FICTION

Vera Vance: Comics Star

Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson Bks. (After-School Superstars: Bk. 2). Mar. 2020. 128p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780823440948.
COPY ISBN
Gr 2-5–This beginning chapter book stars budding artist Vera as she navigates her elementary after-school program and a series of personal anxieties. Most paramount of her constant worries is Vera’s relationship with her mother, who disapproves of the comic camp that Vera loves. Vera is new to her town and school but finds a fast friend in Nixie. Yet with this friendship comes another anxiety: Vera is scared to voice that she would like to work independently on her own comic rather than work as a team. She begins to funnel her energy and her own emotional narrative into creating a comic about a character named Little Spoon, based on herself. The character of Big Spoon resembles Vera’s disapproving mother. Vera despairs of ever finding the courage to speak up for what she wants, but she finds her voice by speaking up for classmates who are being teased. Vera still struggles to find the words to tell her mother, who she disagrees with but loves deeply, that she wants to attend the local comic con with her fellow campers. She chooses to let her art speak for her instead and uses the story of Little Spoon and Big Spoon to reveal her inner fears and wants.
VERDICT This is a welcome addition to the “After-School Superstars” series and a lesson in family love and self-expression.

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