A Story of Improbable Hope: “Fatherland: A Family History” by Nina Bunjevac

This review first ran in the “Elkhart Truth” in April 2015.

Thanks to Better World Books, 215 S. Main St. in Goshen, for providing me with books to review. You can find all of these books at the store.

Nina Bunjevac’s “Fatherland” is about many things, some quite difficult, some—like the history of the former Yugoslavia—quite dense. At root, this story is about a young girl losing a father she barely knew. Peter Bunjevac, a Serbian nationalist, died in a garage explosion in 1977 in his adopted country of Canada. No one knows exactly what happened, but he was likely assembling bombs. His daughter Nina was preschool age at the time, living in Yugoslavia with her mother, sister, and grandparents.

Now in her forties and living in Toronto, Bunjevac understands a lot more, both about the history of the region that her parents came from—now Croatia—and about the politics behind the Serbian loyalist terrorist organization with which her father became entangled. Continue reading “A Story of Improbable Hope: “Fatherland: A Family History” by Nina Bunjevac”

“March: Book Three,” by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

192 pages, Top Shelf Productions, Aug. 2016. Paperback, $19.99, 8th grade and up.

Thanks to Better World Books, 215 S. Main St. in Goshen, for providing me with books to review. You can find all of these books at the store.

U.S. Representative John Lewis, who narrates the conclusion of his civil rights journey in March: Book Three, has been arrested at least 45 times, most recently in a 2013 rally for immigration rights. As one of the founders of the Civil Rights Movement and the last surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington—which culminated in Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech—Lewis remains an advocate for getting in trouble. He calls this type of trouble “necessary trouble,” imperative when something in society is “not right, not fair, not just.” Continue reading ““March: Book Three,” by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell”

“The Leg,” by Van Jensen and Jose Pimienta

National Hispanic Heritage month just ended, so although I’m a bit slow on the uptake, here’s a new addition to my archives, a review originally posted by the Elkhart Truth on December 1, 2015.

Warning: Beware the bad puns.

Thanks to Better World Books, 215 S. Main St. in Goshen,  for providing me with books to review. You can find all of the books I review at the store.

Author Van Jensen and illustrator Jose Pimienta  had some trouble finding a publisher for their graphic novel “The Leg.” Part of the problem was the story’s hero: as their Kickstarter video pitched it, the protagonist is “the strangest hero comics has ever seen.” Continue reading ““The Leg,” by Van Jensen and Jose Pimienta”