A moody, compassionate reflection of adolescence in turmoil.

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LOSING THE GIRL

From the Life on Earth-Marinaomi series , Vol. 1

Nobody knows why 14-year-old Claudia Jones vanished, but for one group of teens, her disappearance is just one more mystery in a summer full of uncertainty.

Something strange is in the air at Blithedale High School. Troubled by his parents’ separation, Nigel, a black teen, craves the attention of girls. His luck turns when he begins a brief romance with Japanese-American Emily, but his aggressively jokey persona ends up repelling her. Emily, meanwhile, wants Brett, a white boy, to notice her. He harbors his own unrequited crush, but a relationship of sorts flares up between them anyway. When Emily becomes pregnant, the unexpected ordeal isolates her from Brett and her friends, including Paula, who is Latina. Having broken up with her abusive boyfriend, Paula grapples with her complicated feelings for Emily. These entanglements form the emotionally charged core of this gripping, affecting graphic novel. Each chapter highlights a different character’s perspective, and the style of the artwork changes to match each character’s personality, with simple and expressive black-and-white pictures brimming with exaggerated gestures and reactions. An eerie streak runs through the narrative: Was Claudia abducted by aliens, as some schoolmates suggest? The next volume promises more developments and more mysteries.

A moody, compassionate reflection of adolescence in turmoil. (Graphic novel. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5415-1044-9

Page Count: 284

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: March 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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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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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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