Monday, October 26, 2009

Non-Fiction Monday!

I and I Bob Marley Tony Medina

This is under 100 pages, but I'm reviewing it because it's a Cybils nominee, and so I have to think critically about it. Also, so I have a record of my thoughts when we get to making the short list in a few months.

I and I is a verse biography of Bob Marley. Several of the poems fall into the reggae rhythm. Even better, at the end, there is a lot of information explaining each poem and giving further information about Marley's life. Each poem is also beautifully illustrated in full-color paintings.

After reading this, many Marley lyrics suddenly make more sense or have more meaning (including all of "Three Little Birds" and the bit in "No Woman No Cry" about being in a government yard in Trenchtown.) But, these connections aren't made for the reader and I'm not sure how many kids of the intended audience are overly familiar with Marley's work. I could have used more of Marley's own music and words to really paint his life.

Also, I'm not sure how I feel about verse biographies in general as an example of awesome nonfiction. Sometimes, I think they would be more accurately shelved in 811 (which is where poetry lives, for those of you who don't automatically think in Dewey) instead of Biography. On the other hand, telling the life of a poet or songwriter in poetry is an intriguing concept and I've seen some that are done really, really well.

Overall, when it comes to I and I, the back matter is very good, but I just wanted more from the overall package, especially in the main body of the work.

Book Provided by... my local library

Nonfiction Monday roundup is over at Wrapped in Foil!

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1 comment:

Becca said...

I would love to read this book! I hope my library has it! Thanks for pointing it out to me!