Remy Sneakers vs. the Robo-Rats
By Kevin Sherry (Scholastic Press)
If you’re in need of a yarn to delight and entertain (and perhaps serve as a distraction from the tumultuous world news), Kevin Sherry’s book is for you. Yes, it is an illustrated chapter book written for children, but no, that does not mean adults can’t enjoy its simple, fun storyline and wonderfully engrossing illustrations. Sherry—an author and illustrator who lives in Baltimore and attended the Maryland Institute College of Art—tells the story of Remy Sneakers, a foraging raccoon known for his vast collection of odds and ends. When he is mistakenly identified as the robber of a museum, he works to clear his name with the help of his animal friends. That message of togetherness is one we could all stand to hear again and again.
By Kondwani Fidel (self-published)
Sometimes, to understand a writer’s work, you must understand his or her beginnings. In his first book, Kondwani Fidel, the socially motivated spoken word poet and Baltimore native who has been featured in The Huffington Post and The Root, tells us his story. In this chronicle that is part memoir, part essay on race, and part poetry collection, Fidel bares his soul to show the scars sustained from the cop raids, absent parents, and bloodshed that made up his East Baltimore childhood. His honest, haunting style is reminiscent of another East Baltimore author, D. Watkins (who fittingly praises the book on its cover). It’s exciting to see another voice emerge from a community that has too long been silenced.