cover image Call Me Iggy

Call Me Iggy

Jorge Aguirre, illus. by Rafael Rosado. First Second, $25.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-20415-8

High school freshman Ignacio Garcia navigates first crushes, endures his older brother’s harassment, and encounters his grandfather’s ghost in this multilayered graphic novel, set during the 2016 presidential election, by Chronicles of Claudette collaborators Aguirre and Rosado. Colombian American Iggy, whose parents immigrated to Columbus, Ohio, wants “to get in touch with my people.” Though classmate Marisol Rodriguez—an ambitious “DACA kid” from Mexico and one of a few Latinx kids in school—calls him “gringo latino,” Iggy asks that she tutor him in Spanish in exchange for his help cleaning offices with her family. One day, when Iggy accidentally spills his grandfather’s ashes, Abuelito’s ghost appears to him, and the two strike a deal: Abuelito will help Iggy impress his crush in exchange for Iggy finding a good spot to spread the ashes. And while Abuelito isn’t well versed in matters of the heart, he helps Iggy explore his family’s history and embrace his Colombian heritage. Rosado utilizes softly lined illustrations and shifting color palettes to cue changes in mood, time, and setting throughout, while empathetic dialogue by Aguirre imbues pathos and humor into charged yet smartly balanced conversations surrounding colonization, compulsory assimilation, Latinx culture, personal identity, and the political climate as it was during the 2016 election. Ages 14–up. (Feb.)