Betty & Veronica: The Bond of Friendship

Archie Comics. Sept. 2020. 144p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781645769859.
Gr 6-9–It’s career day at Riverdale High, and BFFs Betty and Veronica are about to meet all kinds of inspirational role models. From the White House to NASA to superheroes, their imaginations are driven by professional women who come from all walks of life and emphasize that career paths require determination, grit, and a willingness to recognize opportunity. Close friends Kevin Keller and Toni Topaz often factor into these fantasies and have their own reflections on what the future holds for them. Williams uses clear layouts and bold eye pupils with expressive eyebrows to create comfortable sight lines and emotional cues across the page. The speakers’ flashbacks are rendered in a slight sepia tint, while hypothetical futures are bright and full of life. Betty, Veronica, and Kevin are white, while Toni is Black, and Riverdale’s student body is inclusive in terms of race; Senator Elena Martinez speaks to a class, made up of students of various skin and hair colors, telling them, “Each of you has all the tools already at your disposal to make a change.” Betty’s earnestness and Veronica’s glamour sometimes seem to set them on opposite paths, but they always end up bonding over core values of fairness, responsibility, and taking action. They and their friends celebrate one another’s strengths and want to make a positive impact on the world.
VERDICT A bright pick-me-up in the form of strong friendships and aspirational career daydreams.

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