From the Campfire Graphic Novels series

Do these loose ends portend a sequel? More troublemaking and bigotry? Perhaps Sandford will take up yoga. Now that might...

Soccer (aka, to most of the world, football) at its apex is a beautiful game, but despite its title, in Quinn’s story readers get a lot more dirty play, errant behavior, and hooliganism.

In this graphic novel, a down-at-the-heels British town has little going for it but its soccer teams, the storied Sandford Town football club and the current champs, the Sandford Rovers. Readers are thrust into the Town camp, but except for the flawed heroes—twin brothers, their parents, and, part of the time, their sister—none of the characters (mostly white) are appealing. Although the town looks like Coventry after the blitz, Sharma has chosen to draw all the lads (players) as descendants of Thor—lantern jaws, gritted teeth, clenched fists, great mops of unruly hair—while the other characters (fans, reporters) resemble particularly brutal, sunken-eyed prison guards. Along with some crumbs thrown in for those who thought this was a sports story (“Sandford Town is more than just a football club. It’s a family. A dream. A way of life. And that way of life is in danger,” barks the coach—and he’s the nice one), there is plenty of mayhem: “You lot must be mental coming this side of the river,” says one black gentleman to another black gentlemen—and black gentlemen nearly monopolize the hooliganism, anger issues, and criminality. In the end, a boy-toy band saves the day, but not without some loose ends.

Do these loose ends portend a sequel? More troublemaking and bigotry? Perhaps Sandford will take up yoga. Now that might spark some inspired storytelling. (Graphic fiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-93-81182-11-6

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017



From award winner Telgemeier (Smile, 2010), a pitch-perfect graphic novel portrayal of a middle school musical, adroitly capturing the drama both on and offstage.

Seventh-grader Callie Marin is over-the-moon to be on stage crew again this year for Eucalyptus Middle School’s production of Moon over Mississippi. Callie's just getting over popular baseball jock and eighth-grader Greg, who crushed her when he left Callie to return to his girlfriend, Bonnie, the stuck-up star of the play. Callie's healing heart is quickly captured by Justin and Jesse Mendocino, the two very cute twins who are working on the play with her. Equally determined to make the best sets possible with a shoestring budget and to get one of the Mendocino boys to notice her, the immensely likable Callie will find this to be an extremely drama-filled experience indeed. The palpably engaging and whip-smart characterization ensures that the charisma and camaraderie run high among those working on the production. When Greg snubs Callie in the halls and misses her reference to Guys and Dolls, one of her friends assuredly tells her, "Don't worry, Cal. We’re the cool kids….He's the dork." With the clear, stylish art, the strongly appealing characters and just the right pinch of drama, this book will undoubtedly make readers stand up and cheer.

Brava!  (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-32698-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012


A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish.

The dreary prospect of spending a lifetime making caskets instead of wonderful inventions prompts a young orphan to snatch up his little sister and flee. Where? To the circus, of course.

Fortunately or otherwise, John and 6-year-old Page join up with Boz—sometime human cannonball for the seedy Wandering Wayfarers and a “vertically challenged” trickster with a fantastic gift for sowing chaos. Alas, the budding engineer barely has time to settle in to begin work on an experimental circus wagon powered by chicken poop and dubbed (with questionable forethought) the Autopsy. The hot pursuit of malign and indomitable Great-Aunt Beauregard, the Coggins’ only living relative, forces all three to leave the troupe for further flights and misadventures. Teele spins her adventure around a sturdy protagonist whose love for his little sister is matched only by his fierce desire for something better in life for them both and tucks in an outstanding supporting cast featuring several notably strong-minded, independent women (Page, whose glare “would kill spiders dead,” not least among them). Better yet, in Boz she has created a scene-stealing force of nature, a free spirit who’s never happier than when he’s stirring up mischief. A climactic clutch culminating in a magnificently destructive display of fireworks leaves the Coggin sibs well-positioned for bright futures. (Illustrations not seen.)

A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish. (Adventure. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234510-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

Close Quickview