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review 2017-08-23 23:08
Miles Morales: Spider-Man (A Marvel YA Novel) - Jason Reynolds,Kadir Nelson

I loved this! Even though it was about a superhero it felt very real. Miles’s situation is one that many people are in and I feel like a lot of people could relate to his story. I also liked how this book touches upon the prison system and the effects it has. Overall, this book is a perfect blend of Spidey fun and real world issues.

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review 2017-08-12 21:49
The perfect Spider-Man novel
Miles Morales: Spider-Man (A Marvel YA Novel) - Jason Reynolds,Kadir Nelson

This not only balanced the action of a racist regime actively trying to keep minorities down but also the more personal stories: Miles' crush on a poet, and fellow student, named Alicia.   (She's black as well, which is only important because one of their teachers is pretty openly and grossly racist.   While Miles bears the brunt of Chamberlain's wrath, Alicia isn't unaffected, and she's not the type to not get involved.   I also wonder if Miles is more of a target because of his socioeconomic status - poorer, a scholarship student at this school - but also because he's half Puerto Rican.  Or perhaps his family history on his father's side makes him the seemingly logical choice to torment for Chamberlain.   His father, Jefferson Davis and his brother, Aaron, play a large role in this novel and started out poor, and resorting to petty theft and non-violent crimes to make their way through life.   Jefferson managed to get out thanks to Rio, the woman who became his wife, and Aaron never did manage to go straight.)

 

Regardless, Miles is one of the most obedient students in school, and one of the more studious young people.   He respects his parents, and his teachers, especially when they aren't racist.  

 

And while Alicia and Miles' story isn't all about racism, by bringing the outside, the super villainy, into the school and by using it as something that does affect both Alicia and Miles, it means that the two storylines can't be completely separated.   Reynolds can, and does, work on both those stories at once. 

 

In addition, there are family issues: Miles, his roommate Ganke's family issues, and all this is worked in with an expert hand.   There's a lot going on and Reynolds does it all with a fairly low word count.   Not only that, it's fun to read.   There are moments of despair, for both Miles and Ganke, but the way that they hold each other up and cheer each other up is the true friendship that is in the comics: warm, goofy, nerdy, and always supportive, even when one thinks the other is being an idiot.   (Ganke does get pushy, especially about Morales and Spider-Man, but he's not so overly pushy that he comes off as manipulative or coercive and not all the time.   Only when he truly believes in something, like Spider-Man.)

 

This was not only a charming read, but it had a lot of important things to say about racism and how systemic it can be.   How it can poison minds, youths, and make them believe nothing will get better.   How it can turn them down the wrong path, a path they may never get off no matter how much try.   It was touching, funny, heartbreaking and all in character.   It was, in fact, one of the best Marvel tie-ins I've read.   I highly suggest this book, although I also warn you: you'll find it in the teens or young adult section.   And you should.   This is an important read, but especially for children, especially those who might not see their faces normally represented in comic books, or even comic book tie-ins.   

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review 2017-08-10 03:32
A Fun Adventure with the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man
Miles Morales: Spider-Man - Jason Reynolds,Guy Lockard,Listening Library

It was Bendis/Bagley's Ultimate Spider-Man that brought me back to comics after a decade-plus break, and no matter what else I read, it was one of my Top 2 titles on my pull-list. Financial concerns got me to stop reading/collecting about a year before Miles Morales showed up. I was able to deal with letting everything else go, but USM was tough -- especially when I heard about this new kid. I never learned much about him, I know he's Afro-Hispanic, that his uniform is the best one since Ditko's original, I heard they did a good job showing Miles and his parents going through a Charter School lottery, I know he's popular enough they brought him over from the Ultimate universe.

 

Still, I saw this cover floating around Twitter last week and thought it looked pretty cool, so grabbed it when I had a moment. There's a lot of Miles, his family and his school, not a lot of Web Head. But when he shows up, it counts.

 

Miles is having some Spidey Sense problems, which is leading to problems at school -- a suspension and some trouble with his History teacher. He's not sleeping well -- tormented by nightmares about his uncle's death. Miles starts to wonder if people like him -- descendants of criminals --should have super-powers, if he should be a super-hero. It's hard to describe the threat that Miles and his alter-ego face, really it unveils itself slowly throughout the book. But it's a doozy, and it's not what it seems to be early on.

 

I think Miles is a great character, he's Peter Parker-esque in the best sense of the word, while being his own guy. His parents are fun, his dad in particular is a wonderful character -- a great dad, it seems. Miles' best friend and roommate, Ganke is a hoot. There's a girl, of course, because he's 16. I don't know if Alicia's a fixture in the comic or not, but it'd be interesting to see how she is outside of this.

 

Oh, Miles having camouflage powers? That's just cool.

 

I think Lockard went over the top occasionally with his narration. Maybe part of that is pandering to the 11-13 year-old audience that Audible tells me this is directed toward. Maybe he and the director are just excitable and/or excited. It didn't detract from anything, it was just occasionally too much. By and large, his energy kept things moving, lively -- just the way a Spider-Man story should be.

 

This isn't for everyone, but for those who like the idea of a Spider-Man novel, for fans of Miles Morales, or those who are just curious about him -- this'll entertain. I won't say I've read every Spider-Man novel printed in the last couple of decades -- but I'm willing to be my percentage is pretty high. Miles Morales is among the best.

Source: irresponsiblereader.com/2017/08/09/miles-morales-audiobook-by-jason-reynolds-guy-lockard
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text 2017-08-07 13:22
Reading progress update: I've read 139 out of 272 pages.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man (A Marvel YA Novel) - Jason Reynolds,Kadir Nelson

"'Exactly.   Spill the salsa, son.'"

 

I kinda love Miles' dad.   He's such a dad, but he obviously loves Miles very much and he's willing to look like a dork in front of Miles.

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text 2017-08-07 13:19
Reading progress update: I've read 115 out of 272 pages.
Miles Morales: Spider-Man (A Marvel YA Novel) - Jason Reynolds,Kadir Nelson

"'We underestimate the bond between slave and master.   So many slaves were comfortable with being enslaved.   Happy even.  Later this week, maybe I'll bring in some images to better illustrate my point.'"

 

Says the teacher.   At the super fancy, expensive genius school. 

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