Short & Skinny

illus. by Mark Tatulli. 256p. Little, Brown. Oct. 2018. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780316440493.
Gr 4–7—Poor Mark. The short, skinny seventh grader is even smaller than his younger sister. He's bullied and hates participating in gym class, but he dreams of becoming a superhero, winning the girl, and getting back at bullies. However, as summer starts, Mark builds confidence and discovers that he's got a lot going for him, such as his friends, his awesome bike, and, of course, his passion for Star Wars. What can a kid with a camera, homemade props, a helpful group of pals, and a great idea accomplish? Quite a bit. Set in the 1970s, this account of comic strip artist Tatulli's awkward youth will resonate with readers. The secondary characters are slightly one-dimensional, but this is Mark's story, and his voice rings true. The clean, straightforward drawings and smooth flow of the panels make this a strong choice.
VERDICT Purchase where graphic memoirs circulate well.–Mariela Siegert, Westfield Middle School, Bloomingdale, IL

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