Maybe An Artist, A Graphic Memoir

Random House Studio. Oct. 2022. 176p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9780593307816. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9780593307823. .
Gr 7 Up–This graphic-format memoir is told from the POV of Montague as an adult, looking back on her childhood and exploring how her life changed from grammar school through adulthood. She reflects back to her earliest days, when she was trying to figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up. Growing up as a Black girl with severe dyslexia, she spent time trying to find her voice as an artist while trying to break through barriers at the same time. The book is very effective in capturing the frustration and confusion of a young person dealing with a learning disorder and using her love of art to help her navigate reading. The cover, which puts a new spin on Rockwell’s famous Triple Self-Portrait, grabs our attention right away, and the accomplished cartoons inside the book will hold the attention of even the most reluctant readers. The pace of this book takes its time until it ends quickly, with Montague’s cartoons being published in the New Yorker, helping to pave the way for more inclusive comics. Montague’s story is sometimes poignant but ultimately sweet and uplifting, and it will provide inspiration for young artists everywhere.
VERDICT For fans of cartoons, true stories, overcoming odds, and women who carved out a unique place in the world.

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