A compulsively readable series debut.



From the Unsolved Case Files series

A middle-grade graphic novel chronicling the only unsolved commercial hijacking in aviation history.

On Nov. 24, 1971, a suit-clad White man strolled into Portland (Oregon) International Airport, black briefcase in hand. He purchased a one-way ticket aboard Northwest Orient Airlines’ Flight 305 to Seattle under the name “Dan Cooper,” seated himself behind three dozen Boeing 727 passengers, and slipped a note to a flight attendant just before takeoff. Unless he received $200,000 in cash, two front parachutes, and two back parachutes upon landing, Cooper promised to detonate the makeshift bomb in his briefcase. In Seattle, Cooper released his unwitting hostages alongside a new set of demands: Now, the plane would travel to Mexico City at the lowest possible speed, flying no higher than 10,000 feet with the landing gear deployed and a rear staircase lowered. Cooper never made it to Mexico: Instead, he leapt into the cold, rainy night above the forests of Washington. Though the hijacker vanished without a trace, his alias—misreported as “D.B. Cooper”—lives on. This stranger-than-fiction saga thrives thanks to spectacular design choices: “Dick Tracy”–esque, hard-boiled cartooning; rugged, mechanical typefaces; and a bevy of files, folders, and miscellaneous paperwork come together to form a fabulous criminal collage. Sidebars impart such important particulars as the precise weight of a dollar bill and Cooper’s conceptual-but–decidedly-amateur familiarity with parachutes.

A compulsively readable series debut. (photos, afterword, sources) (Graphic nonfiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-299151-5

Page Count: 104

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.


Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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A painful and painfully recognizable tale of one girl’s struggle to make and keep “one good friend.” (author’s note)...


A truth-telling graphic memoir whose theme song could be Johnny Lee’s old country song “Lookin’ for Love in all the Wrong Places.”

Shannon, depicted in Pham’s clear, appealing panels as a redheaded white girl, starts kindergarten in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1979, and her story ends just before sixth grade. Desperately longing to be in “the group” at school, Shannon suffers persistent bullying, particularly from a mean girl, Jenny, which leads to chronic stomachaches, missing school, and doctor visits. Contemporary readers will recognize behaviors indicative of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but the doctor calls it anxiety and tells Shannon to stop worrying. Instead of being a place of solace, home adds to Shannon’s stress. The middle child of five, she suffers abuse from her oldest sibling, Wendy, whom Pham often portrays as a fierce, gigantic bear and whom readers see their mother worrying about from the beginning. The protagonist’s faith (presented as generically Christian) surfaces overtly a few times but mostly seems to provide a moral compass for Shannon as she negotiates these complicated relationships. This episodic story sometimes sticks too close to the truth for comfort, but readers will appreciate Shannon’s fantastic imagination that lightens her tough journey toward courage and self-acceptance.

A painful and painfully recognizable tale of one girl’s struggle to make and keep “one good friend.” (author’s note) (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-416-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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