cover image Amazona


Canizales, trans. from the Spanish by Sofía Huitrón Martínez. Graphic Universe, $12.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-72-844867-1

Colombian creator Canizales’s heart-rending graphic novel recounts 19-year-old Indigenous Colombian Andrea’s quest for closure and recompense following an attack on her village, Amazona. After miners arrive in Amazona to conduct an illegal operation, resulting in her husband’s death, Andrea and the village’s remaining survivors are displaced to Cali, where she and her people are reviled. When the organization that rehomes them decides “it was better to keep us hidden,” all 38 villagers are placed in a 600-square-foot space with no windows. There, Andrea’s infant daughter dies, and she travels back to Amazona, hoping to bury her child in their native soil. Andrea also carries a camera, determined to capture proof of the mining operation so as to reclaim her people’s land. Rendered in bold ink washes with vibrant red accents, characters’ expressive faces expertly convey anguish. In a text that pulls no punches in its depiction of heavy topics such as sexual violence, Andrea’s desire for—and journey toward—justice, which is portrayed via simultaneously harrowing and tender flashbacks of her life with her husband and baby, proves a powerful exploration of hope amid displacement and despair. A contextualizing author’s note concludes. Ages 14–up. (May)