GRAPHIC NOVELS

Waves

Archaia. May 2019. 96p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781684153466.
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Gr 10 Up–Children’s author Chabbert shares a personal, emotional story. Readers first meet the unnamed protagonist as she’s grieving what seems like the latest in a series of miscarriages. She views her struggles with fertility as a body of water, into which she feels consistently pulled under. News of a successful new pregnancy buoys both her and her wife’s spirits until a series of health concerns end in a stillbirth. Maurel’s thoughtful illustrations show much of the story through body language and the repeated imagery of water. In an afterword, Chabbert notes her choice to focus on grief and resilience rather than on the practical steps taken to conceive. As such, she and Maurel present a study of emotion itself, the lives of the two characters background noise to their hope and pain.
VERDICT Simultaneously raw and compassionate, this is a lovely partnership of words and images. The combination of art style and bittersweet memoir will appeal to older teens who enjoy Lucy Knisley’s and Tillie Walden’s work

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