An upbeat story of love and acceptance.

READ REVIEW

STICKS & SCONES

From the Check, Please! series , Vol. 2

A college hockey player copes with school and the challenges of a secret long-distance relationship.

The effervescent Eric “Bitty” Bittle returns in this sequel to Check Please! #Hockey (2018). Many of Bitty’s closest friends have graduated, and he finds himself getting to know (and baking for) a new crop of ice hockey teammates. He also has the difficult task of maintaining his secret relationship with former teammate Jack Zimmerman. Jack is now in the spotlight playing for the Falconers, a professional team, and Bitty struggles to keep up the facade that he and Jack are simply best friends. In addition to relationship and family issues, Bitty is once again agonizing about life post-graduation. After the Falconers’ championship game, it’s clear that Jack and Bitty are more than friends, and the couple spends the next year answering questions about being openly gay athletes. Bitty’s bighearted personality will have readers cheering for him on and off the ice. The white main characters are surrounded by a lively, diverse cast of characters who defy the conventions of jock culture in their acceptance of Jack and Bitty even as they deal with outsiders who do not. The colorful graphic format is ideal for telling this story, with plenty of action shots. As before, the dialogue is laced with humor and camaraderie.

An upbeat story of love and acceptance. (extra comics, tweets) (Graphic fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-17949-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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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 triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar.

LAURA DEAN KEEPS BREAKING UP WITH ME

A 17-year-old struggles to navigate friendship and finding herself while navigating a toxic relationship.

Biracial (East Asian and white) high schooler Freddy is in love with white Laura Dean. She can’t help it—Laura oozes cool. But while Freddy’s friends are always supportive of her, they can’t understand why she stays with Laura. Laura cheats on Freddy, gaslights and emotionally manipulates her, and fetishizes her. After Laura breaks up with her for a third time, Freddy writes to an advice columnist and, at the recommendation of her best friend Doodle, (reluctantly) sees a psychic who advises her that in order to break out of the cycle of her “non-monogamous swing-your-partner wormhole,” Freddy needs to do the breaking up herself. As she struggles to fall out of love and figure out how to “break up with someone who’s broken up with me,” Freddy slowly begins to be drawn back into Laura’s orbit, challenging her relationships with her friends as she searches for happiness. Tamaki (Supergirl, 2018, etc.) explores the nuances of both romantic and platonic relationships with raw tenderness and honesty. Valero-O’Connell’s (Lumberjanes: Bonus Tracks, 2018, etc.) art is realistic and expressive, bringing the characters to life through dynamic grayscale illustrations featuring highlights of millennial pink. Freddy and her friends live in Berkeley, California, and have a diversity of body shapes, gender expressions, sexualities, and skin tones.

A triumphant queer coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache and soar. (Graphic novel. 14-adult)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-259-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: March 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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