cover image Calvin


Martine Leavitt. FSG/Ferguson, $17.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-374-38073-1

In a thoughtful story presented as a single, extended letter, Leavitt (Blue Mountain) explores the impact of mental illness through the experiences of a 17-year-old diagnosed with schizophrenia. Calvin is obsessed with Bill Watterson and his comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes. It makes sense: he used to have a best friend named Susie and a stuffed tiger named Hobbes, and now Hobbes has returned as a full-fledged, uncontrollable hallucination. Calvin figures that if he can just get Watterson to create a strip depicting the fictional Calvin as a healthy teenager, he’ll be fine as well, so he sets off on a perilous journey across a frozen Lake Erie from Canada to Cleveland. He’s accompanied by Susie, who may or may not be part of his delusions; either way, she’s the voice of reason as they meet an assortment of oddball characters on the lake and delve into philosophical matters. Funny, intellectual, and entertaining, it’s a sensitive yet irreverent adventure about a serious subject. Ages 12–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenberger Associates. (Nov.)