Saturday, May 16, 2020

Saturday Morning Cartoons- Trespassers

Bard, Breena. Trespassers
May 5th 2020 by Graphix
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Gabby and Simon's family has a cottage in the woods for generations that they visit during the summer. Older sister Morgan is looking into colleges, so the family enjoys spending time together. The bad news is that this might be their last summer there; the father runs a paper mill in Wisconsin that might close, and the family might have to move to Atlanta, which would make keeping the cottage open difficult. When new kids Paige and Bryan show up, they don't enjoy the backwoods as much as they should. Used to the big city, Paige has a lot of ideas (like shoplifting) that anger her parents, who are frequently busy checking in about work. Gabby is fond of an elderly neighbor who has recently lost his wife, loves to write stories, and has always been interested in an abandoned house. When she starts to imagine a murder mystery involving the occupants, an architect and his model wife from Chicago, Paige goads her into breaking into the house at night. Many of the original furnishings and books are still in place, and Gabby finds a photo album that includes a picture of her neighbor with the owners. She speculates a romantic triangle that leads to murder and includes that in her story. She and Paige return several times, but after trying to break into her neighbor's house for clues, Gabby learns the truth about the history of the house and its occupants.
Strengths: I can't think of many graphic novels that are also mysteries, so this is a good combination. The artwork is similar to but different enough from works of Telgemeier, Holm and Jamieson that students will be immediately drawn to this. The pictures of the forests are gorgeous, and the family connections really charming. I've never known anyone who had a family cabin and spent summers there, but it sounds lovely.
Weaknesses: It is a bit disturbing that Gabby and the other children break into the house and never get in trouble for it. It also seemed a bit odd that Gabby's murder mystery jumped right to an affair.
What I really think: This book will probably irritate adults and be beloved by children. Abandoned houses, especially fancy ones, beg to be broken into when one is a child, and even 6th graders ask me for murder mysteries all the time. There's a bit of a disconnect between what we want children to read and what THEY want to read, and graphic novels, with their colorful illustrations, seem like they should be more like picture books. I will definitely purchase this, but will feel a little bad that the children don't get in trouble for trespassing.

Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. Your "what I really think" convinced me to order this for my daughter. She's moved on from a graphic novel only diet (to my gratitude, as this gives her a lot more options for reading), but I still think she'll find this one hard to resist. Thanks for your continued flow of book ideas! Hope you are well.