Plain Jane and the Mermaid

First ­Second. May 2024. 368p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781250314864; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781250314857.
Gr 4-8–Questions like what beauty, heroism, and friendship are swim around this fairy-tale–like graphic novel by award-winning writer and artist Brogsol.  When Jane is orphaned, the law states that she cannot inherit her family’s home or fortune without being married. Determined not to wed her repulsive cousin, Jane sets out to write her own destiny. She proposes to the prettiest local young man she can find, who after accepting her proposal, is kidnapped by a mermaid. Jane courageously goes to rescue him and is swept up in an undersea adventure. The artwork’s bold colors demand attention and sparse text allows the detailed panels to do the heavy lifting with providing depth to the story. While this feels like a leisurely read, it’s a surprisingly quick one.
VERDICT Complex characters, twists and turns, and beautiful artwork blend harmoniously for a perfect read that will jump-start the imagination.

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