cover image Ride On

Ride On

Faith Erin Hicks. First Second, $22.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-77282-4

Strong characterizations and polished digital art distinguish Hicks’s pleasurable graphic novel of building friendship through shared devotion. As summer ends, best friends Hazel and Norrie, along with laid-back Sam, the only boy rider at Edgewood Stables, are intrigued by the arrival of a skilled new rider, Victoria, to Edgewood. Droll, quiet Hazel recognizes Victoria from a schooling show at upscale Waverly Stables, prompting chatty Norrie to conclude that Victoria was sent to infiltrate Edgewood. Indifferent to Norrie’s welcome (“I’m here to ride, that’s it”) and subsequent irritation and shunning, Victoria remains focused on training a young gelding while healing from a friendship breakup with a privileged and demanding Waverly rider. When the Edgewood trio discovers that Victoria shares their fondness for vintage sci-fi show Beyond the Galaxy, Victoria’s iciness begins to thaw, and the riders bond while discovering strength in supporting each other. Featuring funny dialogue (“Let the shunning commence!”) and Hicks’s (Comics Will Break Your Heart) signature art—including sharply rendered horses in motion—this attentively layered, low-stakes graphic novel is told with an insider’s understanding of both stable culture and fandom. Sam reads as Black, Norrie cues as South Asian, and Hazel and Victoria present as white. Ages 10–14. Agent: Bernadette Baker-Baughman, Victoria Sanders & Assoc. (Aug.)