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From the Green Turtle Chronicles series , Vol. 1

An entertaining and intelligent response to classic superhero stories.

A golden-age comic superhero returns with a brand-new Asian-American origin story.

In 1944, a Chinese-American cartoonist created the Green Turtle, a World War II superhero who may have had a Chinese secret identity. Seventy years later, Yang (Boxers & Saints, 2013) and Liew (Malinky Robot, 2011) have updated the Green Turtle with an openly Asian-American heritage. Growing up in Chinatown, Hank Chu dreams of becoming a grocer like his father. His mother makes other plans for his future, however, after she sees the local, white superhero in action. She sews Hank a costume, tries to help him acquire superpowers and even arranges for him to learn kung fu. Despite her efforts, Hank’s superhero debut is a disappointment—one with tragic consequences for his family after it makes them a target for a local gang. Yang’s funny and perceptive script offers clever riffs on familiar tropes and explores themes of identity, heroism and belonging. For example, Hank’s mother is a hilarious spin on the “tiger mother” stereotype, and in his costume, Hank is often mistaken for “one of those gwailo superheroes.” Liew’s playful illustrations, especially his characters’ cartoonishly exaggerated expressions, complement the story’s humor. The first issue of the original 1940s comic book is included in the backmatter.

An entertaining and intelligent response to classic superhero stories. (author’s note, original comic) (Graphic adventure. 12 & up)

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-59643-6978

Page Count: 171

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: April 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2014

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A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind.

In this companion novel to 2013’s If He Had Been With Me, three characters tell their sides of the story.

Finn’s narrative starts three days before his death. He explores the progress of his unrequited love for best friend Autumn up until the day he finally expresses his feelings. Finn’s story ends with his tragic death, which leaves his close friends devastated, unmoored, and uncertain how to go on. Jack’s section follows, offering a heartbreaking look at what it’s like to live with grief. Jack works to overcome the anger he feels toward Sylvie, the girlfriend Finn was breaking up with when he died, and Autumn, the girl he was preparing to build his life around (but whom Jack believed wasn’t good enough for Finn). But when Jack sees how Autumn’s grief matches his own, it changes their understanding of one another. Autumn’s chapters trace her life without Finn as readers follow her struggles with mental health and balancing love and loss. Those who have read the earlier book will better connect with and feel for these characters, particularly since they’ll have a more well-rounded impression of Finn. The pain and anger is well written, and the novel highlights the most troublesome aspects of young adulthood: overconfidence sprinkled with heavy insecurities, fear-fueled decisions, bad communication, and brash judgments. Characters are cued white.

A heavy read about the harsh realities of tragedy and their effects on those left behind. (author’s note, content warning) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781728276229

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Jan. 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2024

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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