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Month in review

Reviews
Are We There Yet? by Nina Laden
Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
Cats on Track by Lisa Martin and Valerie Martin
The Easter Bunny's Assistant by Jan Thomas
Egg by Kevin Henkes
Fish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli and David Wiesner
The Ghost of Graylock by Dan Poblocki
The Great American Dust Bowl by Don Brown
The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan
The Hudson by Carl Lamson Carmer
Kitchener Waterloo: A Guidebook from Memory edited by Robert Motum
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
My Pet Human by Yasmine Surovec
My Pet Human Takes Center Stage by Yasmine Surovec
Over Easy by Mimi Pond
Play It as It Lays by Joan Didion
The Readaholics and the Gothic Gala by Laura DiSilverio
The 65-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Smoky Night by Eve Bunting
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea by Robert Burleigh
Star Scouts by Mike Lawrence
Stop the Train! by Geraldine McCaughrean
Strangers on a Train by Carolyn Keene
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd by Alan Bradley
Traveling Light by Lynne Branard
The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh
Vampires on the Run by C.M. Surrisi
XVI by Julia Karr

Miscellaneous
Detour ahead
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 3)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 10)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 17)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 24)
March 2017 Inclusive Reading Report
March 2017 ROOB and News
What's your earliest memory of reading?

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Fish Girl: 04/20/17

Fish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli

Fish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli and David Wiesner is the debut graphic novel for these two established authors. I hope it marks the first of many collaborations as together they spin a tale that is both magical and thought provoking.

The titular character is an unnamed mermaid living in an aquarium made inside a multistory brick building, that was probably at one point part of a larger row of offices or apartments. She is the "star" of a show run by King Neptune but her job is to provide enough of a glimpse to keep the visitors guessing where she is, so that they will come back and spend more money. Times though are tough and the show is failing.

Neptune, though, isn't who he says he is. He is very clearly a con man, and a gas-lighter. The stories he tells the mermaid are just there to keep her complacent, to keep her playing the game and not asking questions of her situation or of his true identity.

Everything changes for the mermaid when a girl about her age starts sneaking behind the scenes to talk to her. Her questions and her unconditional friendship spur the mermaid to re-examen her situation.

The fantasy of a mermaid trapped in an old building is a visual metaphor for child abuse and child trafficking. The message is there but it's not heavy handed. It's not a problem book, but everything that the mermaid is going through, including the point at the end when "Neptune" refuses to let the authorities search the rubble for her, is what can and does happen to people being abused.

It's not the story I was expecting, but it's one that I will be talking about and recommending.

Five stars

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