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An entertaining story let down by stereotypical portrayals.

A sullen, rock-music–loving Quebec teen embarks on a tumultuous summer filled with humor and horror.

In the summer of 1994, Elodie reluctantly heads off to work as a camp counselor. Upon arrival, she meets the disheveled, strangely behaving camp chief, whom she finds creepy. Elodie is assigned as the monitor in charge of a group of redheaded girls who are notoriously hard to control. Over time she unexpectedly forms bonds with her lively campers and develops a close friendship with Catherine, another monitor. Things start looking up for Elodie, but confusion ensues as Elodie and Catherine develop feelings for each other that are more than platonic. Their closeness makes them a target for frequent homophobic slurs that are never unpacked. Another major issue is Elodie’s growing suspicion of the camp chief, especially in connection to the legend of the spirit rumored to haunt the campgrounds. Lenoir’s lively language and dialogue combined with eye-catching, detailed, full-color illustrations make for a captivating page-turner. While the fantasy aspect feels underdeveloped with an anticlimactic resolution, the relationships formed and the growth of the campers make up for this. Most characters are white, although there is one black secondary character, camp counselor Magalie. Magalie’s characterization unfortunately evokes negative tropes of the sassy, angry black woman; a scene in which white campers touch and comment on her hair lacks sufficient context.

An entertaining story let down by stereotypical portrayals. (Graphic fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-60309-465-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Top Shelf Books

Review Posted Online: March 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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An action-packed tale for those thirsty for more superhero stories.

Grammy Award–winning artist Keys co-authors a YA superhero graphic novel bearing the title of her hit song.

Smart, quiet 14-year-old Loretta “Lolo” Wright struggles to stand up for herself until, on what should be a routine trip to a convenience store, her 16-year-old brother, James, is mistakenly accused of stealing by the police. When the officer slams her brother to the ground, Lolo’s powers manifest for the first time. Meanwhile, Michael Warner, who lives in the same Brooklyn housing projects as the Wrights, is rejected from the football team for being too small. He develops exceptional fighting abilities and shortly afterward gets involved in working for a drug dealer named Skin. When Skin sees a video of Lolo levitating the cop who assaulted James, he wants to recruit her as well, and he tries to extort protection money from Lolo’s dad, who owns a moving business. Lolo must convince Michael to choose a different path; it’s only by working together that they can defeat Skin. Featuring dizzying shifts among multiple perspectives, this full-color graphic novel presents vibrant, expressive characters set against mostly simple, bright backgrounds, with extreme violence depicted in gory detail. The narrative briefly explores class issues and racial stereotypes, but while the setup is intriguing, the momentum fizzles and the pieces never quite come together. Most main characters are Black; Skin reads as White, and secondary characters appear racially diverse.

An action-packed tale for those thirsty for more superhero stories. (Graphic fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-302956-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: HarperAlley

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer’s epic. Following Odysseus’s journey to return home to his beloved wife, Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist’s use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus’s cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don’t confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4266-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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