Book Snap #43

Title: Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addicition

Author: Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Date read: January 20, 2019

Two Snaps.

I didn’t mean to finish it in one go… but I couldn’t stop! A graphic memoir that had me riveted, engaged and in tears. A must read.

You have not read a memoir told like this. Krosoczka’s story telling is doubly powerful as you connect with the characters both through the text and his wonderful illustrations.

This book has been widely touted for YA audiences, but it is not to be dismissed as only for teens.

You will want to watch Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s TED Talk: How A Boy Became an Artist.

In his talk, Krosoczka tells his own back story and illuminates how powerful and life-changing it was to use the power of his words and drawing to tell his story. He describes some of his own first comics thusly: “…it was a story that was told with words and pictures, exactly what I do now for a living, and sometimes I let the words have the stage on their own, and sometimes I allowed the pictures to work on their own to tell the story.”

Watch the talk now:  

TED Talk: How a Boy Became an Artist

If you have young children and want some snappy choices for bedtime reads, take a look at the TED Blog, where Krosoczka recommends his favourite children’s books.

TED Blog: 10 Great Children’s Books That Will Become Classics.

If you liked Hey, Kiddo may I suggest:

Title: An Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

Author: Amy Krouse Rosenthal

After reading Amy Krause Rosenthal’s heart wrenching NY Times piece: You May Want to Marry My Husband, I couldn’t wait to read her Autobiography– and it did not disappoint. This memoir is told in a wholly unconventional way, and I love her for it. Where Krosoczka adds illustrations to strengthen his story– Rosenthal approaches her memoir writing with an individual organizational structure. Using the format of an encyclopedia, Rosenthal retells snippets of her autobiography in short entries from A through Z. This unique episodic approach makes for an entirely marvellous exploration of what makes us tick. She details the moments, the emotions, and the observations of contemporary life. Great fun for the bedside table.

Book Snap #35:

Title: For Everyone

Author: Jason Reynolds

Date read: December 3, 2018.

Two Snaps.

Read this poem/letter in one sitting. I told you already to read everything Reynolds writes… still true. This book is a poem. A nod. A nothing to lose. Needs to be passed on.
One line sticks, especially: “I’d rather suffer from internal eczema, constantly irritated by the itch of possibility.”

Book Snap #32:

Title: Tradition

Author: Brendan Kiely

Date read: November 5, 2018.

Two Snaps.

Finished late at night in the dark with a flashlight. Used to do that to read past curfew. Did it last night because I had no power. Another powerful YA novel tackling important issues. The traditions of this prep school allow a toxic masculinity that ask both main characters to push up against what’s expected of them at school that demands that they conform.


“…Even in a room full of girls it was all about the guys.”
― Brendan Kiely, Tradition

Read Kiely’ article in The Atlantic: “The Girls Who Live in an All-Boys World.”

Book Snap #27:

Title: The 57 Bus

Author: Dashka Slater

Date read: September 21, 2018.

Two Snaps.

Wow! What a book. Such an amazing true story, thoughtfully and insightfully told.

This riveting nonfiction book for teens about race, class, gender, crime, and punishment tells the true story of an agender teen who was set on fire by another teen while riding a bus in Oakland, California.