Trevor was born from a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time where that could be punishable by law for five years in prison. As he was living evidence of his parents “crime”, he was kept indoors most of his childhood. His mother hid him as well as she could as the government could take him away at any time. Finally when that era ended, did Trevor and his mother able to live freely. And it was then that he had to set foot into the ocean of possibility only made possible have a long struggle. The book takes you through a journey about a imp child who turns into a man in a environment where he wasn’t suppose to even exist. He is accompanied by his fearless, passionately religious mother, who is determined to keep her son safe from the cycle of poverty, cruelty, and brutality of the world.
This book was so beautiful and humorous. I have watched his shows before with my family online and its focused on race, police brutality, prejudice, hate speech, and many other important topics that needs to be discussed. He really brought the book to life and the audio book was even better. There is so much dark humor in there and he manages to talk about those topics that usually makes us feel uneasy. And I have to say, I love his mother. She is hilarious as well, strong minded, and basically amazing. She taught him many important lessons and guided him gently along the way through his dark and daunting life.
Popular (a memoir) by Maya Van Wagenen was probably one of the most inspirational reads I’ve tried in a long time. A huge plus, it’s also a quick one! I finished this in roughly 4 hours so “not having time” isn’t an excuse for not reading this. Also, since it’s a memoir, it’s a true story! Which made me relate to it even more.
Popular is written by 15-year-old sophomore, Maya, who recently moved from Brownsville, Texas to rural Georgia. The memoir begins with her cleaning out her house and finding an old book her dad picked up from the thrift store a while ago. The book, “Betty Cornell’s Teenage Popularity Guide”, was written by teen model Betty Cornell in the 1950s!
Since Maya was a “social outcast” at her school, her mom suggested she follow the advice of a 50s teen during her 8th-grade year and see what happens. During the year, Maya documents her classmates’ reactions as well as how she feels after trying Betty’s tips. To give you a feel for things, Betty Cornell’s wardrobe staples were girdles, pantyhoses, several long skirts and a simple string of pearls. As Maya moves throughout the book’s chapters and progresses through the school year, she slowly transforms from an awkward geek to a confidant, happy, young woman. Of course, she figures out the real definition of popular along the way and to her shock, it was not at all what she expected it to be.
I honestly loved this book and related a lot to it. I know popularity is a major cause of self-esteem issues in a lot of teens so this book is super relevant. The fact that it was written by a 15-year-old, who uses words like “er” and “ew” also makes it so much more lighthearted and sweet. Maya’s commentary is very amusing and will never, ever bore you. I give this book 9.5/10 stars because I wish she could’ve gone into a bit more detail about Betty’s book’s content but other than that, I give it my highest recommendation to my fellow girlies who are going through that awkward phase. This book will make you laugh, groan, smile, cry, you name it. Have fun reading!!
Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee is the true story of how a boy escaped North Korea.
Sungju was living a comfortable and happy life when everything he had ever known was taken away from him. They were going on a ‘vacation’ but the tiny house in Gyeong-seong doesn’t seem like a holiday place. Amidst the beggars, public executions, and mass famines, Sungju is horrified by his new home. At first, he refuses to believe anything his classmates tell him, but little by little, he realizes they are telling the truth; his parents have been kicked out of Pyeongyang and he has been lied to his entire life. Soon, the little food and money his father had managed to bring with them is finished and his father tries to smuggle himself into China in order to find food. He promises to return, but when he doesn’t, and all they have had to eat for days is salt and water, Sungju’s mother decides to leave and find her way to Sungju’s aunt. She doesn’t dare bring him with her for fear of being caught and executed. At twelve years old, Sungju is left to find for himself.
Elena Vanishing by Elena Dunkle
“Where does thin become fat? Where does success become failure? Where does a great future become a horrible past full of heartache and regret?”
This book seriously triggered some emotions-okay. A lot. It shows a girl’s life with an eating disorder that has been slowly eating (Hah. Eating) her up day by day. In addition, she has a voice in her head telling her what to do-put on makeup, don’t eat this meal, you’re so ugly, etc. This girl’s name is Elena. Told from her perspective, it shows her struggles to fit in and be skinny. At the end, when I read the author’s note, I was shocked to find that this book is actually a true story about herself. I should have realized this sooner-a main character named Elena and an author named Elena? That’s too much of a coincidence. So, to sum it all up, this book is technically a memoir of the author’s life. Her mother, Clare, actually helped her write this book (hence the two authors in the title) 😛 I loved this book so much! But here’s a tip: If you don’t like rape or self-harm, DON’T READ THIS BOOK!