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Oxygen Mask

Jason Reynolds
Illustrated by Jason Griffin

A searing graphic novel from Jason Reynolds and street artist Jason Griffin.

£9.99
Format
Paperback
ISBN
9780571374748
Date Published
07.07.2022
Delivery
All orders are sent via Royal Mail and are tracked: choose from standard or premium delivery.
Summary

And so for anyone who didn’t really know what it means to not be able to breathe, REALLY breathe, for generations, now you know. And those who already do, you’ll be nodding yep yep, that is exactly how it is . . .

Intimately set within the walls of a family home, this book is an incredible artefact of the historic year we have all lived through. We travel from the depths of despair but not without hope; the mundane details contained within four walls becomes our sanctuary. This is a gift in commemoration of a time and place, of a world wide pandemic, of loss and of the murder of George Floyd. It is a reminder of how, in uncertain times, we can cling to the simple things for respite, for hope. A reminder of how comforting books and artworks are in times of extreme stress.

Critic Reviews

A powerful message in just three sentences. Reynolds and artist Jason Griffin have created a masterful collage of words and images about race and (in)justice in America.

The Washington Post
Critic Reviews

As Reynolds’s lines depict Black people facing police brutality, Covid-19, and general concerns regarding safety, Griffin’s captivating collages literally and metaphorically capture a constant state of worry and panic, leading to visual moments that encourage the reader to find solace and inspiration in the everyday.

Publishers Weekly
Critic Reviews

An important combination that expresses the zeitgeist of a troubled time. It’s essential reading.

Booklist
Critic Reviews

While grounded in 2020, many of the issues touched on explicitly are very much not over and not even new, making this remarkable work both timely and timeless. Artful, cathartic, and most needed.

Kirkus
Critic Reviews

Reynolds’s introspective narrative poem, with a young man at home during quarantine as its speaker, shares the stage with Griffin’s emotive collage-like illustrations done in Moleskine notebooks and reproduced on the pages to make it look like a real teen’s journal. The first-person text is presented in three parts, or “breaths.” In “Breath One,” the narrator says he’s “sitting here wondering why / my mother won’t change the channel // And why won’t the news change the story / And why the story won’t change into something new.” Along with concerns about the world outside, he thinks about his father coughing behind closed doors, his sister talking about protests, and his brother lost in video games. When the wonderings get to be too much, the narrator reminds himself to breathe “in through the nose // out through the mouth.” By the end of “Breath Three,” the narrator realizes that his “oxygen mask” for living through this uncertain time is the people he loves and the moments they share. The poem and images create an authentic young adult narrator trying to grapple with the confusion and fear of the double pandemic (COVID-19 and systemic racism) he is facing. The book ends with a conversation between the two Jasons about their collaborative process for creating this work during the pandemic.

Horn Book
JasonReynolds

Jason Reynolds is a critically acclaimed American writer and poet and winner of the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers. From Jason: “Here’s what I know: I know there are a lot — A LOT — of young people who hate reading. I know that many of these book haters are boys. I know that many of these book-hating boys, don’t…

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