Goosebumps: Secrets of the Swamp

IDW. (Goosebumps: Bk. 4). May 2021. 120p. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9781684058136.
Gr 3-6–In the fourth original “Goosebumps” graphic novel from IDW, Blake, a 12-year-old year girl with a prosthetic arm and incredible video game skills, visits her aunt one summer and meets Lily. Lily takes Blake monster hunting in nearby Fever Swamp, but when the two find werewolves, Blake quickly realizes that the real monsters are Lily’s monster-hunting family. Blake and Lily learn to set aside their prejudices and fears to save the werewolf pack. The vast majority of characters in this story are female. Aside from one supporting werewolf character, Lily and her family are the only white characters, making the persecution of the werewolves a fairly clear racial metaphor. The art is lush and colorful, relying on blue and greens to manage the trick of effectively depicting nighttime scenes.
VERDICT A dynamic and thoughtful action story with a laudable but never preachy message about looking beyond prejudices and standing up to injustice. Fans of IDW’s “Goosebumps” graphic novels or of Scholastic’s older graphic novel adaptations of the series will enjoy this new offering.

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