Review: Little and Lion

Monday, September 25, 2017

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn't sure if she'll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new...the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel's disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself--or worse.

I've been waiting for this book since the day it was announced on Twitter. I LOVE Brandy Colbert, I LOVED her first book Pointe and this book is just as amazing. Fun fact, when I worked at the West Haven Library in Connecticut years ago, Brandy Colbert did a Skype chat with my book club kids!! She was awesome.

  • The blended family. I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff. I love that Little and Lion called themselves brother and sister even though they didn't refer to each others parents as mom and dad. It gave their sibling bond some extra weight. 
  • I (personally) love to read books about black characters, where the fact that they're black doesn't outweigh the rest of the book. Suzette is black, she has dreads, she has a nose piercing, and she has a red headed brother. Race is obviously an important part of who she is, and there are racial issues in this book that are spoken about very candidly (the pool scene, you tell 'em Brandy), but Suzette being a black girl didn't dominate her personality, she liked museums, she was exploring her sexuality, caring for her brother, and accepting the fact that her parents sent her away at a time where she felt she needed to be home the most.
  • I think what I loved the most was that Suzette was a pretty emotional girl. When I say that I don't mean there were temper tantrums or buckets of tears, but she was allowed to be emotional and sometimes black girls and women aren't allowed that. There is a stereotype about the strong, black women, and while that it true, black women have had to be strong, capable people, they are also allowed the tear up when they see their home for the first time in five months, they're allowed to feel betrayed then some makes a "black joke" and none of their friends stick up for them, and they're allowed to feel confused by their own body and feelings. The world can send black women subliminal messages that we're not allowed those tears, or those tears aren't expect of us, but we're allowed to be strong, capable, and emotional, just like Suzette.
  • Emil. Enough said. 

  • Yall, I'm going to be dead serious, I can't think of one darn thing about this book that I didn't like. 
  • I think I wish the cover was a picture of Little and Lion. I think there's something powerful about having black faces on the cover of books. I also have no idea how to do that and keep it from looking dumb soooo.... there's that.

Just read the darn book, just freaking do it please. Thanks.

P.S. Brandy I really think you're amazing and if you ever read this and if you're ever in Connecticut I would love to have you speak to the kids here.

Read more »

Let Kids Read What They Want For Goodness Sake

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Okay, I'm so fed up I need to rant to the world. If you've read my super awkward About Me post, you'll know that I'm a librarian, I was a weird, sad little kid and now I'm trying to make the world a better place for other weird, sad little kids and misunderstood teenagers.

Every single day, I watch parents try to force "real books" on their kids. It's driving me CRAZY. What in the heck does that even mean. Dear grown ups (because it's not always the parents) let your kids read whatever the heck they want. The other day, there was a little girl, maybe 12, in the library with her grandma. Her grandma was trying to force this girl to read a bunch of books the girl didn't want to read. Grandma's getting snappy, the little girl is beginning to retreat on herself, and somehow I wind up smack dab in the middle of this. Then, the little girl surprises me and begins to pick up books that look interesting to her. They're pink, with the title is sparkly script, and there's typically some precocious blonde on the cover, but who cares, the girl was holding up books she was willing to read. What does grandma do? Can you guess? She stars yelling at the girl, telling her she needs to read "real" books. The crazy thing is, she didn't even mean non-fiction. Did she want the 12 year old to read The Odyssey???? I DON'T KNOW. It drove me so crazy, I sent the girl off to go look in another isle, and took the grandma over to non-fiction, hoping it would make her happy.

THEN, this lady has the nerve ask me if I like reading, and how she can get her granddaughter to read more. I lost my mind. I was the most unprofessional I had ever been. I watched this little girl hold up four age appropriate chapter books that she wanted to read, and her grandma verbally crushed her. I said something along the lines of, "You're not making any sense. That girl picked up four perfectly age appropriate books that she wanted to read and you wouldn't let her. There's no such thing as real books and fake books. Every book in the world has the potential to tech you something, even if it's just how to be a good person. If you continue to dictate what she reads, she'll hate reading forever. Leave her alone, and let her read what she wants." Then I actually walked away.

I have never been so angry in my life. Here's how it typically works world. If a kid only wants to read Magic Tree House, let them. There will come a day when they pick up an I Survived book. They're read all of those a million times. There will come a day when that kid wants to branch out and find something new that's full of adventure and the librarian will give them The False Prince, that kid will become interested in Historical Fiction, and then they'll become interested in History, and then they'll become a teacher and live happily ever after. And it all began with a kid reading The Magic Tree House 9,000 times.

Let kids read what they want for goodness sake. They have so little control over their lives, let them have this one thing.

*End rant*
Read more »

Blog Hop: Bloggiesta

Friday, September 1, 2017

This blog hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer.

Do you participate in the Bloggiesta?

I have no idea what that is, but I'm going to look into it ASAP because it sounds lovely!
Read more »

Popular Posts