Kenny Porter, illus. by Zach Wilcox. Graphix, $24.99 (192p) ISBN 978-1-338-35587-1
Combining middle school realism with a (super)hero’s journey, this relatable graphic novel follows Kara’s reluctant transition from ferret-owning fifth-grade fangirl to mature preteen. Kara and her ride-or-die bestie are suburban white kids who love reenacting their favorite episodes of a show called Shinpi Rider—or so Kara thinks, until Alice signals that she’d rather spend her time on science and fashion projects and then moves two towns away. Not great at reading the room, Kara ditches the first day of middle school to bike, uninvited, to Alice’s new town. Inspired by Shinpi Rider on the way, she helps a boy fix his dad’s fruit stand, encourages a kid to stand up to his brother, and cleans up a storefront destroyed by a rogue stag. Her newfound empathy helps her accept a difficult truth: that her friendship with Alice has changed, partly because she didn’t listen to her friend’s needs and preferences. When the Shinpi series itself transforms, Kara is mostly ready to start school and make new friends. Though some of Kara’s adventures, such as taking down a bike-stealing bully, skew a bit textbook, Wilcox’s gracefully laid out, anime-inspired illustrations complement Porter’s quirky and flawed protagonist. Ages 10–14. Agent (for author and illustrator): Mark Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/25/2021
Release date: 08/03/2021
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-1-338-35588-8
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