HarperCollins/Clarion/Versify. Jun. 2024. 320p. Tr $26.99. ISBN 9780358394754.
Gr 9 Up–A superb coming-of-age graphic novel that delves deep into contemporary complex topics, such as family, friendship, race, ethnicity, identity, and more. With easy-to-follow dialogue and beautiful, captivating illustrations, Teer and Julia bring readers into Almudena’s consciousness. Almudena, who is just about to turn 15, is spending the summer with her father while her mother is on a work trip. This may sound pretty run-of-the-mill, but Almudena has never met her father; they do not speak the same language; his family plans for the summer are to renovate the brownstone he inhabits. That starts off the summer on a sour note, but while they work on the renovations, Almudena starts to learn not only about her father, their heritage, and others living in the neighborhood, but she also gets to know more about her true self and where she fits in the world. Brownstone gives a sense of what family means and that it goes beyond just sharing the same blood.
VERDICT A great YA graphic novel for teens who are trying to figure out who they are or anyone who has ever felt like they were on the outside. This would be a popular title for fans of Christine Suggs’s ¡Ay, Mija!: My Bilingual Summer in Mexico, Deb JJ Lee’s In Limbo, and Emily Bowen Cohen’s Two Tribes.

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