Little, Brown. Nov. 2021. 320p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780316458986; pap. $17.99. ISBN 9780316459006.
Gr 9 Up–In this graphic memoir, Glock looks back on her teenage years. Fifteen-year-old Sophia is used to starting over: She’s lived in nine apartments and attended eight schools in six countries. Now a high school junior in Central America, Sophia reads a letter from her older sister Julia to their parents, and the puzzle pieces click into place as she realizes that their parents are spies. She continues to keep their secrets, even as she copes with adolescent growing pains: navigating friendship, wanting independence from her parents, failing to hide a crush. She also confronts bigger challenges, such as the death of a classmate and effects of Hurricane Mitch (which remind her of living through a coup d’état in another country). Yet as an American, Sophia is sheltered from the tragedies she sees and is somewhat troubled by her privilege (“It was like being there…but not really there at all”). The palette—largely pale, orange-tinted pink and lavender-gray with occasional splashes of red or deep shadow—subtly reminds readers that this story is being told in retrospect. Fittingly, Sophia ends her story by “starting over. Again,” this time with her arrival at college. Sophia and her family are white.
VERDICT A rare peek behind the curtain into life as the daughter of U.S. intelligence officers, this is a story full of secrets that expertly unfold one by one. Highly recommended for teen graphic novel collections.

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