This Is My America by Kim Johnson

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

 

Book: This Is My America

 

Author: Kim Johnson

 

Book Series: Standalone

 

Diversity: BIPOC main character and side characters

 

Rating: 5/5

 

Recommended For…: BIPOC books, ownvoice novels, social justice books

 

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

 

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

 

Pages: 416

 

Recommended Age: 16+ (language, violence, police brutality TW, slight gore)

 

Synopsis: Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. After seven years, Tracy is running out of time—her dad has only 267 days left. Then the unthinkable happens. The police arrive in the night, and Tracy’s older brother, Jamal, goes from being a bright, promising track star to a “thug” on the run, accused of killing a white girl. Determined to save her brother, Tracy investigates what really happened between Jamal and Angela down at the Pike. But will Tracy and her family survive the uncovering of the skeletons of their Texas town’s racist history that still haunt the present?

 

Fans of Nic Stone and Jason Reynolds won’t want to miss this provocative and gripping debut.

 

Review: This book was so fantastic! There’s a lot of components that are amazing about this book and I think that this should be taught in schools. The book did well to breakdown racism and how White people, across all mediums, do racist things subconsciously and intentionally. There was a news segment in which the main character broke down how the segment was racist in how it portrayed her brother. The news segment used a photo that made the brother look like a criminal rather than what news media uses for White people, which is usually a family photo or graduation photo, even if the White person did an unspeakable act and they don’t contest their guilt. The book also showed the bias reporting of media, showing that while Jackson Ridges was murdered by police when he resisted arrest, the news reported it as just that he died, implying he died by means other than police brutality. The book also showed trial bias and presented facts that Black Americans do not get a fair trial the majority of the time. The book showed her father being sentenced by an all-white jury, which should not have happened but unfortunately does, and shows how the court will unfavorably treat Black people in terms of the amount of evidence needed to be presented to concluded that a person is guilty. The book also had very accurate facts about prison systems, especially about private or for-profit prison systems and how they operate. Many prison systems have staff that will retaliate against an inmate’s family for things the inmate has done or the things that the family has spoken out about. The book was not only factual, but also gut wrenching. The scenes with police brutality, especially when Tracy, our main character, has a gun pointed at her when she is in an area the police are investigating, and with the racist actions of the towns people are devastating and hard to read, but are very important to read about. The author doesn’t shy away from the hard truths of what being Black in America really means in this book. This is a hard read, but a worthy read and should be taught in schools.

 

If I had to point out an issue, I’d say that, while not an issue, I would like to see the aftermath of what happens when an inmate is released from confinement and I would have liked to see how the family planned to sue the county for retribution from the grievance caused to them.

 

Verdict: A must read.

Glimpses of Time and Space by Maraki Oglou

Glimpses of Time Book
Tour Schedule:
August 3 – Paige @popthebutterfly
August 4 – JP @mr.pink.ink
August 5 – Stacie @borenbooks
August 6 – CE @chelscey
August 7 – Carmilla @carmillavoiez
August 8 – Jasmine @thefreckledmind
August 9 – Nicole @thereadingrebel
August 10 – Laura @laurathebookunicorn
August 11 – Ellwyn @ellwynautumn
August 12 – Rosie @rosiewylorowenauthor
August 13 – Marizaan @south_african_fangirl

Blurb

History is quite a fascinating thing. We know the stories that have been told to us since we were children, but there are secrets… Magical secrets that are desperate to be revealed.

Pompeii was a tragedy the world will never forget, but what really caused the volcanic eruption that ended it all?

Why was the great sword Excalibur really destroyed?

The rolling hills of Victorian England seem peaceful enough, but what secrets really lurk there?

And would it surprise you that there are darker secrets in Ancient Rome than people ever dreamed?

If the Great Fog of London isn’t what it seems?

You think you know Harry Houdini, but do you know the man behind all the tricks?

And what if the mystery of Roanaoke runs deeper than you could ever imagine?

Could Ireland’s potato famine really be caused by a mage gone mad?

What if a ghost ship off the coast of England was more than a phantom?

Want to find out the secrets behind each of these stories? Read nine exciting tales where history and magic collide from authors Michaela Baker, James Quinlan Meservy, Ariel Paiement, Joshua Reid, Alicia Scarborough, Maria Vermisoglou, Joanna White, Kandi J. Wyatt, and Sara Zagorski.

Quintessence by Jess Redman

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Quintessence

Author: Jess Redman

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 5/5

Diversity: anxiety/panic attack rep!

Recommended For…: middle graders, anxiety/panic attack rep

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Genre: MG Fantasy

Recommended Age: 10+ (some slightly scary moments, isolation, anxiety, panic attacks)

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Pages: 384

Synopsis: Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped—even though she told her parents that they did. Every day she feels less and less like herself.

Then Alma meets the ShopKeeper in the town’s junk shop, The Fifth Point. The ShopKeeper gives her a telescope and this message:

Find the Elements.
Grow the Light.
Save the Starling.

That night, Alma watches as a star—a star that looks like a child—falls from the sky and into her backyard. Alma knows what it’s like to be lost and afraid, to long for home, and with the help of some unlikely new friends from the Astronomy Club, she sets out on a quest that will take a little bit of astronomy, a little bit of alchemy, and her whole self.

Review: I really liked this book overall. The character development was well done and the book is so sweet. The main character has anxiety, has panic attacks, and feels isolated and it makes you love her and want to hug her. The book also has great world building and the pacing is well done.

The only issue I really had with the book is that the fantasy aspect of the book took a bit for me to understand and get. It’s a little out there, but overall great.

Verdict: A well done novel!

 

QUINTESSENCE ASSETS

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the QUINTESSENCE by Jess Redman Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About the Book:

 

Title: QUINTESSENCE

Author: Jess Redman

Pub. Date: July 28, 2020

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 384

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, AudibleB&N, iBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org 

 

Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped—even though she told her parents that they did. Every day she feels less and less like herself.

 

Then Alma meets the ShopKeeper in the town’s junk shop, The Fifth Point. The ShopKeeper gives her a telescope and this message:

Find the Elements.

Grow the Light.

Save the Starling.

That night, Alma watches as a star—a star that looks like a child—falls from the sky and into her backyard. Alma knows what it’s like to be lost and afraid, to long for home, and with the help of some unlikely new friends from the Astronomy Club, she sets out on a quest that will take a little bit of astronomy, a little bit of alchemy, and her whole self.

 

QUINTESSENCE is a stunning story of friendship, self-discovery, interconnectedness, and the inexplicable elements that make you you.

 

Book Trailer:

 

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Link:

https://youtu.be/EKMiQKojkeE 

 

INSERT YOUR POST OR REVIEW HERE!

 

About Jess: 

Jess Redman is a therapist and author of books for young readers with FSG/Macmillan. Her first book, THE MIRACULOUS, was a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of 2019, an Amazon Best Book of 2019, and was called “layered, engaging, and emotionally true” in a Kirkus starred review. Her second book, QUINTESSENCE, releases on July 28th.  The book was featured in OwlCrate Jr.’s subscription box and was described as “a fanciful adventure with a rich emotional core and a fairy tale” by Publishers Weekly. Her third book, THE ADVENTURE IS NOW, is scheduled for publication in May 2021. Redman currently lives in Florida with her husband, two young children, an old cat named SoulPie, and a fish named Annie.

 

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Goodreads 

 

Giveaway Details:

 

3 winners will receive a finished copy of QUINTESSENCE, US Only.

 

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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

7/27/2020 Little Red Reads Review
7/27/2020 BookHounds YA Interview
7/28/2020 Nerdophiles Review
7/28/2020 The Try Everything Review
7/29/2020 Hurn Publications Review
7/29/2020 Jotted by Jena Review
7/30/2020 Rajiv’s Reviews Review
7/30/2020 onemused Review
7/31/2020 Do You Dog-ear? Review
7/31/2020 She Just Loves Books Review

 

Week Two:

8/3/2020 PopTheButterfly Review
8/3/2020 TheReadingCornerforAll Review
8/4/2020 Here’s to Happy Endings Review
8/4/2020 Twirling Book Princess Excerpt
8/5/2020 Book-o-Craze Review
8/5/2020 Wonder Struck Review
8/6/2020 notinjersey Review
8/6/2020 Two Chicks on Books Interview
8/7/2020 Two Points of Interest Review
8/7/2020 Kait Plus Books Excerpt