This Is Not My Story

Kids Can Pr. Jun. 2023. 40p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781525303432.
Gr 3-6–Uytdewilligen and Huyck make a remarkable team in this interesting take on a graphic novel for young readers. The main character breaks the fourth wall often, speaking directly to the author and illustrator in a hilarious attempt to find his story. He begins as a captain on a spaceship only to realize this could not possibly be his story because he doesn’t believe in aliens, and he has absolutely no idea what button to push. He then tries several other stories: a cattle wrangler, a knight, an investigator, and even a giant-hedgehog-riding boy in search of ice cream, but none of them are his story. This inventive graphic novel captures a young child’s search for self-discovery and the wish for one’s own story in a way that will resonate with all young readers and with enough humor to also fascinate writers. While Uytdewilligen’s writing style is witty and engaging, the interactions between the main character and the author are especially entertaining and add a layer of playfulness that connects readers to the character’s journey. Huyck deserves as much praise as Uytdewilligen for his captivating illustrations, in which the main character is expressive and where each of the rejected storylines that he explores tie in to the last—be on the lookout for the hidden characters from each one!
VERDICT A great addition to any library and a wonderful way to pull in reluctant readers and kids just starting to figure out how to tell a story.

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