Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Join us each month for this featured article from Young Adult Librarian Dalton Bennett, as he reviews his most recently read books!

High: Everything You Want to Know About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction by David Sheff

From Goodreads: "From David Sheff, author of Beautiful Boy (2008), and Nic Sheff, author of Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines (2008), comes the ultimate resource for learning about the realities of drugs and alcohol for middle grade readers. This book tells it as it is, with testimonials from peers who have been there and families who have lived through the addiction of a loved one, along with the cold, hard facts about what drugs and alcohol do to our bodies. From how to navigate peer pressure to outlets for stress to the potential consequences for experimenting, Nic and David Sheff lay out the facts so that middle grade readers can educate themselves."

Dalton's take: Substance abuse is an epidemic that is happening all around us whether we are aware of it or not. This book has taught me that addiction does not discriminate according to age, sex, ethnicity, race, etc. It is extremely relevant and having the opportunity to not only read Nic Sheff's testimonies, but understand the relationship between family and addiction was an awakening experience. I would recommend this book to anyone who is currently struggling/has struggled with substance abuse; to anyone who has come in contact with an individual/individuals with addictions; to anyone who wishes to shed light about addiction. 

On A Sunbeam by Tillie Walden

From Goodreads: "An epic graphic novel about a girl who travels to the ends of the universe to find a long lost love, from acclaimed author Tillie Walden. Throughout the deepest reaches of space, a crew rebuilds beautiful and broken-down structures, painstakingly putting the past together. As Mia, the newest member, gets to know her team, the story flashes back to her pivotal year in boarding school, where she fell in love with a mysterious new student. When Mia grows close to her new friends, she reveals her true purpose for joining their ship—to track down her long-lost love.An inventive world, a breathtaking love story, and stunning art come together in this new work by award-winning artist Tillie Walden."

Dalton's take: A love story existing within the vast terrain of space only to be severed by secrets. On A Sunbeam tells the story of two individuals who developed their love for each other while on a galactic journey through space and.... High school. One will be left retreating to  The Staircase, one of the few inhabited locations in space, where buried secrets are left to be unveiled. The other will devote her life in search of the closure she failed to provide. Beautifully illustrated through a multitude of paintings, On A Sunbeam is an immersive read that will land you aboard a mentally and emotionally challenging story of love and loss. 

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

From Goodreads: "When Marvin Johnson's twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid. The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it's up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean."

Dalton's take: "If you have a brother, and he dies, what do you do? Do you suddenly stop saying that you have one? Do you pretend he was just a piece of your past that you'll slowly start to forget...We were born together. He wasn't supposed to die without me. And he wasn't supposed to go out like he did."  Marvin Johnson ,Tyler Johnson Was Here 


Marvin Johnson's twin, Tyler Johnson, goes missing after a party was interrupted by a series of gunshots. Marvin assumes that Tyler ran a different direction and will eventually return home once he was safe. After 24 hours have passed, the hopes of Tyler's return lessens as a missing persons report is publicized. Marvin and his friends, G-Mo and Ivy, begin their search, investigating any and every location Tyler would presumably go. But, would a leaked, viral video of Tyler, living and breathing, instill all lost hope or bury them? If you liked The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas then I would definitely recommend this read!