Reading Life 16

Jellaby by Kean Soo (due out 02/2008)
This first installment in Soo's graphic novels is a solid statement on friendship, fighting bullying, and dealing with loss. Portia, the story's hero, is too smart for school, which is in part reason enough for the bullies to target her. She's also beginning to seriously ask herself (and even attempts to ask her mother but to no avail) about her father's whereabouts. She suffers from nightmares as a result. She's befriended by the unlikeliest of characters, Jellaby, a sort of dinosaur-looking alien or non-alien she sneaks up on one night in the woods. Then there's Jason, another kid who's constantly being bullied, who makes three. Together they devise a trip to the city, made easier because it's Halloween and they train Jellaby to talk enough to buy three train tickets, one adult, two kids. The goal is to visit a sort of haunted house that Jellaby recognizes in the newspaper earlier in the week. Not the house, but the door, and so because the kids know that everyone should be where they belong, they want to help their lizardy friend get home. A fine graphic novel!

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