This particularly smart delineation of Pelé has it all: his career, his blunders, decency, and goodness. And his gift.

PELÉ

THE KING OF SOCCER

Soccer great Pelé’s story has been told far, wide, and well, but Simon and Brascaglia provide the full context—its cultural, economic, political, and physical geography—it deserves.

Pelé—there simply isn’t a more recognizable word in the world of soccer. His numbers alone are absurd, and his ball handling appeared to be controlled by some anti-gravitational device. Then there’s his attitude, his radiant smile—in a key early moment, the book shows how his father, an ex-pro, was a major influence on nurturing his natural gifts and teaching him how to find gratitude in his talent. The graphic panels have a range of moods and energy, the gloaming of the barrio of Três Corações, Brazil, with its plum reds and burnt browns, contrasting with the great, glittering stadiums. But in these panels, too, will be found the class differences that sunder Brazil, the political chicanery, corruption, and anti-democratic violence, along with the CIA’s cooperation therein. Pelé, to his abiding credit, disassociated himself from the Brazilian national team as a gesture against the violent junta ruling the country. The book doesn’t shy from his few rather unfortunate missteps of his own—personal ones as well as distasteful comments about soccer’s governing body and the building of the stadium in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.

This particularly smart delineation of Pelé has it all: his career, his blunders, decency, and goodness. And his gift. (Graphic biography. 8-16)

Pub Date: Oct. 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-755-7

Page Count: 146

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.

GUTS

Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

A painful and painfully recognizable tale of one girl’s struggle to make and keep “one good friend.” (author’s note)...

REAL FRIENDS

A truth-telling graphic memoir whose theme song could be Johnny Lee’s old country song “Lookin’ for Love in all the Wrong Places.”

Shannon, depicted in Pham’s clear, appealing panels as a redheaded white girl, starts kindergarten in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1979, and her story ends just before sixth grade. Desperately longing to be in “the group” at school, Shannon suffers persistent bullying, particularly from a mean girl, Jenny, which leads to chronic stomachaches, missing school, and doctor visits. Contemporary readers will recognize behaviors indicative of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but the doctor calls it anxiety and tells Shannon to stop worrying. Instead of being a place of solace, home adds to Shannon’s stress. The middle child of five, she suffers abuse from her oldest sibling, Wendy, whom Pham often portrays as a fierce, gigantic bear and whom readers see their mother worrying about from the beginning. The protagonist’s faith (presented as generically Christian) surfaces overtly a few times but mostly seems to provide a moral compass for Shannon as she negotiates these complicated relationships. This episodic story sometimes sticks too close to the truth for comfort, but readers will appreciate Shannon’s fantastic imagination that lightens her tough journey toward courage and self-acceptance.

A painful and painfully recognizable tale of one girl’s struggle to make and keep “one good friend.” (author’s note) (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-416-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

more