Colonial Comics: Vol. II: New England, 1750–1775

216p. bibliog. illus. Fulcrum. Jan. 2017. pap. $29.95. ISBN 9781682750025.
Gr 5 Up—Whereas the first volume of Colonial Comics focused on the years 1620–1750, this installment tackles a better-known time period in American history. However, Rodriguez has chosen to examine lesser-known people and events or lesser-known aspects of famous people and events. They also refreshingly highlight stories that focus on the minority and female experience within the New England colonies. Each piece is prefaced by an editorial introduction to the topic. The stories range from five to 13 pages in length and are all by different authors and artists. This leads, as is often inevitable in anthologies, to an uneven quality among the tales. Fortunately, the editorial introductions and spotlights keep the narrative cohesive. Many of the entries would do well to be fleshed out more, and in some narratives, the personages aren't introduced well enough for the action to be clear. However, these instances are minor aberrations and do not detract from the overall book. The graphic novel format will entice reluctant readers who might not otherwise gravitate toward nonfiction, while the short story format will appeal to educators who want to emphasize a particular event or person in a classroom setting while whetting their students' appetites for more. The editorial introductions explain that the stories make use of racial terms that may be jarring to modern readers but are historically accurate. A section on slavery depicts some (appropriately portrayed) nudity. While this title could stand alone, it would be best paired with the first volume, Colonial Comics: New England, 1620–1750.
VERDICT This quality work of nonfiction is a strong option for those studying American history.

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