Sticking to the original storyline, this tale offers a contemporary vision of sisterhood that will appeal to a diverse...

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MEG, JO, BETH, AND AMY

A GRAPHIC NOVEL: A MODERN RETELLING OF LITTLE WOMEN

In this modern, graphic retelling, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are all offspring of a blended, interracial family that lives in a New York City apartment.

It works surprisingly well, both in Terciero’s colloquial dialogue and Indigo’s clean, well-paced sequential panels (her pencils were inked and colored by a team), and lovers of the classic will enjoy seeing how the reboot corresponds to the source text. Their white mother struggles, working double shifts while their father, who is black, is deployed in the Middle East. Both Meg, who is black, and Jo, who is white, were born to their parents prior to the marriage. Beth and Amy are the biracial younger sisters of the family. Dispersed throughout the story are entries from Jo’s journal and emailed exchanges between the girls and their dad, who affectionately refers to his daughters as “little women.” Wealthy Laurie and his grandfather are their Latinx neighbors. Meg and Jo take on the responsibility of the household, caring for their younger sisters. Meg works as a nanny, while Jo works as a personal assistant for her aunt. The March sisters squabble over chores, tease one another, and tackle school, where Amy silently endures racist bullying by white girls who tease her about her nose size and hair texture, even calling her “Africa” and hitting her. While the elder sisters navigate boys, fragile Beth is diagnosed with leukemia, spawning the best scene, in which the sisters all shave their heads when Beth loses her hair during chemo. It is regrettable that the racism Amy endures is resolved far too easily and is sidelined by other events in the book.

Sticking to the original storyline, this tale offers a contemporary vision of sisterhood that will appeal to a diverse audience. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-52286-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2019

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An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in...

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NEW KID

From the New Kid series , Vol. 1

Jordan Banks takes readers down the rabbit hole and into his mostly white prep school in this heartbreakingly accurate middle-grade tale of race, class, microaggressions, and the quest for self-identity.

He may be the new kid, but as an African-American boy from Washington Heights, that stigma entails so much more than getting lost on the way to homeroom. Riverdale Academy Day School, located at the opposite end of Manhattan, is a world away, and Jordan finds himself a stranger in a foreign land, where pink clothing is called salmon, white administrators mistake a veteran African-American teacher for the football coach, and white classmates ape African-American Vernacular English to make themselves sound cool. Jordan’s a gifted artist, and his drawings blend with the narrative to give readers a full sense of his two worlds and his methods of coping with existing in between. Craft skillfully employs the graphic-novel format to its full advantage, giving his readers a delightful and authentic cast of characters who, along with New York itself, pop off the page with vibrancy and nuance. Shrinking Jordan to ant-sized proportions upon his entering the school cafeteria, for instance, transforms the lunchroom into a grotesque Wonderland in which his lack of social standing becomes visually arresting and viscerally uncomfortable.

An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-269120-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick.

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THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON

An elderly witch, a magical girl, a brave carpenter, a wise monster, a tiny dragon, paper birds, and a madwoman converge to thwart a magician who feeds on sorrow.

Every year Elders of the Protectorate leave a baby in the forest, warning everyone an evil Witch demands this sacrifice. In reality, every year, a kind witch named Xan rescues the babies and find families for them. One year Xan saves a baby girl with a crescent birthmark who accidentally feeds on moonlight and becomes “enmagicked.” Magic babies can be tricky, so Xan adopts little Luna herself and lovingly raises her, with help from an ancient swamp monster and a chatty, wee dragon. Luna’s magical powers emerge as her 13th birthday approaches. Meanwhile, Luna’s deranged real mother enters the forest to find her daughter. Simultaneously, a young carpenter from the Protectorate enters the forest to kill the Witch and end the sacrifices. Xan also enters the forest to rescue the next sacrificed child, and Luna, the monster, and the dragon enter the forest to protect Xan. In the dramatic denouement, a volcano erupts, the real villain attempts to destroy all, and love prevails. Replete with traditional motifs, this nontraditional fairy tale boasts sinister and endearing characters, magical elements, strong storytelling, and unleashed forces. Luna has black eyes, curly, black hair, and “amber” skin.

Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61620-567-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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