A student new to both New York City and subways loses his class on the way to the Empire State Building.
Cast not as a nightmare (though it probably is, for teachers at least) but as an exhilarating odyssey, the outing begins when Pablo, surly and standoffish on his first day at his sixth school, boards a West Side No. 2 express train as his classmates crowd aboard the No. 1 local. Fortunately, he’s partnered with Alicia, a friendly, informative and particularly thick-skinned fellow student. Unfortunately, he manages to lose even her at the Times Square station and finds himself bound for Flushing, Queens. Though García Sánchez exaggerates (maybe…a bit) the density of the crowds on train platforms and streets, the above- and belowground architectural details, signage, general New York ambience and the trip’s overall itinerary are rendered with exacting accuracy. Even the occasional cutaway views and multiple-perspective spreads look natural. For added value, conversational infodumps and a closing section—both with inset period photos—fill Pablo and readers in on the subway’s construction, history and line designations, with side peeks at the Empire State Building. The book is also available in Spanish as Perdidos en NYC, with a translation by multitalented colorist Lola Moral.
Required reading for anyone, tourist or resident, mystified by or anxious about using arguably the greatest public-transportation system on the planet. (further reading) (Graphic picture book. 7-10)