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Me and Banksy by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
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Me and Banksy

by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

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Banksy-inspired YA Fiction
Review of the Puffin Canada hardcover edition (Jan. 2020)

The initial attraction for me here was the cleverness of the cover design. The supposed googly eyes of the stencilled squirrel could also be security camera monitors pointing in different directions. These are the sort of real-world objects which the real-life Banksy would incorporate into their stencilled social commentary graffiti work. I then found out that it was a Young Adult fiction book dealing with cyber-bullying and privacy issues which seemed like a worthy topic.

I thought the issues were handled well and the topic of Banksy was incorporated appropriately into the plot. Protagonist Dominica Rivers is initially inspired by a Banksy book that her gallery owning grandmother gifts to her. When incidents of cyber-bullying occur at school she inadvertently starts drawing and then stencilling squirrel symbols in protest (in homage to Banksy's iconic rat images). The tone is kept fairly light and there are a lot of diversions into snack food eating. Still, I thought it was well done.

Trivia and Links
The author does add a cautionary end note to discourage children/young adults from taking vigilante action themselves, but to instead contact trusted adult figures. Links to prevent or combat cyber bullying are provided to:
http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cycp-cpcj/bull-inti/index-eng.htm
and to http://cyberbullyhelp.com

There is also an endnote about Banksy with a link to a 2014 article about Why Banksy is Probably a Woman. ( )
  alanteder | Jan 29, 2020 |
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