realism

JUDGE, vols. 1-4

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Yoshiki Tonogai has returned to torture teens once more in this judicial follow-up to Doubt. Previously, Tonogai’s victims were united by their interest in a mobile phone game called Rabbit Doubt. Their love of the game inevitably doomed them to participate in a real life version, created by a…

This One Summer

This One Summer

Rose is just an ordinary girl with an average life and regular parents. Every year, her family travels to Awago Beach for a summer filled with sun and surf, accompanied by her younger friend, Windy. But this year, everything feels different, including Rose herself. She’s begun to notice things she hasn’t seen…

March: Book One

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After years of schoolwork, countless documentaries, and numerous film adaptations, the Civil Rights struggle of the 1960s seems so familiar to us that we may feel there is no new way to approach it. I’m happy to say that March: Book One by…

Doubt, vol. 2

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Warning: this review contains spoilers. A good mystery has to end on a high note. Ideally, all the clues scattered throughout the narrative should come together to form a plausible finale. Unfortunately, Doubt leaves a great deal to be desired as its chaotic and…

Doubt, vol. 1

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Doubt, vol. 1 is a lengthy whodunit that pits six teenagers against each other in a life-or-death situation modeled after a popular cell phone game. The manga calls to mind character-driven thrillers like Saw, building an intricate mystery and connecting the victims beyond…

The Heart of Thomas

Heart of Thomas

Moto Hagio helped define the Boys’ Love genre back in the 1970s as one of the “Showa 24,” female mangaka who told the kinds of stories they wanted to read and, in doing so, jump-started shojo publishing. This epic tale,…

This One Summer

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Every year Rose and her parents go to a lake house on Awago beach. The summer is normally full of swimming, campfires, and other warm-weather fun with her summertime best friend Windy. However, this year is different. Rose’s parents are…

Native American Classics

Native American Classics cover image

The 18 entries in this anthology were originally written by Native American authors in the early 19th and 20th centuries, and they are adapted here by contemporary authors and illustrators with various tribal affiliations. The poems, stories, and folklore retellings vary in…

The Reason for Dragons

Reason for Dragons cover image

Wendell has it rough. He’s a skinny, nerdy teen surrounded by beefy, hyper-masculine types, like his well-meaning stepfather, Ted, or the bullies from school. Trying to prove himself on their terms is hard. When he attempts to learn the workings…

Will & Whit

Will and Whit cover

Wilhelmina “Will” Huckstep is afraid of the dark. As a teen, she should probably be more embarrassed about this, but she has her reasons. Besides, she can deal with it. She has supportive friends and her hobby is making creative…

Marble Season

Marble Season cover

In this quasi-autobiographical tale, comic book legend Gilbert Hernandez paints a vibrant and pragmatic view of his memories of suburban family life in California during the 1960s. Firmly affixed in time with popular culture references from television programs, music, and,…

Sunny, vol. 1

Sunny 1

In the yard of the Star Kids group home sits a broken-down yellow car. The rusting Sunny 1200 may no longer function in any traditional sense, but it “runs on telepathy,” as one boy appreciatively puts it, serving the home’s…

Jane, the fox & me

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Illustrator Isabelle Arsenault recently won the illustrious Canadian Governor’s General Award for her illustrations for the original French publication of this title. Set in Quebec of the mid 1970s, with Fanny Britt’s exceptional text superbly translated into English by Christelle…

Cross Game, vols. 6-8

Cross Game 8

Creator Mitsuru Adachi pitches a perfect game as he wraps up this heartwarming tale of loss, love, laughter, and baseball. If you haven’t read the first five omnibus volumes in this excellent shonen romantic sports dramedy, treat yourself and do…

The Loxleys and the War of 1812

This attractive book is a welcome addition to readers of historical fiction, particularly those who wish to familiarize themselves with the Canadian perspective of a pivotal war that impacted Canada, the United States, and Great Britain. The foreword pays homage…

Sumo

Sumo

I think I’ve gotten into the habit of reading graphic novels and expecting them to be lengthy series or intricate stand-alones that neatly wrap up every loose end. Sumo is neither of these things. This open-ended graphic novella is about…