A coming-of-age tale of finding one’s voice with the support of family.

Noble, the British granddaughter of Russian and Polish Jewish immigrants, believed she had a wolf living inside of her.

Growing up, Noble’s inner wolf prevented her from being able to find her voice. While she was fascinated by werewolves, she was very shy with her peers and only really felt comfortable being herself when she was around her loud and vibrant family, especially “the Mas.” The Mas, Grandma Min and Ma, are Danny’s paternal and maternal grandmothers, respectively, and they are the true heart of this book: They are fully fleshed out in both prose and illustration and are therefore so real that they will be sure to make readers feel as if they knew and loved them too. The sometimes-disjointed narrative tells the story of Noble’s growth from a shy, offbeat girl to an activist, musician, and artist. The penciled illustrations’ exaggerated, slightly surreal forms sometimes make it difficult to see detail, but the unusual, expressive style truly brings to life the intricate eccentricities of Noble’s lively family. All of the main characters are culturally Jewish, celebrating both Passover as well as Christmas. Noble identifies as heterosexual but references crushes on women.

A coming-of-age tale of finding one’s voice with the support of family. (glossary) (Graphic memoir. 16-adult)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-951491-02-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Street Noise Books

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020


A sharp compendium of dreamy visions that could only have come from the iconic cartoonist’s sleeping mind.

The renowned cartoonist taps into Freud, Jung, and Kabbalah to discuss what happens when the head hits the pillow.

Chast, famed New Yorker cartoonist and winner of the inaugural Kirkus Prize for Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? makes it clear that while your own dreams may be inherently interesting, listening to other’ dreams is markedly not. Thankfully, the author’s thumbnail depictions of dreams that span a cross section of her bedside dream journal bring just enough humor and wit for readers to be charmed instantly. “This book is dedicated to the Dream District of our brains,” writes the author, “that weird and uncolonized area where anything can happen, from the sublime to the mundane to the ridiculous to the off-the-charts bats.” Familiar classics—“alone at a party,” “teeth falling out”—sit alongside the bizarre and hilarious—e.g., “too many birds not enough cages.” Even actor Wallace Shawn, son of former New Yorker editor William Shawn, makes an appearance: “He and I were walking down Main Street in a town in Connecticut and I needed to point something out to him: ‘Look, It’s a Broccoli Patch!’ ” From “Recurring Dreams” to “Nightmares” to “Dream Fragments or Ones That Got Away,” Chast explores beyond the first blush of the strange and personal in dreams. She writes, “here’s what’s interesting: dreams come out of my brain…as I sleep, I am creating them…so why, as they unfold, am I always so surprised?!??” The author reaches for answers beyond Freud and Jung to a wider range of insights from Kabbalah, Aristotle, neuroscientists, molecular biologists, and more. Illustrations and visual storytelling weave together a broad range of content on dreams that offers insight while never feeling burdensome or overly analytical. Easy on the eyes and witty, this book will have readers reaching for their own dream journals.

A sharp compendium of dreamy visions that could only have come from the iconic cartoonist’s sleeping mind.

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2023

ISBN: 9781620403228

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023


A tribute to young people’s resistance in the face of oppression.

In 1983 South Korea, Kim was learning to navigate university and student political activism.

The daughter of modest restaurant owners, Kim was apolitical—she just wanted to make her parents proud and be worthy of her tuition expenses. Following an administrator’s advice to avoid trouble and pursue extracurriculars, she joined a folk dance team where she met a fellow student who invited her into a banned book club. Kim was fearful at first, but her thirst for knowledge soon won out. As she learned the truth of her country’s oppressive fascist political environment, Kim became closer to the other book club members while the authorities grew increasingly desperate to identify and punish student dissidents. The kinetic manhwa drawing style skillfully captures the personal and political history of this eye-opening memoir. The disturbing elements of political corruption and loss of human rights are lightened by moving depictions of sweet, funny moments between friends as well as deft political maneuvering by Kim herself when she was eventually questioned by authorities. The art and dialogue complement each other as they express the tension that Kim and her friends felt as they tried to balance school, family, and romance with surviving in a dangerous political environment. References to fake news and a divisive government make this particularly timely; the only thing missing is a list for further reading.

A tribute to young people’s resistance in the face of oppression. (Graphic memoir. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-945820-42-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Iron Circus Comics

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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