An extraordinary sequel that is thrilling, inclusive, and unforgettable.

BORN TO RUN

From the Last Pick series , Vol. 2

With his sister apprehended by aliens, neurodiverse Wyatt must lead a team to save Earth.

In the follow-up to Last Pick (2018), evil extraterrestrials have taken or killed all those between 16 and 65, leaving only the young, the elderly, and anyone they consider “useless,” like those who have a disability. Wyatt (who appears to be on the spectrum) is trying to figure out how to lead his sister Sam’s resistance effort after her capture. Off in outer space, Sam is struggling in the alien compound, ordered to exterminate an opposing alien race. Despite all this, Wyatt and Sam have commonplace teenage issues: Wyatt has a blossoming relationship with mauve-haired Harper, who is deaf, and Sam shares a confusing kiss with her best friend, Mia. Their storylines converge into one pulse-pounding cliffhanger, leaving readers positively frenzied for the promised conclusion. Walz’s art is cinematic in scope, shifting from adrenaline-inducing action scenes to evocative facial close-ups. His economic prose creates many sequences that are largely wordless. Colorist Proctor adds dazzling splashes of embellishment amid a purposefully drab landscape for a striking effect. Walz’s cast of characters is richly diverse, portraying characters of myriad skin tones, ages, neurodiversity, and abilities, like a white adult who has one leg and uses a wheelchair; Latinx Mia, whose mother was an immigrant; and a brown-skinned resistance fighter with cerebral palsy. Wyatt and Sam are white.

An extraordinary sequel that is thrilling, inclusive, and unforgettable. (Graphic science fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-893-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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BEOWULF

Pairing art from an earlier, self-published edition to a newly adapted text, Hinds retells the old tale as a series of dark, bloody, chaotic clashes. Here Grendel is a glaring, black monster with huge teeth, corded muscles and a tendency to smash or bite off adversaries’ heads; the dragon is all sinuous viciousness; and Beowulf, mighty of thew, towers over his fellow Geats. The narrative, boxed off from the illustrations rather than incorporated into them, runs to lines like, “Bid my brave warriors O Wiglaf, to build a lofty cairn for me upon the sea-cliffs . . . ” and tends to disappear when the fighting starts. Because the panels are jumbled together on the page, the action is sometimes hard to follow, but this makes a strongly atmospheric alternative to the semi-abstract Beowulf, the Legend, by Stephen L. Antczak and James C. Bassett, illus by Andy Lee (2006), or the more conventionally formatted version of Michael Morpurgo, with pictures by Michael Foreman (2006). (Graphic fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3022-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2007

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A charming adaptation.

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

From the Manga Classics series

A miscommunication leaves Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert responsible for a plucky, effusive orphan girl instead of the boy they’d expected to help maintain their farm.

Retold in traditional manga format, with right-to-left panel orientation and detailed black-and-white linework, this adaptation is delightfully faithful to the source text. Larger panels establish the idyllic country landscape while subtle text boxes identify the setting—Prince Edward Island, Canada, in the 1870s. The book follows redheaded Anne Shirley from her arrival at Green Gables at 11 to her achievement of a college scholarship. In the intervening years, Anne finds stability, friendship, personal growth, and ambition in Avonlea and in the strict but well-intentioned Cuthbert siblings’ household. The familiar story is enhanced by the exciting new format and lush illustrations. A variety of panel layouts provides visual freshness, maintaining reader interest. Backmatter includes the floor plan of the Green Gables house, as well as interior and exterior views, and notes about research on the actual location. A description of the process of adapting the novel to this visual format indicates the care that was taken to highlight particular elements of the story as well as to remain faithful to the smallest details. Readers who find the original text challenging will welcome this as an aid to comprehension and Anne’s existing fans will savor a fresh perspective on their beloved story. All characters appear to be White.

A charming adaptation. (Graphic fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-947808-18-8

Page Count: 308

Publisher: Manga Classics

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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