Sarah Watson is a Chicago-based freelance writer and book critic. She holds a BA in English and philosophy from Providence College, an MA in English education from Northern Illinois University, and an Illinois teaching certificate (making her a certified word nerd). She has too many books and not enough shelf space. Find her on Twitter @sarahkwatson11.
In this expert blend of grit, intelligence, humor, and heart, there's something very "ABC Family" about Benny and Rachelle's household, along with the grim reality and necessary criticism of the modern family.
Davy Rothbart writes about losing at love, yes, but he models the adventurous life with aplomb, traveling through small, dusty towns with an open mind and heart, meeting diverse souls and collecting unbelievable stories along the way. This is one terrific memoir.
This kid in my class was only 11, but there was a sort of world-weariness about him. Life was tough. Where the Wild Things Are reminded him of his former innocence, even as it spoke to his inner fierceness.
Like her previous memoir about her father -- the acclaimed and prismatic Fun Home -- Are You My Mother? blends textbook academia, beautifully emotive drawings, and generous confessions to find some familial recovery after years of discord.
This book reveals Stanley Ann to be an intellectually curious, passionate, idealistic, and unconventional woman whose sense of wonder and love shaped the lives of two children -- including the one that would become the 44th president of the United States.