GUEST WRITER ADRIEN BEAMAN RECOMMENDS DREAMS: VISIONS OF THE CROW
“Deams: Visions of the Crow”, written by Wanda John-Kehewin and illustrated by nicole marie burton is a beautifully vivid graphic novel where the main character, Damon, discovers his ancestry through his dreams. The color scheme of burton’s work is full of eye-catching juxtapositions of drab and polychromatic panels, culminating in an intensely riveting visual experience. Disinterested with his school life, and a social outcast, teen Damon escapes the stasis of his life through listening to music and dreaming. Eventually, he begins to dream about time periods from long ago, and from his ancestors and a new friend Journey, Damon learns tradition and language in the face of his intergenerational trauma—including his mother’s struggle with substance abuse.
John-Kehewin and burton depict Damon’s mother’s, Marnie’s, alcoholism with immense realism and compassion, facilitating educated empathy from the readers. Although potentially triggering to some audience members, the care that John-Kehewin and burton put in conveying a difficult subject is a must-read for any readers comfortable in reading some about that topic. In sum, “Dreams: Visions of the Crow” is a striking graphic novel exploring the trauma and beauty of a young teen that will undeniably hook young readers.
Adrien Beaman is a student from the Bachelor of Education program at the University of New Brunswick. He completed an English Honors there and looks forward to a career as a literacy teacher.