Review: Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson

Book cover for Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson. Illustration of a Black teenage boy, his eyes aren't visible. In his chest is a yellow and red circular portal that shows two boys holding hands in the centre.

Title: Yesterday is History
Author: Kosoko Jackson
Genre: YA Fiction | LGBTQ+
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: February 2, 2021
Format / source: eBook / ARC from publisher
Purchase: Sourcebooks
Own voices: African-American
Content warnings: cancer, medical content, car accident, death, grief, racism, homophobia
Rating: ★★★★☆

A fun time-travel romance that doesn’t shy away from more difficult conversations. Thanks to Raincoast Books for an e-ARC, one of my favourite reads of the year thus far!

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Mini Reviews: More 2020 Reads

Still catching up on reviews of my 2020 reads so I’ve got more mini reviews for you this week! A couple more books I enjoyed last year, and that are all quick reads if you’re looking for shorter length books.

Book cover for Pemmican Wars by Katherena Vermette. Illustration of a girl with braided hair and headphones in her ears.

Pemmican Wars by Katherena Vermette, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson
YA Graphic Novel

I’ve had this series on my list for a little while but didn’t realize just how recent a release it is (the third book came out in 2020). So I’m looking forward to continuing with the series as new books come out. My review here will be based on the first 3 books in this series, A Girl Called Echo (but no spoilers!), as each book is quite short so it’s difficult to review their impact on their own.

We follow Echo, a young Métis girl living in a foster home and struggling with being separated from her mother. As her history teacher starts his lesson on the Pemmican Wars, Echo finds herself transported to the 1800s and gets to experience this history first-hand. A bit of dream-like fantasy mixed in with history. Each book tackles a different event or time period in Métis history so readers can follow this timeline through to the present. There are some fun Easter eggs in the illustrations too, like real books on the shelves when Echo goes to the library that I loved being able to identify.

The only thing holding me back is that they’re very, very short! They’re all under 50 pages and there are several spreads in the book that are solely illustrations. As someone really interested in this history, I would’ve liked a deeper dive but I do appreciate these books as a starter so I can seek out more sources, which are included in bibliographies in each!

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Mini Reviews: Short Stories

Some reviews of stories that are short and sweet today! One of these is not like the others but you’ll just have to read on to find out why … 😉

boyLittle Boy by Marina Perezagua, translated by Jennifer Early
LGBTQ Short Story

My former school is running an online book club and while I haven’t been able to attend any of the meetings, I’ve still been reading along. The nice thing with this club is that they’re only reading short stories, and often find ones that have been narrated so it’s easy to get some reading in when you haven’t been able to focus for long periods (that’s me!). This one wasn’t narrated but I preferred to read it myself anyways, as I could take my time with each passage.

I knew it was a translation before I began but I expected it to be from Japanese as the story is a fictional account based on history of someone who survived the atomic bomb attacks. But it’s actually translated from Spanish, which I find fascinating because I’m curious how the author ended up on this idea for her story and if she has any ties to Japan.

I won’t give too much away as it is quite a quick read (available online if you’d like to read it yourself!), but it’s a story of survival in more ways than one. It is quite graphic in parts as the survivor details the harm done to the city and people, so content warnings for those scenes, but now I’d love to read more about the attacks, particularly from Japanese writers as there’s so much from this short story that I was able to learn. It’s a difficult history but one I think is important to know more about.

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