Title: Night Shift
Author: Debi Gliori
Publisher: Razorbill September 5, 2017
About NIGHT SHIFT:
With stunning black and white illustration and deceptively simple text, author and illustrator Debi Gliori examines how depression affects one’s whole outlook upon life, and shows that there can be an escape – it may not be easy to find, but it is there. Drawn from Debi’s own experiences and with a moving testimony at the end of the book explaining how depression has affected her and how she continues to cope, Debi hopes that by sharing her own experience she can help others who suffer from depression, and to find that subtle shift that will show the way out.
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*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debi Gliori (born 1959) is a Scottish author and illustrator of children’s books.
She grew up as an only child in Glasgow, and when young began drawing and writing stories. She started writing children’s books in 1976, and attended art school in Edinburgh from 1979 to 1984. She then received a travelling scholarship award to go to Milan, and worked as a freelance from 1984 onwards.
She is the author/illustrator of many books for children including Mr Bear, the winner of a Children’s Book Award. She is best known for her black comedy Pure Dead series for older children, which display strong elements of family lives amid dark and fantasy-based plots.
As a Youth Services lead for my library I spend a lot of time with picture books, but I haven’t come across many for older age groups. NIGHT SHIFT is compelling because it puts depression into perspective and helps those who do not live with the symptoms to see what others go through. The main character mentions not having a language for the range of feelings that she experiences. Gliori does an incredible job depicting those feelings through her beautiful artwork and making them into her own language.
The Goodreads page for NIGHT SHIFT quotes Gliori as saying, “I have used dragons to represent depression. This is partly because of their legendary ability to turn a once fertile realm into a blackened, smoking ruin and partly because popular mythology shows them as monstrous opponents with a tendency to pick fights with smaller creatures. I’m not particularly brave or resourceful, and after so many years battling my beasts, I have to admit to a certain weariness, but I will arm-wrestle dragons for eternity if it means that I can help anyone going through a similar struggle.”
Gliori’s illustrations show the strength of these dragons, as well how they grow and multiply to the point of dominating everything in their wake. The dragons are an excellent personification of depression and how it can make a person feel small and helpless.
I highly recommend this book for those fighting depression and the people who care enough to want to understand. If you are someone battling these dragons, please know that you are never alone.