SUPPER CLUB

Three best friends face the end of high school with trepidation and nostalgia.

Nora isn’t ready for things to change. When senior year starts, and she can feel the cracks beginning to form in her longtime friendships with Iris and Lili, she scrambles for an activity that will keep the three connected. Her solution? Supper Club. Nora, Iris, Lili, and some other friends come together to share food, laughter, and memories. Nora, who is Italian American, makes rainbow cookies and lasagna. Lili, who is cued as being of Chinese heritage, celebrates the Lunar New Year with steamed sea bass and high school graduation with braised pork ribs and spring bao. Iris, who is White, brings in mac and cheese and her mom’s banana bread. Their other friends contribute to the cultural mélange with mofongo, challah, and flautas. Each friend weathers her own challenges—sick parents, anxiety attacks, alcohol use, and romantic pursuits gone wrong, to name a few. These bumps in the road don’t leave their friendships unscathed, but the story is ultimately reassuring. The richly colored art is full of movement and personality, gestures and facial expressions bringing intensity to every character. The text relies on dialogue for exposition, trusting readers to connect the dots and build connections between events that take place in the characters’ lives over the course of the school year.

Bursting with flavor. (recipes, concept art) (Graphic fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5343-2421-3

Page Count: 232

Publisher: Image Comics

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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A great read offering entertainment, encouragement, and plenty to reflect upon.

SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND

A gay teen contends with time travel—and homophobia through the decades.

All Cuban American Luis wants is to be prom king with his boyfriend, but tiny upstate New York boarding school Antic Springs Academy, with its strict, Christian code of conduct, won’t even let them hold hands in public. After a disastrous prom committee meeting at which his attempt to make the event welcoming of queer couples is rejected by the principal, Luis gets quite literally knocked into the past—specifically, ASA in the year 1985. There he meets Chaz, a Black student who attended the school at the same time as Luis’ parents and who died under mysterious circumstances after being bullied for his sexuality. Luis now faces a choice between changing the past to help Chaz and preserving his own future existence. Fortunately, he has Ms. Silverthorn, a Black English teacher and beloved mentor, who offers him support in both timelines. The narrative explores the impacts of homophobia and being closeted, remaining optimistic without shying away from the more brutal aspects. Luis is a multifaceted character with an engaging voice whose flaws are confronted and examined throughout. The solid pacing and pleasant, fluid prose make this a page-turner. Luis’ boyfriend is cued as Chinese American, and his best friend is nonbinary; there is some diversity in ethnicity and sexuality in background characters, although the school is predominantly White.

A great read offering entertainment, encouragement, and plenty to reflect upon. (author's note) (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0710-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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THE ODYSSEY

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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