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LEWIS & CLARK

With masterful command, Bertozzi offers an innovative take on Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s epic journey in this oversized graphic offering. Portraying the arduous trek through rough terrain and encounters with often unwelcoming natives, sequential panels transport readers alongside the famous duo and their equally renowned translator, Sacagawea, as they travel from St. Louis to the Pacific coast. Within a fictional framework, the narrative weaves in facets of the characters’ personalities, including Lewis’s tempestuous melancholy, Charbonneau’s inept bumbling and Sacagawea’s ability to endure this voyage surrounded by her intensely masculine cohorts. The artist soars with his exquisite eye for page layouts; his deft stylings can make otherwise dry passages come alive through clever panel placement and visual novelty. Pair with George O’Connor’s Journey into Mohawk Country (2006) and Scott Chantler’s Northwest Passage (2007) for a graphically hearty helping of fine historical readings. Slated to be the first in a series on explorers, this expedition ends with high hopes for subsequent volumes. (selected bibliography) (Graphic historical fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59643-450-9

Page Count: 140

Publisher: First Second/Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: Dec. 29, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2011

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A CRANE AMONG WOLVES

A page-turner.

An immersive tale of unlikely allies coming together for a common enemy.

In Joseon dynasty Korea in 1506, 17-year-old Iseul has one goal: to find her older sister, Suyeon, and bring her home. Although they didn’t have the best relationship after the trauma of their parents’ execution by royal soldiers, Iseul bravely travels through forbidden territory. Her enemy is King Yeonsan, a vile man who abducts women, but after hearing of a serial killer—and the king’s obsession with finding him—Iseul decides that capturing the murderer could be the way to get her sister back. She’s not alone in her hatred for the king; his half brother, Prince Daehyun, is secretly plotting treason to stop Yeonsan’s reign of terror. Calling Daehyun his favorite brother, the king demands he carry out increasingly extreme acts of cruelty in order to prove his loyalty, but the prince is determined to not become a monster himself. After a fateful encounter with Daehyun, Iseul is left with even more disgust for the crown, but she doesn’t yet know the full story behind Daehyun’s intentions. With such a powerful shared enemy, the pair might find that becoming allies is the smartest way to achieve their objectives. Award-winner Hur’s latest historical intrigue is well researched and doesn’t shy away from depicting elements of this real king’s brutal history, and the resulting tale is immersive, intense, and engaging.

A page-turner. (author’s note with content warning, historical note) (Historical thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 14, 2024

ISBN: 9781250858092

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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THE FAINT OF HEART

A fast-paced dip into the possibility of a world without human emotions.

A teenage girl refuses a medical procedure to remove her heart and her emotions.

June lives in a future in which a reclusive Scientist has pioneered a procedure to remove hearts, thus eliminating all “sadness, anxiety, and anger.” The downside is that it numbs pleasurable feelings, too. Most people around June have had the procedure done; for young people, in part because doing so helps them become more focused and successful. Before long, June is the only one among her peers who still has her heart. When her parents decide it’s time for her to have the procedure so she can become more focused in school, June hatches a plan to pretend to go through with it. She also investigates a way to restore her beloved sister’s heart, joining forces with Max, a classmate who’s also researching the Scientist because he has started to feel again despite having had his heart removed. The pair’s journey is somewhat rushed and improbable, as is the resolution they achieve. However, the story’s message feels relevant and relatable to teens, and the artwork effectively sets the scene, with bursts of color popping throughout an otherwise black-and-white landscape, reflecting the monochromatic, heartless reality of June’s world. There are no ethnic or cultural markers in the text; June has paper-white skin and dark hair, and Max has dark skin and curly black hair.

A fast-paced dip into the possibility of a world without human emotions. (Graphic speculative fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 13, 2023

ISBN: 9780063116214

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2023

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