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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

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problematic tropes

worrying about the world

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman (Simon Pulse, 2017) is a nuanced portrayal of the harm anxiety can wreck on a person’s life. Kiko’s difficulties happen side by side with toxic family relations, friendships full of love and understanding, and a budding romance. Kiko’s art is her release and her story centres around her search for an art college where she can nurture her talent and escape her past.

“I live my life in the small space between uncomfortable and awkward.”

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schizophrenia in Made You Up

Spoilers ahead My review mentions some of the problematic aspects without spoilers.

“If nothing’s real, then what does it matter? You live here. Doesn’t that make it real enough?”

There’s so little YA featuring schizophrenia I was excited to read Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (Greenwillow Books, 2015). It’s garnered lots of love since its publication last year including shortlisting for the Inky Award 2016. I found misunderstanding of schizophrenia and psychiatric care and use of the sensational aspects we see so often in books and media. Zappia does a disservice to real people and their real problems and fears caused by their schizophrenia.

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made you up

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (Greenwillow Books, 2015) is longlisted for the Inky Award 2016. Will it make the shortlist tomorrow?

There are inaccuracies with the depiction of schizophrenia and psychiatric care which I elaborate here. Problems aside, Made You Up allows readers to experience what a person with schizophrenia does – not knowing what’s real or not.

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for the forest of a bird

For the Forest of a Bird by Sue Saliba

“The time when everything was in-between, when everything was leaving or arriving or waiting to be, when there was a gap, a moment of change and uncertainty, and, yes, life.”

For the Forest of a Bird by Sue Saliba (Penguin, 2015) is another book longlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016.

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