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Month in review

Reviews
An Age of License: A Travelogue by Lucy Knisley Alienated by Melissa Landers
American Panda by Gloria Chao
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
Book Clubbed by Lorna Barrett
The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro
Cold War on Maplewood Street by Gayle Rosengren
A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
Dragons Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O'Leary
Giant Days, Volume 6 by John Allison
Internet Famous by Danika Stone
The Kairos Mechanism by Kate Milford
Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
Monsters Beware! by Jorge Aguirre
Out of Tune by Gail Nall
Ozma of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Peeny Butter Fudge by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
The Problim Children by Natalie Lloyd
A Side of Sabotage by C.M. Surrisi
Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee
Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami
Sweet Shadows by Tera Lynn Childs
Sweet Tooth: Deluxe Edition, Book One by Jeff Lemire
Topsy-Turvies: Pictures to Stretch the Imagination by Mitsumasa Anno
The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh
The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown

Miscellaneous
February 2018 Sources
February 2018 Summary
It's Monday, what are you reading (March 05) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 12) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 19) It's Monday, what are you reading (March 26)

Road Essays
Introduction to the road narrative project
Metaphoric language of marginalized travelers
Place Character Shibboleth: Towards an understanding of bypass stories
Rethinking Urban Fantasy: Where is Nagspeake?
Road trip to the underworld: the Nome King and Hades

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4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish


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The Prince and the Dressmaker: 03/01/18

The Prince and the Dressmaker

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang is a middle grade graphic novel set in Paris in the time leading up to the opening of Émile Zola's The Ladies' Paradise (Au bonheur des dames) (1883).

Frances is hired last minute to make a dress for the ball held by the King and Queen of Belgium in the hopes of finding a bride for their sixteen year old son, Sebastian. When the girl describes a dress that will shock and horrify the other attendees and Frances complies, she is about to be let go from the shop for her insubordination. Instead, she's hired by a man who has a client willing to pay well beyond her normal salary.

Her client ends up being Prince Sebastian, who is a "prince who likes to wear dresses" and sometimes "feels like a princess." His first job for her is to create a citrus inspired dress — one to go with a fiery red wig he's acquired. The dress and the wig lead to the creation of an alter-ego, Lady Crystallia.

I say the book is set in the time before Au bonheur des dames because one of the themes of the story is how women's fashion is changing. There is concern over the announced department store that will forever alter the way people buy clothing. Frances, though, sees it as an opportunity as she is feeling more and more trapped by the secrets that she has to keep for Sebastian.

Obviously the big drama is around Sebastian and his secret. The stakes are high because he's the crown prince. But a lot that turns out to be his own self driven fears of what would happen if he were found out. Of course he is found out and at first things seem to follow the worst case scenario. Except that's not how it plays out.

It's one of those graphic novels that will take you through a full range of emotions but will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. If you want more of the same but in a modern day setting, please check out Jen Wang's Koko Be Good.

Five stars

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