Coral’s Reef, Vol. 1

­Seven Seas. (Coral’s Reef: Bk. 1). Oct. 2023. 256p. pap. $13.99. ISBN 9781645059790.
Gr 4 Up–In New Lemuria’s Reef Beach, teenage sea sprite, Coral, is a regular when it comes to shirking her responsibilities in place of riding waves instead. She’s got a secret cove she regularly holes up at, but everything changes for her once she encounters fire ifrit, Nick Inferno—a member of a rival school’s water polo team. What comes next is a story full of waves rising…and sparks flying?! Presented in full-color and arranged in a left-to-right format, Coral’s Reef is a solid title for younger manga readers, and a particularly good choice to give to readers discovering the medium for the first time. Featuring a plethora of characters, all of whom are from different kinds of aquatic races, this title will assist in showing kids that all communities feature folks from different backgrounds, and that it’s important to be aware of how race truly matters. Artwork is dynamic, fitting the story’s tone nicely. With a plot that’s light and uncomplicated, and characters that are charming, it’s an easy read to recommend for elementary schools.
VERDICT Packed with fun times, airy characters, and a good message at its core, this is a book young readers will find relatable, instructive, and entertaining at the same time.

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