The Wendy Project

Melissa Jane Osborne, illus. by Veronica Fish. Super Genius, $12.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-62991-769-6
Debut author Osborne’s grim, fast-moving reboot of Peter Pan starts when 16-year-old Wendy’s car plunges into a lake. She and her brother John survive, but a flying boy dressed in green carries away their younger brother, Michael— or so Wendy claims. (Readers believe Wendy; they witness it.) Her devastated parents despair, and a therapist prods Wendy to draw her grief. In assuredly sketched panels, comics artist Fish draws the story as a journal, with Wendy as both subject and author. Everyday life appears in stark black and white; by contrast, as elements of Barrie’s story surface—when Eben Peters, an alluring boy at Wendy’s new school, appears as Peter Pan, or when a cop morphs into Captain Hook—they stand out in brilliant color. By pursuing these moments, Wendy gets one last chance to see Michael. Tight writing that’s true to the rawness of teenage feelings (“Eben’s only good in the present.... Trust me,” says Jenny Wren, Eben’s cynical sidekick, when he stands Wendy up), smart artwork, and a girls’-eye view of a boyhood tale will make readers believe—maybe not in fairies, but in Wendy. Ages 12–up. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/29/2017
Release date: 07/18/2017
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