Reviews of the Week with Eldon Yellowhorn, Kathy Lowinger, and More!

Every weekday, we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or in high demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight.

A documented history of North American Indigenous people from 1492 to now; an engrossing tribute to fiber artist Lenore Tawney; a YA drama and mystery set in an elite art school; a loving photo catalog of Bill Cunningham’s lifework; a picture-book celebration of artist Gyo Fujikawa. Our issue Spotlight on the Arts shines in this week’s Reviews of the Day, posted between October 14 and October 18, below.

Monday, October 14

What the Eagle Sees: Indigenous Stories of Rebellion and Renewal, by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger

In Turtle Island (2017), Yellowhorn and Lowinger detailed North American Indigenous history up to 1492; here they document the resistance and resilience of Native peoples from European contact to the present. Thematic chapters explore early Viking settlements, slavery (especially as practiced by the Spanish), the prevalence of confederacies allying Indigenous groups, participation in wars (particularly the WWII Navajo code talkers), the changes horses brought to Indigenous society, forced migrations and massacres, attempts to assimilate Indigenous peoples into white society, prohibitions of Indigenous cultural activities, contemporary efforts toward reconciliation, and recognition of traditional knowledge. The tone is informative without becoming accusatory; indeed the facts (many of which will be new to young readers) speak clearly on their own.

Tuesday, October 15

Lenore Tawney: Mirror of the Universe, edited by Karen Patterson

Lenore Tawney (1907–2007), the preeminent twentieth-century fiber artist whose stunning “woven forms” transcended craft and transformed fine art, fully wove together life, spirituality, and art once she arrived in New York from Chicago at age 50 in 1957. She turned raw lofts into pristine, elegantly composed spaces quietly vibrant with stones, feathers, shells, and other gathered objects; places for meditation, writing, assembling exquisite collages, and inventing the techniques that allowed her to meticulously create uniquely detailed, expressively monumental, free-hanging sculptures through which light sieved. Breathing wonders of thread, vision, heightened concentration, and dexterity created, as curator Patterson writes in this magnificent volume, “so that the world can be reintroduced to awe.”

Wednesday, October 16

What I Want You to See, by Catherine Linka

Sabine Reyes knows rock bottom. After her mother died suddenly, Sabine spent much of her senior year living out of her car. Landing a scholarship to CALINVA, a prestigious California art school, means that she’s finally able to take a breath. But she still feels like she’s waiting for the other shoe to drop, especially when Collin Krell, her painting professor, has nothing but brutal criticism for her work. In real danger of losing her scholarship, Sabine struggles to find a way to impress Krell. When a magnetic grad student who cleans Krell’s studio shows her Krell’s newest portrait, which has created huge buzz in the art world despite being kept under lock and key, Sabine secretly copies it, determined to learn from him one way or another. But when Sabine inadvertently finds herself caught up in a crime, she’ll have to decide whether or not to speak out—even if it means losing everything.

Thursday, October 17

Bill Cunningham: On the Street: Five Decades of Iconic Photography, edited by Tiina Loite

Bill Cunningham’s beloved New York Times fashion columns, which ran from 1978 to 2016, were known for the intrepid photographer’s love for cropped images, densely laid out and emphatically playing on a theme. Photo editor Loite, who worked with Cunningham for more than 30 years, combed his truly immeasurable archive for the first collection of his work since his death in 2016, choosing to share most images uncropped, “to let his photographs be photographs, so we see the trees for the forest.” While she might not crop, Loite did organize the 700-plus images with an undoubtedly Cunninghamian flair. Grouped by decade, photos speak to one another across spreads, capturing their eras’ zeitgeist and Cunningham’s ebullient love for individual style.

Friday, October 18

It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way, by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Growing up in a Japanese American family in California, Gyo Fujikawa enjoyed drawing. Each day, “she started with an empty white page . . . and filled it with pictures.” Though lonely at her first school, she found friends after her family moved to an island where many Japanese Americans lived. She studied art in college, traveled to Japan, and worked for Disney Studios in New York before beginning her freelance career as an artist and picture-book illustrator. Disheartened during WWII, when her family was sent to an internment camp, she continued working. Beginning with Babies (1963)her first racially inclusive picture book, she insisted that children shouldn’t be segregated on the page, and she prevailed.



About the Author:

Michael Ruzicka, Office Manager, was raised in suburban Los Angeles, received a BA in Creative Writing/Poetry at UC Santa Cruz, then moved to Birmingham, AL, where he spent five years owning an independent bookstore and earned an MLIS. He has brought his librarian skills to Vanderbilt’s Television News Archive, Battle Ground Academy, The Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago, and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Michael is very excited to be a part of Booklist and call Chicago his home.

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