Well-paced and thrilling; readers will fly high with Raven’s tale.

READ REVIEW

TEEN TITANS

RAVEN

From the Teen Titans series , Vol. 1

Mother. Gone. Memory. Gone. Seventeen-year-old high school senior Raven rebuilds her life in New Orleans after a car accident takes away everything she knows.

Raven now lives with her late mother’s sister, a voodoo priestess and “the Mother of Souls,” and her daughter. Raven searches for clues to her past while navigating conventional teenage social problems: a mean girl and a cute boy. She also contends with other people’s emotions invading her mind and the tricky tendency for her own mean thoughts to manifest into reality. While she cannot remember anything from before the accident, she suffers continual nightmares featuring a multieyed spirit. A compelling storyline pulls readers into Raven’s turmoil, guiding them competently through the floating panels of expressive artwork. The muted palette pairs perfectly with the noir tone of Raven’s search for her origins. The respectful but not extremely nuanced inclusion of matriarchal African heritage religions such as voodoo is more empowering than campy. In one notable scene, the spirits of dead “mothers, daughters, sisters, and grandmothers, voodoo queens and warrior women of O’rleans” are called forward to gather and vanquish evil alongside Raven. Picolo’s (Icarus and the Sun, 2018, etc.) ghostly images of girls and women from different eras erupting from their graves to surround and support their earthbound sisters elicit good chills. The diverse cast is indicated through names and variations in skin tone.

Well-paced and thrilling; readers will fly high with Raven’s tale. (Graphic fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4012-8623-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: DC Ink

Review Posted Online: April 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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A heartwarming, funny story filled with richness and complexity.

PUMPKINHEADS

Autumn loving, they had a blast; autumn loving, it happened too fast.

Having worked together in the Succotash Hut at the pumpkin patch for years, best friends and co-workers Deja and Josiah, who goes by Josie, ditch work and find love on their last night, heading out in search of Josie’s unrequited love, the girl who works in the Fudge Shoppe. Deja, a witty and outgoing girl who attracts—and is attracted to—boys and girls alike, is set on helping the shy, rule-following Josie move out of his comfort zone before they part ways for college. Deja encourages Josie to take a chance and talk to the girl of his dreams instead of pining for her from afar. Not to be dissuaded by his reticence, Deja leads Josie to multiple stops in the Patch in search of the almost-impossible-to-find Fudge Girl, with every stop taking them in a new direction and providing a new treat. As they journey through the Patch—chasing a snack-stealing rascal, dodging a runaway goat, and snacking their way through treats from fudge to Freeto pie—they explore the boundaries of their friendship. Visually bright and appealing in autumnal reds, oranges, and yellows, the art enhances this endearing picture of teenage love. Deja is a beautiful, plus-sized black girl, and Josie is a handsome, blond white boy.

A heartwarming, funny story filled with richness and complexity. (Graphic fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-162-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: June 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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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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