Twelfth Grade Night

Disney-Hyperion. Oct. 2022. 160p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781368062398. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9781368064651.
Gr 7 Up–This graphic novel dishes out a lot of high school drama. Vi, a new first year at Arden High School, is dealing with her father’s death as well as her fraternal twin brother’s move away to boarding school. Vi is resentful towards her brother, Sebastian, for having to go to Arden alone, although happily, it has none of the trappings of her old, strict private school—including no uniform requirement. She is free to be herself at Arden, which is made up of some magical as well as human students. Vi makes fast friends and even meets her first crush, Orsino, a dreamy “emo-boy” poet. Vi gets pulled onto the social committee to plan the first school dance, though she remains largely on the periphery of the committee shenanigans while dealing with her own mini-love-triangle-crisis. Booth and Strohm create a fun, bouncy, lively story through entertaining dialogue and high school high jinks, while Green’s illustrations get the facial expressions of teenage banter and confusion just right. This appears to be the first in what could be a popular series about joyful, mostly happy teens navigating high school with peers who are all being their true selves, be they fairies or minotaurs, bisexual or straight, trans, or cis.
VERDICT Fans of Strohm’s previous novels (Love a La Mode, Prince in Disguise) and graphic novels such as Alice Oseman’s “Heartstopper” series will enjoy this title. A sound choice for any library with a strong graphic novel readership.

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