Orca. Oct. 2022. 224p. pap. $19.95. ISBN 9781459828391.
Gr 4-7–Lesage captures the complex challenges of children of military families in her subdued but powerful new graphic novel. Leah lives on base, and her friendships and family life are often in flux. As summer arrives, she finds herself home alone, with only her unpredictably emotional father as company. A military careerist, he vacillates between loving, sullen, and rageful, and Leah’s own feelings of loss and isolation are compounded by anticipating his outbursts. For a graphic novel about having a family member with PTSD, this is a remarkably gentle book, offering a sense of hope for repair without easy answers. Lesage’s illustrations are simple, in a pale color palette, and slightly static, capturing the dull aches of a quiet summer in early adolescence. Though written to an audience with a similar story, many kids may see themselves in Leah’s relationship with a volatile parent.
VERDICT A sparse slice-of-life that provides an emotionally affecting read.

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