cover image Skip!


Sarah Burgess. Andrews McMeel, $22.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5248-8454-3; $14.99 paper ISBN 978-1-5248-7737-8

Nonbinary, introverted Jay and gregarious Beah are a dubious pair whose tandem efforts and errors drive this spirited graphic novel about competitive double Dutch. Though Jay’s mother worries about their lack of friends, pink-skinned, brown-haired Jay relishes their solitude and spends it writing rhymes in a notebook. Brown-skinned Beah, who wears her curly black hair in a bun, proves to be Jay’s polar opposite with her outspoken persona and penchant for energetic acrobatics. The two literally collide as Jay flees a dance team audition debacle and Beah rushes to double Dutch practice. Jay can’t resist Beah’s enthusiastically welcoming demeanor, and Beah delights in Jay’s ability to throw down a rhyme. Beah soon persuades Jay to join Skip, her double Dutch team, as their rapper and rope turner. Suddenly, Jay has the friend they didn’t know they wanted, and Beah has the friend she didn’t know she needed. Sequences snake across the page, mimicking the billowing of a jump rope, while sparingly employed structured panels zoom in on emotions or change perspective, complementing the fluid, motion-filled ambiance of Burgess’s endearing debut. Bright greens, purples, and oranges bring graffiti-like energy to this satisfying story of an unlikely friendship built through sport. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jas Perry, KT Literary. (Nov.)