In this fictionalized memoir, Nagara (The Wedding Portrait) engages readers with a conversational approach, starting with his own beginning. “Born in the eye of a Monsoon Storm,” a baby arrives in an Indonesia beset by political tempests and corrupt leaders; the Minister is a particularly looming figure, depicted as a cynical, sinister villain. Though dates are never specified, mentions of the Vietnam War, the Soweto uprising, the Irish Troubles, Space Invaders, and the Indonesian Reformasi movement may help contextualize the era. In both his words and his dynamic, textured artwork, Nagara skillfully connects personal experiences to larger themes of social justice: neighborhood kids unite against bullies and teach a larger lesson of solidarity (“If you band together with others you can win”), and a movement that removes the Suharto regime from power in Indonesia after many decades reinforces the idea that revolution is a long game. Through these moving vignettes, Nagara offers a powerful reminder to readers that “it’s real people who make real social change movements a reality.” Ages 8–12. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/18/2019 Release date: 11/05/2019 Genre: Children's
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