other, but subtly weaves relevant details into the narrative.

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Book Review: Adib Khorram’s Darius the Great is Not Okay

at I love most about this book is the nuanced way in which it depicts present-day Iran, from the tension between the majority-Muslim population and Bahá’í minority (of which Darius’ new friend, Sohrab, is a part) to the dazzling historical architecture. Sohrab and Darius bond over soccer, Darius bonds with his grandmother over tea, and everyone bonds over the mouthwatering food. Meaningful conversations are had about depression and the ways in which it affects everyday life.

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Book Review: Echo Brown’s Black Girl Unlimited

Black Girl Unlimited contains multitudes. It explores queerness, addiction, abuse, generational trauma, and sexism. It depicts the ways we can grow apart — from others, from ourselves — and how we can grow together. It proclaims that there is no perfect ending: we may lose something essential but learn to live without it, or we may be born whole into a world that does not want us to be. Echo Brown takes us on a journey through a community that, like the sidewalks that line it, are full of cracks where life yet thrives.

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Book Review: Akwaeke Emezi’s Pet

by making the person who turns out to be a monster recognizable to someone who knows what a monster can look like, Akwaeke Emezi sets the story up perfectly to emphasize that children must be taught about monsters and not blindly shielded from them. That even the most unpleasant atrocities of history must be made known in order to not repeat them.

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