SLJ Stars Mangaman!

Following a great review by Booklist and a starred review from KirkusMangaman picks up another endorsement with a great starred review from School Library Journal! Yay!

Graphic-novel tropes are turned on their heads in this fish-out-of-water story. Beautiful yet misunderstood Marissa Montaigne finds herself attracted to the new boy in town–who, in this case, happens to be from another dimension where life resembles a Japanese comic book. Ryoko is straight out of a 1970s shoujo manga, complete with wavy hair and enormous shimmering eyes rimmed with luxurious lashes, and inexplicably has a name commonly used for girls. Visual gags such as speed lines and Dragonball hair may go over the heads of readers not into graphic novels, but dedicated fans of the format will revel in Lyga’s self-referential humor. A subtle exploration of racism adds depth to the action-packed plot, as Western-style characters react with fear and distrust to Ryoko’s foreignness. Esteemed artist Doran juggles manga and Western illustration styles effortlessly, capturing their defining characteristics with pitch-perfect accuracy. Even the page layouts are marked by appropriate stylistic differences; the Western-style pages follow a boxy, linear progression, while the manga-style layouts flow freely. A brief sexual situation–quickly turned humorous by poking fun at Japanese censorship–may make this title most appropriate for high school audiences. Although manga fans might need convincing to pick up a graphic novel that is drawn mostly in a gritty Western style, they will be rewarded with a story full of clever humor and human emotions.

Thanks, SLJ!

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