Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Depression’

Swimming Lessons. Poems by Lili Reinhart, illus. by Curt Montgomery. Pub. HarperCollins, 2020.

November 22, 2020 Comments off

I awoke in the night and couldn’t sleep so I picked this excellent anthology to read until sleep took me. It never did. The poems entranced me so much that I had to finish and they will do the same to you.

The poems are short and long, some a few lines others three or four pages. Many are a series of couplets, sometimes three lines then a single line. None of them rhyme in the traditional way poetry does. The poetry comes from the beautiful flow of language.

The themes are love from the beginnings of young love with it’s newness and it’s doubts. The reader will know all the feelings described and the heartbreak when things go wrong.

The poems have no titles, they are separated by a blank red page and they make compulsive reading. Everyone wants love to last forever and in one poem these words describe that:- Forever has an expiry date. There is no always. No forever. Just now.

How true.

Other prophetic subjects are covered such as reincarnation. Maybe you believe in reincarnation but even if that happens, you come back as an entirely different being in an entirely different life.

The poems are superbly illustrated in red and black ink outlines that say so much and enhance the written poetry.

For high school and young adult readers plus adults. The most moving book of poems I have ever read.

I Go Quiet by David Ouimet

September 25, 2019 Comments off

I go quietI Go Quiet by David Ouimet. Pub. canongate Books Ltd imprint Allen & Unwin, 2019.

When this book came through my mail box I took one look at it and said to myself “read it now”. The cover has immediate impact.

It begins with a girl who feels lost, alone and misunderstood in the world she lives in. She wanders through this old world that has a feel of the Industrial revolution, sometimes wearing a mouse mask. All the people in this picture book wear mouse masks and look insignificant in the world they are in.

As the book progresses the girl begins to feel she does belong and does have a future as her imagination takes over and her knowledge of reading books gives her power.

Stunning message  written with text that is almost poetry. The illustrations are equally stunning and at times have a filmic quality. The world the girl lives in looks horrible but she finds hope for the future.

If this is not the best picture book of the year I want to see the one that is.

For everyone but  sophisticated readers will see it’s power.

Don’t stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham.

July 24, 2018 Comments off

dont stopDon’t stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham. Pub. Walker Books, 2018.

I bet that somewhere in the World in this very moment in time, a refugee is wishing that things in their own country were safe and they could return. They will be thinking that people in the country they are in feel threatened by them and resent them being there. They will despair for the future of themselves and their families and friends

This is true of Hafiz a teenager from Syria whose escape to freedom you will read about in this novel. He is lucky to be alive and lucky that he has an aunt and uncle in the UK that can support him. He is a gifted footballer and has aspirations to join the best, but will he be given the opportunity to show his talents and develop the way a UK national would?  Read this novel and find out.

Stevie is a talented guitarist and singer, she is 14 years old and is living with her severely depressed mother who can’t get over the death by violent means of her husband and Stevie’s father. They are living on the breadline and things look hopeless. They have to move on and they need a break. Read it and see if this happens.

Stevie and Hafiz come together at school in a class that has some bullying and less understanding kids, but not all. Their relationship develops, they are good for each other but they are going to be sorely tested.

An excellent novel that examines modern day issues of refugees and mental depression and the effects it has on lives when attitudes of hatred and lack of understanding are to the fore.

This book could have drifted into  a state of sentimentality but it doesn’t. You feel for both Hafiz and Stevie and their chances in life in a hostile world. Their story is as common as life itself and the message is, things have got to change!!

Written in short chapters consecutively by Stevie and Hafiz which makes it very easy to read in short bursts but if you are like me you will keep reading long after your eyes are drooping onto the page.

A story for readers in the intermediate to young adult age group. Adults will get reward from it too. But be warned there will be tears.

Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear & Isabelle Arsenault.

April 9, 2017 Comments off

virginia wolfVirginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear & Isabelle Arsenault. Pub. Book Island, 2017.

This is a sophisticated picture book that is multi level, it is disturbing but ultimately hopeful and the topic is depression.

Many people get depressed but when a child gets depressed that is upsetting and needs investigation. When Virginia gets depressed she turns into a wolf and everything in the house turns upside down and dreary for her sister Vanessa.

Vanessa cares and tries to jolly Virginia up. It is a hard row to hoe. Virginia mentions Bloomsberry and so Vanessa paints her view of Bloomsberry with flowers and a garden in which she and  Virginia can wander safely and happily.

The names of the children and the situation mirror that of writer Virginia Woolf and the name Bloomsberry is a name associated with her, although you don’t need to know that to enjoy the book.

Isabelle Arsenault’s illustrations are superb. The black wolf, the brightly dressed Vanessa and the black and white images depicting depression are magical. The garden scenes painted by Vanessa fill the reader with hope that depression will pass.

A picture book for everyone.