November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Garbage Night by Jen Lee | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarLEE, Jen. Garbage Night. illus. by Jen Lee. 72p. Flying Eye/Nobrow. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781910620212.

Gr 5 Up –This continuation of Lee’s previous short graphic tale “Vacancy” (included at the end of this book) is a compelling work of friendship and survival in a confusing postapocalyptic world. Simon, a domesticated dog, and his wild friends, Cliff the raccoon and Reynard the deer, spend their days scrounging for food in a dismal, abandoned suburban wasteland, waiting for the return of fresh food in the form of “garbage night.” When the trio meet a tough stray dog named Barnaby, they decide to travel with him to a nearby town where humans supposedly still live and garbage is plentiful. The world-building is outstanding. Every page features subtle verbal and background clues for readers to carefully assemble into a chilling backstory. Most will find it difficult not to care for these expressive anthropomorphic teen animals, in their ragged streetwear and sneakers. Loneliness and desperation saturate their every action and conversation, and speech bubbles are placed with great care for maximum impact. The bold usage of color distinguishes this graphic novel. Abrupt vivid color changes marking the passage of time and heightened tensions and action help to move the plot along, sometimes seemingly at breakneck speed. VERDICT A gripping, first-rate book. The dystopian theme will draw readers in, while hints of a sequel will have them hoping for more.–Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT

This review was published in the School Library Journal October 2017 issue.

A Day-Long Celebration of Fandom-Beloved Stories and Characters
Join Library Journal and School Library Journal for our inaugural LibraryCon Live! We’re excited to offer this day-long virtual festival for book nerds, librarians, and fans of graphic novels, sci-fi, and fantasy. Network online with other fans and explore our virtual exhibit hall where you’ll hear directly from publishers about their newest books and engage in live chats with featured authors. You’ll also learn from librarians and industry insiders on how to plan and host your own Comic Con-style event.
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind