Paper Planes

Mad Cave Studios. May 2023. 216p. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781952303548.
Gr 7-10–Dylan and Leighton are two former best friends who have been sent to a summer camp for troubled youth due to an incident that is revealed late in the story. Friends since they were children, and now on the cusp of starting high school, their lives begin to diverge. Dylan is nonbinary and comes from a single-parent household, while Leighton, who is biracial and asexual, is pushed to excel in a sport she is not interested in by her affluent parents. This non-linear tale effectively uses flashbacks to show how these two friends had a falling out and why they are forced to be at the camp together. The artwork is pleasing and showcases a diverse cast of characters, with a palette that helpfully alternates to signal when there are time shifts. The illustrations will appeal to fans of the “Lumberjanes” series, not only for the similar camp vibe, but because Dozerdraws has also illustrated a few volumes from that series.
VERDICT Strong character growth, welcome diversity, and the bittersweet lesson that some friendships don’t last forever make this a must-buy for all libraries.

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