Every weekday we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or high-demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from March 14–18 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Monday March 14
The Dark Island, by Scott Chantler
Six books into the Three Thieves, Chantler remarkably manages to deepen the effect of his story and hone the precision of his visuals. Continuing directly from Pirates of the Silver Coast (2014), daring Dessa’s quest for her lost brother brings her to a gilded cage, a floating island that serves as a prison for royal children.
Tuesday March 15
Woody Guthrie and the Dust Bowl Ballads, by Nick Hayes
“This land was made for you and me.” Every grade-schooler in America learns the refrain from the popular folk song, “This Land is Your Land,” but not much about Woody Guthrie, the singer, songwriter, and activist who wrote it. This fictionalized biography follows Guthrie through his early, formative years as he and his family struggled to survive the destitute poverty of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl.
Wednesday March 16
The Great Pet Escape, by Victoria Jamieson
For the hamster known as George Washington (GW, for short), there is no greater prison than the second grade classroom. For three months, GW has been plotting and scheming, waiting patiently for things to fall into place so he can finally break free from the joint. It takes some effort to convince fellow prisoners Barry and Biter to join him—they actually seem to like it there—but a well-laid guilt trip does the trick.
Thursday March 17
The Complete Wimmen’s Comix, edited by Trina Robbins
Fantagraphics gives the big, boxed-set treatment—previously accorded to such paradigm-shifting comics as Harvey Kurtzman’s Humbug—to the underground comic that put female comics creators on the map. OK, as Wimmen’s Comix cofounder Robbins admits, Joyce Farmer and Lyn Chevely’s Tits & Clits “beat us to the head shops by two weeks.”
Friday March 18
Ollie’s Odyssey, by William Joyce
The bond between a child and a toy is a very special thing. For six-year-old Billy that connection exists with Ollie, the stuffed animal his mother made him when he was born. Resembling a teddy bear with rabbit ears, the endearing Ollie is important for a reason beyond being Billy’s favorite; sewn into Ollie’s chest is a tinkling bell from Nina, the precious childhood toy of Billy’s mother.