Misfits of Avalon: The Queen of Air and Delinquency

illus. by Kel McDonald. 176p. (Misfits of Avalon: Vol. 1). Dark Horse. 2014. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781616555382.
Gr 8 Up—The author of the webcomic "Sorcery 101," brings to life a new incarnation of the tales of Camelot. Morgan, Elsie, Kimber, and Rae, four young women, each misfits in their own way—from a challenging home situation to not meeting parental expectations—are all "recruited" by Cu Sidhe, a man who can convert to a talking dog, to be guardians of Emain Ablach, or Avalon. These guardians have a specific mission, to retrieve a special "sword" (Excalibur) from someone only described as the latest reincarnation of the man who stole the sword. Strange creatures rise up around the girls' town, and each takes a turn at being the "hero." The protagonists are depicted in ways that don't fit particularly within standard images of beauty, which feels appropriate to the story line. Each character is unique, and even in the black-and-white, illustrations, they stand out from the crowd. Some salty language makes this a more appropriate choice for older readers.—Sarah Knutson, American Canyon Middle School, CA

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