Back to top

MADreads

Book reviews by library staff and guest contributors

The magic of the stage

Cover of The Backstagers
A review of The Backstagers by James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh, Walter Baiamonte, Jim Campbell, and Veronica Fish

Have you felt enchanted when experiencing live theater? I have! This new graphic novel series explores the weird and wild magic that happens behind the scenes of high school theater productions. Jory is a new student at St. Genesius looking for an after-school activity. He stumbles into the backstage crew on accident and immediately finds a place in their ranks. They are a welcoming and motley bunch working the lights, sound, sets and costumes and they have a secret.

March 5, 2018

Politics of the time

Cover of Twelve Days in May: Freedo
A review of Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner

In 1946 the United States Supreme Court ruled that segregated seating on interstate buses was unconstitutional. Eight years later the 1954 landmark ruling from the Supreme Court in the Brown v. Board of Education declared public school segregation violated the Constitution. And in 1960 the Supreme Court ruled that racial segregation of interstate bus passengers at station restrooms, lunch counters and waiting rooms also violated the law. 

February 27, 2018

Hillbilly, French twist

Cover of The End of Eddy
A review of The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis

Édouard Louis’s The End of Eddy is a brisk and brutal roman à clef about a white gay teen growing up in rural 1990s France. Alcoholism, racism, violence, and impugnable choices abound. Gross and upsetting things happen in riveting ways. Yet its ending is oddly uplifting. A bestseller in France, its young author is now regularly called upon by popular media to explain the advent of French populism and the alleged moral stagnation of France’s white underclass.

February 26, 2018

Bedtime Bunnies

Cover of Good night! Good night!
A review of Good night! Good night! by Carin Berger

Bunnies at bedtime saying goodnight may conjure up thoughts of ANOTHER classic bedtime story.  However....these bunnies aren't quite ready for "goodnight" just yet..  Mama Bunny gives the usual goodnight stories, songs, hugs and kisses but still her three little bunnies have other ideas in mind!  They want goodnight dances!  What?  Dances??  And jumping beans and monkeys and tickles.  Finally, Mama Bunny has enough and tucks those rambunctious bunny babies into bed.  With sweet, exuberant collage illustrations and lyrical text this title will be a favorite at bedtime and beyond.

February 23, 2018

Just a dad with a really big job

Cover of Lincoln in the Bardo: A No
A review of Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders

This prize-winning first novel from George Saunders bends the mind and history in a way that still has me reeling. Lincoln in the Bardo is set in the days following eleven-year-old Willie Lincoln's death in February of 1862, at a borrowed crypt in a Washington, DC cemetery filled with ghosts of all sizes and stripes, many of whom don't know they are dead, and all of whom are surprised when a very tall, very alive President Lincoln comes to visit. 

February 19, 2018

All the honors

Cover of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh
A review of Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes

Earning multiple awards including a Newbery Honor, a Caldecott Honor (for illustration), and Coretta Scott King Honors for writing and for illustration, Crown celebrates one black boy’s experience in the barber’s chair, and how that fresh cut can elevate both self-esteem and self-confidence. James’ realistic illustrations are dazzling, with bold painterly strokes of color, that capture subtle nuances of feeling, character and setting.

February 15, 2018

Pages

Subscribe to MADreads