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What It Is Hardcover – Illustrated, May 13, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 344 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–Every so often a book comes along that surpasses expectations, taking readers on an inspirational voyage that they don't want to leave. This is one such book. Each page is a feast for the eyes with beautiful full-page collages of photographs, watercolors, ink drawings, and text, resulting in a gorgeous volume that explores and encourages writing in a combination of ways. The author challenges readers with philosophical questions to ponder, such as What is an image? Where are they found? Can we remember something we can't imagine? The volume also acts as a workbook that successfully encourages teens to explore their own creativity through writing. In addition, autobiographical glimpses of Barry's journey from childhood to adulthood appear throughout the book. The struggles and obstacles she faces while following her path of becoming an artist and writer allow readers to believe in the possibility of writing themselves. This stunning book will appeal to those teens who are interested in delving into their creativity through words and art. The questions posed and valuable exercises that exist within its pages, along with the illustrations, could also make this book a valuable tool for English and art teachers in the classroom.–Lara McAllister, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia
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Review

Praise for Lynda Barry:
“Barry is, underneath the wonky handwriting and the quirky, naïve drawings, a great memoirist . . . Like [Tobias] Wolff and [Dave] Eggers, she finds a tone that accommodates self-criticism and self-irony without tipping over into self-loathing . . . but what she is particularly good at is resonance.” —"The New York Times
" “Barry is not just a storyteller, she’s an evangelist who urges people to pick up a pen—or a brush . . . and look at their own lives with fresh, forgiving eyes.” —"San Francisco Chronicle
" “America’s leading cartoon artist of childhood angst . . . The precise rightness of Barry’s smallest observation puts TV’s "The Wonder Years" to shame.” —"Entertainment Weekly
"

Praise for Lynda Barry:
"Barry is, underneath the wonky handwriting and the quirky, naive drawings, a great memoirist . . . Like [Tobias] Wolff and [Dave] Eggers, she finds a tone that accommodates self-criticism and self-irony without tipping over into self-loathing . . . but what she is particularly good at is resonance." --"The New York Times
" "Barry is not just a storyteller, she's an evangelist who urges people to pick up a pen--or a brush . . . and look at their own lives with fresh, forgiving eyes." --"San Francisco Chronicle
" "America's leading cartoon artist of childhood angst . . . The precise rightness of Barry's smallest observation puts TV's "The Wonder Years" to shame." --"Entertainment Weekly
"

Product details

  • ASIN : 1897299354
  • Publisher : Drawn and Quarterly; Illustrated edition (May 13, 2008)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 209 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9781897299357
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1897299357
  • Item Weight : 2.4 pounds
  • Dimensions : 8.66 x 0.96 x 11.15 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 344 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
344 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 19, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book but arrived damaged
By L. on December 6, 2019
The 5 Stars are for the book. It's lovely, inspiring, a feast for the eyes and brain. Thanks Lynda Barry. I love it.
Fortunately, the book is for me. If it were a gift, I would have to return as it arrived pretty beat up. Amazon- your packaging was not protective from the rough handlers along the way. See pix.
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Top reviews from other countries

melanie strong
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2013
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8 people found this helpful
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So Super Awesome
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 27, 2014
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Sara Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 10, 2014
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 4, 2016
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Quiet Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars If you don't like the drawing style, give it a chance!
Reviewed in Canada on July 2, 2017
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