Teen Tuesday knows that graphic novels are a popular reading choice among teens. So, read this review, get to the end and find out which graphic novel advanced reader copy we’re giving away! First one to ask for it at Whitney’s Young People’s Library desk scores! Happy Reading!
Maggie McKay has three older brothers in high school and, after years of homeschooling, she’s about to join them in Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks. Without her mother around and her brothers busy in their own pursuits, Maggie tentatively adjusts to public high school life and finds new friends in punked-out Lucy and her brother, Alistair. Now, if only her mother would come back and the ghost would leave, things really might be looking up. Ghost? Yeah, about that—Maggie is being haunted by the ghost of a sea captain’s widow and with Lucy’s help, will try laying this ghost to rest.
Friends With Boys is not really a ghost story (if that’s what you want, go here). This is a book about relationships: how important they are, what they mean to us, how we depend on them, and how we feel when those bonds are broken. Maggie’s relationship with her brothers and their interactions with each other is easily the best part of this graphic novel. Faith Erin Hicks’ artwork is clear and expressive and the black and white illustrations give the story more weight and focus. As a sister to three brothers, she has evidently been listening around the dining room table, because she captures family moments that are unique, yet feel so familiar.
What’s up with the ghost? Good question. Teen Tuesday is loath to include spoilers, and though I recommend Friends with Boys, I do have a quibble with some hanging plotlines at the end—the ghost being one of them. I was hoping this might be the first of a series and these unresolved issues would be addressed later, and best of all, we’d get to read more about the McKay family. Or, since it started as a webcomic, maybe Friends with Boys would continue online. Not likely, but I did find this very silly alternate ending on the website. There is definitely a lot to enjoy in this graphic novel, so read it for the humor and the sincerity and even in acknowledgment of the mean and hurtful ways we behave. Then, tell me what you think of the ghost.
We are not giving away an advanced reader’s copy of Friends with Boys (that would be too easy) but a graphic novel by another female author/artist who Faith Erin Hicks admires: Raina Telgemeier. Her latest graphic novel is called Drama and was released in September 2012. Come and get it!