A recent Wednesday of no sleep saw me not feeling well on Thursday. Taking the mental health day, I slept, and when I woke up it was too late to work, so I read. One of the books I would read that Thursday was Mamo by Sas Milledge. This book has an odd feeling to it, or at least to me. I was picking up Scandinavian vibes to the landscape and with most of the people we see. But our main character looks like they might be Asian or Hispanic. This mix of old-world and modern diversity made things have an odd flow. Yet, things soon fall into place, and the story takes precedence over this start.
Mamo is a friendship-love story about home, family, and the ties that bind us, but that also can be broken. While for at least ages 10 and up, the surface story is fine for them, but they might miss some of the “under” story and the subtleness of that. Good for adults as well as kids because of the grandmother/granddaughter relationship, the idea of “homebody” vs “the wander” and the mother/daughter relationship. Milledge created interesting illustrations that set a tone, but also keep things lighter. The story itself can be dark, a mother who is ill, possibly dying; a witches death and the scattering of her bones; the control Mamo (the grandmother) had over the granddaughter; and more.
Overall, there is not a lot of “bad stuff” (aside from the fact magic, death and illness are there), but sensitive readers might have trouble with the concept of the bones of the witch/grandmother being scattered over the community. It is a realistic fantasy story, with a same-gender potential romance, so as always, know your audience.