A good thriller for fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Fantastic Four.

THE DYSASTERS

From the Dysasters series , Vol. 1

Teens discover they have elemental powers and are being hunted by their creator.

Foster Stewart has been on the run with her adoptive mother, Cora, for the last year, ever since Cora sold her supposedly deceased husband’s clinic. While attending a high school football game, she has a run-in with Tate “Nighthawk” Taylor, one of the players, only to find out he’s the reason they are in Missouri. Tate has always been special as the star quarterback in a small town—but his ability to see in the dark doesn’t hurt. Just before taking the field, a tornado hits, leaving the teens alone and on the run from the Core Four, the original, genetically modified group designed to control the elements in the fight against climate change. Now at a safe house set up by Cora, they are tasked with finding six other teens with elemental powers before Dr. Rick Stewart and the Core Four can get to them. The Casts, a mother-and-daughter writing team (Forgotten, 2019, etc.), craft a page-turning superhero origin story with a touch of romance. Bifulco’s (Three Sisters, 2018, etc.) black-and-white illustrations are expressive and intense, giving depth to each character’s emotions, although when elements are being manipulated the background is difficult to distinguish. Foster and Tate are white, and there is some diversity in secondary characters.

A good thriller for fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and the Fantastic Four. (Graphic science fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-26877-8

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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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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