Am I There Yet? The Loop-de-Loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood by Mari Andrew
With almost 800 000 followers on Instagram, Mari Andrew’s poignant watercolour posts speak to many, and so too will her book. In 8 chapters, using a series of personal essays, and the illustrations that led to her Instagram success, Andrew shares her journey to adulthood under themes such as Heartbreak and Loss, Finding Purpose, and Overcoming Disappointment.
What is clear in both the illustrations and the essays is that Andrew is an observer of life. In the stories she shares, she compares her life to the route of a metro line she is riding, notes how it is only the brave who can have true empathy, and explains how you can’t force an experience to live up to your expectations. The pieces exploring grief, both her writing and her illustrations, are stunning in their articulation, for example when she writes, “Acceptance is not a relief, it’s the realization that you will always carry grief with you.”
Yet, although at times your heart will feel for Mari Andrew, her humour shines through many of the pieces and while you’re laughing, you’ll also be saying to yourself “exactly!” because what this writer/artist does best is make tangible the thoughts and feelings we have all experienced.
In classrooms, this book can be read as a reader, but also as a writer. The mentor texts and quick write opportunities are more reasons this book is a must-have for ELA teachers. Here is one to try today:
Teachers and many students alike will enjoy Andrew’s book and find multiple uses for it inside and outside of the classroom.