Little Fish: A Memoir from a Different Kind of Year

illus. by author. 272p. Zest. 2013. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781936976188. LC 2013932098.
Gr 9 Up—Beyer left her family and friends in the small Michigan town of Paw Paw for art school in Baltimore at age 18. A self-described quiet, quirky girl with spectacles who perennially styled her hair in two long plaits, she longed for college life in a large metropolitan city. The author shares the ups and downs of her freshman year: homesickness, making new friends, the added pressure of academic expectations, and weighing a decision to change majors. A large portion of her story involves her relationships with a group of friends and a budding romance with fellow student Daniel. Beyer was a compulsive list maker and a large portion of her story is told through a series of chronologically arranged lists and reflective observations, both handwritten and typewritten (on a traditional typewriter). Her written entries are the main storytelling vehicle, supplemented with black-and-white line drawings in graphic-novel-style panels. The art serves to illustrate the pages of text more than to move the story forward. Readers leaving home for the first time will relate to the author as she shares her ambivalent feelings in comparing home and childhood friends versus college life and a newfound circle of friends.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

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