lost-in-nycEver feel lost? I mean like REALLY lost? Where you just kinda wanna vanish because you can’t quite figure out what happened or where you went? Lost In NYC: A Subway Adventure follows Pablo on his first first day in the city, which also happens to be his first day at a new school and a field trip day to boot! Pablo finds that being lost is hard, but being lost in NYC without any friends? Even harder still.

Pablo and his family just moved to New York City, and of course on his first day of school his parents had to see him off and embarrass him; his mom even put his teddy bear in his backpack! And then shouts it out to everyone! By the time he gets inside the school he just wants to disappear. Then he’s partnered up with Alicia who wants to show off her knowledge of maps and NYC and help him get around and well…he doesn’t need that. And soon he’s lost on the wrong subways, trying to catch up with his class, and hoping he’ll be able to find his way home at the end.

This is the first book I’ve read from Nadja Spiegelman, but it won’t be my last. Nadja has a deft touch at crafting realistic dialogue that makes me really think I’m listening to a radio show made by kids about their adventures. The taunts, the way the teacher talks, kids trying to explain where things are…the dialogue is just effortless and well paced. Nadja does an excellent job of making the navigation around NYC via subways (and its history!) interesting and fun for the reader. In just a few short pages we get a good feel for Pablo and Alicia, not only as characters in a book, but as real people.

Sergio Garcia Sanchez is the artist on this fantastic book. Never heard of him before? Well don’t fret, that’s because this is his first book published in the United States, but he’s been well known elsewhere in the world with over forty five books to his name. Hopefully, this will be his first of many published in the US as he brings a new way of looking at the world around us in this book. Sergio rarely uses a panel layout in this book, instead allowing the words and images to fill and drift on the page, leading the reader in circles or squares, as our characters travel across the city. While this type of pattern is likely to confuse some hardcore adult readers, the sequence of events unfolds much like how a young person might think, rambling and lose, but with a somewhat defined path. It’s a style that works really well for a story about travel, as the characters can descend from the street level to the stairs, and to the subway all on the same two page spread. Plus, he mixes in archival photos, so we get to see pictures of the subway from various points in its history!

I could go on and on about this fantastic book, instead I’ll end so that you can go and pick it up and check it out. It’s short and packed with information that all ages will enjoy.

Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure
by Nadja Spiegelman
Art by Sergio García Sánchez
ISBN: 9781935179818
TOON Books, 2015
Publisher Age Rating: 8-12

  • Dani Shuping

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support! Dani Shuping is currently a wandering librarian looking for a home. She has been involved in libraries for over nine years and and has had an interest in graphic novels since before that time. Dani began the graphic novel collection at Mercer, works with an English professor from time to time on a class on graphic novels, and just recently started a graphic novel book discussion group. She love attendings comic conventions, especially the smaller ones when they can, and one day may just have a comic of their own. Dani can be found at ashuping.net and goes by the user name ashuping where ever they can, such as on Twitter: @ashuping.

Liked it? Take a second to support us on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!