Reviews of the Week with Mildred D. Taylor, Eleanor Davis, 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.

Only three Reviews of the Day were posted this week, but we are very thankful for the courageous writing found in the final installment of Mildred A. Taylor’s family saga, Eleanor Davis’s bold illustrated portrayal of a community in solidarity, and Mikki Kendall and A. D’Amico’s vivid profiles of women who have fought for their rights. Read all about these stories below.

Monday, November 25

All the Days Past, All the Days to Come, by Mildred D. Taylor

Taylor completes her monumental saga of the Logan family of Mississippi that began with her first novel, Song of the Trees (1975). This concluding volume finds Black protagonist Cassie now a 19-year-old college student in the early 1940s, and Taylor sweepingly charts Cassie’s life in the years to come. She relocates from Mississippi to Toledo, Ohio, where her brother, Stacey, has moved as part of the Great Migration. She then moves to California, where she falls in love and marries. Pregnant, she experiences twin tragedies that propel her to law school. Graduating, she joins a white law firm in Boston where the (white) son of one of the partners falls in love with her and proposes, raising the issue of interracial marriage. Having now reached the ’60s, Cassie joins the civil rights movement to her peril. Obviously, her story is paradigmatic, a brilliant dramatization of Black life in America during the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s.

Tuesday, November 26

The Hard Tomorrow, by Eleanor Davis

In near-future Kentucky, in-home caretaker Hannah and her husband, Johnny, a sweet stoner, are trying to get pregnant and build their own home before year’s end. For now they live in a camper and rely on the construction expertise of Johnny’s friend Tyler, an off-the-grid survivalist who creeps Hannah out. After her shifts with elderly Miss Phyllis, Hannah joins her fellow activists in Humans Against All Violence, who fight the fascist police state at home under President Zuckerberg and the U.S.’s use of chemical warfare abroad.



Wednesday, November 27

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for Their Rights, by Mikki Kendall and illustrated by A. D’Amico

Framed as futuristic classroom discussion around the question, “Women’s rights: Who won them?,” this expansive survey showcases a dizzying array of the many women who fought for theirs. Beginning with women’s rights in ancient cultures and the eventual codification of patriarchal laws, Kendall soon gets down to business: scores of microprofiles of important women throughout history. D’Amico’s strong portraits impart an air of dignity to each figure, and her wider-angle scenes depict diverse groups of women in action. This survey is especially laudable for the impressive diversity of women represented in its pages: Kendall goes to great lengths to include women from a wide range of time periods, locations, backgrounds, and areas of expertise.

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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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