Diana’s lasso of truth shows this one is a winner.

READ REVIEW

WONDER WOMAN

WARBRINGER

A graphic adaptation of Bardugo’s (Ninth House, 2019, etc.) 2017 novel of the same name.

Diana was molded from clay by her mother, Hippolyta, and given life by the goddesses. Because she was made and did not earn her place in Themyscira, Diana is determined to prove herself to her mother and her fellow Amazons by winning the race to Bana-Mighdall. Midway through the race, Diana witnesses a ship exploding and sets aside her desire for victory to save a girl, Alia. When Alia’s presence on the island wreaks havoc, Diana learns she is a Warbringer, cursed to bring death and destruction everywhere she goes. Diana and Alia flee Themyscira, return Alia to New York City and, with the help of Alia’s brother and two of their friends, work to break the curse. The introduction of necessary background information doesn’t always flow well with the conversation bubbles, and red-outlined text boxes showing Alia’s thoughts feel insufficient for the introduction of a second narrator. Well-paced and funny, where this adaptation stands out is in the illustrations that show people of color in a nuanced way. The cast is diverse—Diana appears white, Alia and her brother are biracial (black and Greek), their two friends are cued as South Asian, fat, and queer and Afro-Latinx respectively. Readers need not have read any other Wonder Woman stories to enjoy this one.

Diana’s lasso of truth shows this one is a winner. (Graphic novel. 13-17)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4012-8255-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: DC Ink

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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DEAD WEIGHT

MURDER AT CAMP BLOOM

Four teens attempt to solve the mystery of a murdered camp counselor.

Latinx Jesse’s family makes her attend Camp Bloom, a summer weight-loss camp, while black Tony is excited to be with his buff role model, Counselor Cory, who is white. Third-year attendee Noah, also white, wants to prioritize his health and lose weight but is unsure whether he can. One night, Jesse sneaks out to procure contraband chocolate. Noah follows her, and both stumble upon Counselor Cory’s murder. Purely by chance, the crime turns out to have been documented on Jesse’s camera. Noah looks for help from Kate (also white), who finds Camp Bloom a safe refuge from homophobia. Kate includes Tony, heartbroken that his mentor is dead, in the investigation. Armed with a list of the camp counselors and a camp map, the foursome decides to find the murderer. Close-ups of the protagonists convey great emotion and are interspersed with more active panels featuring the quartet and other characters. As the teens work through the suspects, another murder occurs, and the young sleuths nearly become victims themselves. Exacting readers may be disappointed by the lack of clues or clear motives for the murders and by the strange ending. Those willing to forgive these shortcomings will find this lighthearted mystery with diverse characters an accessible, if not entirely satisfying, read.

Passable. (Graphic novel. 13-17)

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-62010-481-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Oni Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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Hopeful stories about art, activism, friendship, and recovery.

THE PLAIN JANES

From the Janes series , Vol. 1-3

The PLAIN Janes (2007), Janes in Love (2008), and a new entry in the Janes series, Janes Attack Back, released in a single volume.

In the first installment, printed in blue ink, Jane “Main Jane” Beckles was a regular teen until she was caught in a bombing in her city that prompted her parents to move to the suburbs. In her new school, she and her new friends—Jane, Jayne, and Polly Jane—form a guerrilla art group called P.L.A.I.N. (People Loving Art In Neighborhoods). The second entry, printed in pink, has the Janes struggling with interpersonal conflict and a lack of funds for art supplies. Jane corresponds with Miroslaw, the Polish stranger whose life—and sketchbook—she saved in the explosion and whom she visited while he recuperated, unconscious, in hospital. Volume 3, which features green ink, picks up as the Janes scatter for summer break with Main Jane traveling to France to visit Miroslaw and attend an art class taught by his girlfriend. The illustrations smoothly integrate different art styles so that readers experience them at the same time Jane does. Upon returning for senior year, Jane meets Payne, a new student who holds radically different views on art. Their push and pull deftly shows how complex relationships can be and how competition can build both stronger art and stronger friendships. Main characters are white. Unfortunately, the word “tribe” remains in these reprints.

Hopeful stories about art, activism, friendship, and recovery. (Graphic fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-52272-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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