Reviews of the Week, with Heid E. Erdrich, Sarah Jane Marsh, Eliza Griswold, and More!

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 July 2–6 below.


New Poets of Native Nations

Monday, July 2

 New Poets of Native Nations, edited by Heid E. Erdrich

Indigenous storytelling and poetry have flourished for millennia in the Americas, yet few U.S. residents can name a single native poet. Editor Erdrich recenters this issue by narrowing the focus of this masterfully curated collection to “Twenty-One Poets for the Twenty-First Century,” as her generous, elucidating introduction explains. An immensely important anthology that belongs in every library.




Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word coverTuesday, July 3

 Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word, by Sarah Jane Marsh, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham

Thomas Paine, author of the pamphlet Common Sense, which rallied the colonists to break from England, gets a strong, smart treatment here. In her debut, Marsh does a fine job of mixing the personal and public elements of Paine’s life; he comes across as not just a historical figure but a fully realized fellow with hopes and dreams, enthusiasms and disappointments.


Amity and Prosperity cover

Thursday, July 5

 Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America, by Eliza Griswold

Griswold’s (The Tenth Parallel, 2010) empathetic yet analytical account of Stacey Haney’s indefatigable role as advocate for justice is a thorough and thoroughly blood-pressure-­raising account of the greed and fraud embedded in the environmentally ruinous natural-gas industry. As honest and unvarnished an account of the human cost of corporate corruption as one will find.





Drawn Together CoverFriday, July 6

 Drawn Together, by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat

When a young Asian American boy visits his Thai-speaking grandfather, despite granddad’s best efforts—a hot dog for dinner, control of the TV remote—the language barrier and the generational divide seem insurmountable. Focus on an underrepresented culture; highly accessible emotions; concise, strong storytelling; and artistic magnificence make this a must-have.




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