MinerDa, by Lyn Fairchild Hawks and Robin Follet
I’ll admit I’m way out of my league here. Graphic novels and junior high/high school bullying, while the stuff of teen culture in the new century, aren’t in my wheelhouse. But I thought while I’m emphasizing Kid Lit, I’d take this one on. After all, who doesn’t like a challenge?
Ms. Hawks and Mr. Follet have joined forces here to depict one of the greater social issues of teens – bullying. Minerva is a girl who’s smarter than the other, properly dressed and coifed teen girls – or at least she could care less about covering up her smartness in school subjects. All girls this age need a BFF, though, and all Minerva gets is the nerdy play on her name and lots of abuse from the other girls. She wants to fit in and desperately needs a BFF.
Then, personifying a prayer answered, a new kid, Diana Lucy Woods, shows up, and PRESTO! Minerva has her BFF.
Then the book switches off the graphics and finds Minerva in high school, where she’s able to summon the nerve she wishes she’d always had and gains a modicum of revenge. Slowly, it seems, Minerva is beginning to live the old maxim that living well its the best revenge.
Hawks and Follet have collaborated here on a hybrid literary genre that’s part short story, part graphic novel, and part social broadside against teen bullying. Where this experiment will carry its progenitors is anyone’s guess. But such tinkering on the edges of tradition have always borne good literary fruit.
My rating: 18 of 20 stars
Visit my website here, where you’ll find more information on books. There’s also a Facebook fan page if you can find it. On both you’ll find more on ideas and events that matter to me — and possibly to you.