cover image Nowhere Girl

Nowhere Girl

Magali Le Huche, trans. from the French by Jesse Aufiery. Nobrow, $19.99 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-913123-19-2

All aboard the yellow submarine with Le Huche, an illustrator of children’s books (the Poppy Music series), who delves into her coming of age against the soundtrack of the Beatles in this charming debut graphic memoir. As an 11-year-old Parisian, Magali is about to start middle school but worries about living up to her sister’s high marks, and finds the tween schoolyard vibe alarming (“No one’s playing,” she observes of the tweens loitering before the bell). She develops a school phobia and feels like “everything became a matter of life or death.” But when Magali stumbles across the Beatles and falls for their sound, she starts to gain control over her anxiety, “[clinging] to them like a new security blanket.” She writes that she was “always a groupie at heart,” and John, Paul, George, and Ringo offer Magali “an outlet for all [her] anger and despair.” Le Huche’s art style has a quick and lively quality that lets the characters move freely on the busy pages, which can recall Pénélope Bagieu’s. Floating narration can make some scenes hard to read, but her use of color to distinguish Magali and the British rockers is wonderfully executed. As Magali conquers her fears, readers may even be inspired to rock out to the oldies themselves. (Sept.)