Tag Archives: teenagers

Extraordinarily Ordinary

6 Dec

Unknown

This is a novel about a group of ordinary friends who want to have a normal life and graduate before their school blows up. The plot was pretty straightforward the only hints that something bad might happen were the chapter titles, which were mini-descriptions of what was going on with the indie kids (the Chosen Ones). the novel is s satire of YA novels in which kids save the world, but I think it sensitively sheds light on what it is like to just be an ordinary kid. And in a  way, just being an ordinary kids requires super powers.

Publisher’s Summary: What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

1991

12 Nov

In August 1991, I was on the cusp of moving to Colombia, a huge transition in my life.

The world was also in a huge transition. Two years earlier, the Berlin Wall had “fallen”, though it took a while for it to actually be dismantled. The Cold War was ending and the Soviet Union was in trouble.

For Dasha Tolstikova, 1991 was the year her mother left their home in the Soviet Union to study in America. It was also the year the Soviet Union fell. Her new illustrated memoir,  A Year Without Mom, chronicles this cataclysmic year in her life.

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“And then one morning we wake up and Gorbachev, the president of Russia, is taken prisoner by some bad people and there are tanks rolling down the streets of Moscow.”

his memoir, though is about more than the August coup and the fall of the USSR. It chronicles her life as a 13-year-old, navigating that transitional time in a person’s life, as the world around her falls apart.

The simple illustrations seem apt for the sparse text. Both capture the bleak Soviet setting while capturing universal teen emotions.

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A lovely, quick read that captures an interesting time in a life.

Randy Ribay

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