Radiant Child: Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe

3.5ish stars. Incredible illustrations. Just fantastic. Super impressive. The story is fine, but it’s the kind of picture book biography for adults that I’m just not a big fan of. I do think there is an appropriate time to read this kind of book to kids, I just find that whenever I try, the kids … More Radiant Child: Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

3.25ish stars. Weatherford is a talented picture book author. She picks worthy, informative subjects and does them justice. I like her rhyming in this book and the way she sensitively but boldly addresses the subject matter. It’s not so much a “fun,” “read-me-again-dad” book, as it is an “important” one. I can see myself using … More Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

3.5ish stars. Kameron Hurley is full of ideas. Some of them obviously come from a dark, twisted, disturbing place. Some nasty stuff going on here. I mean cool, creative, crazy stuff, and it works… but also oozy, squishy, bloody, nasty blech, blech. The world-building is definitely the top selling point for this book. Organic planets/weapons/vehicles, … More The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1) by John Scalzi

4.25ish stars. ‘Accessible’ is a word I’ve read to describe Scalzi’s fiction a lot, and it’s true. This feels like old school space opera, commercial and unabashedly traditional- with some modern sensibilities if that’s not too big a contradiction. It’s also basically a giant set-up for the forthcoming series but, as bait, it pulled me … More The Collapsing Empire (The Interdependency #1) by John Scalzi

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan

3.25ish stars. Based on the experiences of Pino Lella, an unsung WWII hero, the events at the heart of this book are incredible and inspiring. Sullivan, though obviously well-meaning, presents them here in what is more or less a bloated, color-by-number hagiography. Somehow present at just about as many significant events during WWII as one … More Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark T. Sullivan