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Reviewed by Hayley Haun for Readers' Favorite
Mask Off by Lisa Creech Saleh is a book all about both past and present connections, and how those relationships overlap. Book three of the Pandemic Series leaves Nana in a new, but now normal world. It is a place where masks are an everyday item and the word “covid” doesn’t make people surprised anymore. Nana must traverse through current difficulties, like taking care of her aging mother and being a mother, but she comes to realize the past and the present are connected in more ways than one. As Nana visits her mother and visits with other senior citizens, she reflects on her own grandparents and the influences they had on her.
While reading Mask Off, I too looked back to my family ties. I thought of my grandparents, who they were, their examples to me, and what kind of legacies they left behind. Those people and memories are what bind us together. We are made from the past so that we can affect the future. Lisa Creech Saleh said this: “While working on my book, I began listening more to what senior citizens had to say. I found that this population was especially vulnerable during the pandemic, and the restrictions placed upon those residing at senior living facilities during the lockdown were heartbreaking.” Mask Off made me think about the elderly people who suffer day by day, especially in a pandemic where confinement and isolation are key. What can we do for those people to help them feel needed, wanted, and plain human? What did our grandparents teach us? All these questions and more can help make those ties we have with each other tighter.