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American Road Narratives: Reimagining Mobility in Literature and Film by Ann Brigham
Author: A True Story by Helen Lester
The Big Roads by Earl Swift
Bull by David Elliott
Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson
The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman
Giant Days, Volume 4 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar
Hannah and the Homunculus by Kurt Hassler
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Hilda and the Stone Forest by Luke Pearson
I Am Not Sidney Poitier by Percival Everett
I Say Tomato by Katie Wall
Instructions by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess
Jem and the Holograms, Volume 3: Dark Jem by Kelly Thompson
The Long Cosmos by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Mayday by Karen Harrington
The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherrill
Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson
National Audubon Society Guide to Landscape Photography by Tim Fitzharris
Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton
Noragami Volume 03 by Adachitoka
Over the Ocean by Taro Gomi
Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman
Skybreaker by Kenneth Oppel
Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mlynowski
Tip of the Tongue by Patrick Ness
Triangle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Tru & Nelle by G. Neri
The White Road of the Moon by Rachel Neumeier

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 03)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 10)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 24)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 31)
June 2017 Reading Report June 2017 Reading Sources

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Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal: 07/27/17

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal  by G. Willow Wilson

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal by G. Willow Wilson is the start of the Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel arc. Kamala is a New Jersey Muslim teen who is an Avengers fan girl but would never expect to be given powers.

Before jumping into this review, I should say that I'm not a regular reader of Marvel comics. I'm not a fan of the movies (although I have seen the first of the Iron Man movies). The last Marvel plot I was following was Spider-man in the weekly newspaper when I was in high school.

But Kamala Khan is making a splash — and transcending the usual fanbase. When Ms. Marvel shows up at a school book fair, one takes the hint and buys the albums. I just wish Marvel would spend a little extra and print the albums on nicer paper. Their albums feel like cheep crap compared to other publishing houses.

That said — Kamala Khan is an engaging, relatable character. She's trying to find the right balance between her family, her faith, her friends, school, and herself.

As with so many teen plots, everything is put into motion when she takes a chance and sneaks out at night to attend a party. Sure, her maybe boyfriend will be there — but mostly it's about pushing boundaries against the curfew.

Now here's a point where I can't relate to Kamala or her parents. I am currently a parent of a teen and will soon be the parent of two teens. Like Kamala's family, my oldest is a boy and my youngest is a girl. Unlike her family, though, I don't need to enforce a curfew. The reality of the situation here is that if there is a party, the parents drive the kids to the party and they phone when it's over for pick up. There's no need to worry about who will be there and what will happen there because we all know each other and each other's kids. The chance of the party being dangerous or the journey too or from being so, is nil.

But whatever. It's a trope. It's a plot device to get Kamala away from home when she shouldn't be. It's a chance to introduce a mysterious event — one that affects everyone and one that for whatever reason, leaves Kamala with powers.

Except I would wear the classic, politically incorrect costume and kick but in giant wedge heels.

The remainder of this first volume is Kamala now trying to learn how to use her powers, and how not to use them. It's also time for her to find her true secret identity, because her new abilities include the ability to change her appearance. She can be the blond bombshell she thinks a superhero should be. Or she can be herself. She can be a superhero who dresses sensibly.

Slam Whatever she choses, she still has to train. Being a superhero, even with powers, is hard and dangerous.

Five stars

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