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On Our Radar

Books with buzz worth sharing. 

Book Cover All the Things We Leave Behind

"On Our Radar" is a monthly 49th Shelf series featuring books with buzz worth sharing. We bring you links to features and reviews about great new books in a multitude of genres from all around the Internet and elsewhere. 


All The Things We Leave Behind, by Riel Nason

Reviewed by Becky Robertson at Quill & Quire

Riel Nason’s All the Things We Leave Behind is a novel of hauntings: characters are haunted, variously, by people, nature, memory, and the way things were. Evoking nostalgic reverie—bolstered by its summer 1977 setting—the story speaks to the latent recollections that eat away at us, whether they manifest in pangs of longing or waves of painful distress and regret.

Read the review here.


Book Cover The Killer What Who Changed the World

The Killer Whale Who Changed the World, by Mark Leiren-Young 

Author Q&A by Michael Ruffolo at The Tyee:

I am curious to find a justification as to why [orcas are not on equal footing as humans]. I couldn’t find one. I was asking people ‘what is it that makes a human human?’ and the answer seems very vague. Every answer seems to apply to an orca. I understand the economic justification for not making them equal. If orcas were suddenly accorded the same rights as us, the global economy collapses. If you accord them even basic rights, that means that it keeps them alive and saves the species. It’s not just about the species of orcas, it’s the individual cultures that are fascinating. We’ve already wiped out one pod in Alaska, and with it an entire culture.

Read the article here.


Book Cover Acquired Community

Acquired Community, by Jane Byers

"What Lesbians Wear to the Mall," appears in Plentitude Magazine

...One student asks, “What do lesbians wear to the mall?”
It was the pinnacle of lesbian-fashion-meets-mainstream,
when Birkenstocks were “in.”
I chuckle but dare not say, “I wouldn’t know.”
I joke, “Birkenstocks” and they all look down,
some tuck their feet beneath their chair...

Read the poem here. 


Book Cover A Boy Named Queen

A Boy Named Queen, by Sara Cassidy

Reviewed by Marya Jansen-Gruber at Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

What is extraordinary about this book is that the author manages to say so much in a relatively short amount of time. We see how Evelyn, with her quiet little voice and shy ways, starts to open up and bloom thanks to Queen. She learns so much from the boy with the odd name, and discovers that something has been missing from her life; something priceless. We also see how dangerous it is to judge others, because so often what you think you know about people is completely incorrect.

Superb writing and beautifully crafted characters make this book a joy to read.

Read the review here.


Book Cover We Sang You Home

We Sang You Home, by Richard Van Camp and Julie Flett

Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson at CM Magazine

At its core, We Sang You Home is a love letter from (a) parent(s) to his/her (their) child. Format-wise, each pair of facing pages consists of a text page and a page illustrated by Julie Flett. Richard Van Camp’s very brief poetic text, which eschews punctuation, consists of just one or two sentences per page. The book has no true plot though Flett’s simple but emotionally effective illustrations clearly indicate a passage of time...

Both Van Camp’s words and Flett’s illustrations are economical, but We Sang You Home is not a quick read. Instead, each of the paired pages of text and illustration truly demands that the reader pause and reflect on the pages’ contents.

Read the review here. 

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