This anthology was created to raise money for Equality Orlando and the organization's support of victims' families and the survivors of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in June 2016. I think that because the anthology was the comic book industry's way of helping and coping with the incident, I was a bit more giving in the ratings area.
IDW publishing, with support from DC Entertainment, gave free rein to their artists and writers, so there are pages with familiar characters on some pages. Most of the artwork is amazing, and conveys the deep emotional impact as well as the broad spectrum of emotions this incident wrung out of people. My favorites, even after a week of thinking and giving the work another look, was the Wonder Woman page, the Muslim man meeting a gay couple on the street and hugging them after the incident made the news (from G. Willow Wilson of course!), the Supergirl page, and the page with older LGBTQIAA members giving solace to the young members of the community (those older community members who lived through the gay rights movement and the HIV/AIDS crisis).
With that being said, it was an okay effort in terms of quality of writing and introspection. I had a few problems with some of the work showcased, not for what it tried to convey but it's placement in this anthology in the first place.
1. For an incident that affected a big part of the Latinx part of the LGBTQIAA community, this anthology had a lot of white cishets working out their disbelief and grief over what happened, and many didn't know anyone in the area, let alone was affected by the incident. There wasn't very much Latinx voices in this anthology. Too much "how will I explain this to my kids" hand wringing as well - uh, the same thing you tell them about Las Vegas and Newtown - and just try to answer their questions as honestly as you can. Sometimes that honesty comes in "I don't know why".
2. Ace/Aros, pansexuals, and bisexuals got the short end of the stick here. Aces/Aros were mentioned once and used as kind of a punch line so that the writer could shake his/her finger at judgmental people. It distort the message and made it sound hypocritical. Bisexuals got Wonder Woman and that is it (and she doesn't even self-identify as one in the page). Pansexuals didn't get mentioned once. The predominance was white, gay, somewhat affluent in terms of character type.
3. Too much Batman. Seriously, the Gotham universe is not exactly a well of diversity, and having the rich white guy savior show up every 15 pages was not needed. Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy's relationship gets a page, but it was more like "lesbians - aren't they cute" sort of way.
4. The beginning of the book was too heavy on the dark and disturbing, especially when artists showed dead bodies lying everywhere. Or the use of multiple cell phones going off and nobody answering. There was a lot artistic renderings of the crime scene that did not add any value to a book that is supposed to celebrating love and life. Not much humor found in the rest of the book - maybe a line here or there, some unintentionally.
5. Some of the transgender characters were used to explore others' feelings about transgenderism rather than about the transgender characters' feelings or storyline.
I just loved this book so very, very much! It’s a sweet romance story but also a Christmas story, a guilty pleasure of mine.Christmas stories in general will grab my attention but the romance portion of the story probably grabbed my attention first.
It’s a quick read. It’s short, sweet, and to the point. It’s well written and has great descriptions and details. The emotions are heavy and very well detailed. The story line is tragic, frustrating, hopeful, and romantic.
I really enjoyed all of the characters in this story, main characters and supporting characters. Not one character seemed to be more important than another and they all had great chemistry. They were fun to read about.
I would read this story again, and would recommend this. I would have loved for a longer story to maybe get more detail or have the story expanded a bit. It was such a great read.
"Thelma the Unicorn", by Aaron Blabey is just plain precious! This is another book about learning to love yourself for who you are and not trying to change just because others think you should or because you think you need to be different. The more children hear stories like this, the better in my opinion. Thelma is a sad pony who wishes she was someone special and glamorous. She finds a carrot on the ground and ties it to her head to make it look like a horn. This is enough to trick a truck driver who just happens to be hauling a truck full of pink paint and glitter. Needless to say, the truck driver wrecks and Thelma is now covered in that paint and glitter. So guess what? She became famous! But, guess what else? It wasn't all it was cracked up to be. She was miserable and missed her friend. Her solution was to clean herself up and go back home where she was happy just being herself. With "Thelma the Unicorn", you can use the rhyming words to show how they make the story have rhythm. You can also have a lesson on rhyming words and other vocabulary found throughout the story. This is a great book for reading comprehension activities and for numerous writing prompts. Endless activities for this book.
Guided Reading Level: L