Friends with Boys (1)
Book Summary-

A coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist!
Maggie McKay hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, it’s time for Maggie to face the outside world, all on her own. But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life. Maybe it even means making a new friend—one who isn’t one of her brothers.

Joy’s Review

Growing up I always enjoyed reading comic books in addition to books. Sure, it was never a huge literary masterpiece but nonetheless it was great entertainment for a teen or younger child. It has been many years since I have read a comic book so when I got the chance to read the graphic novel, written and illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks, it definitely piqued my interest.

“Friends With Boys” tells of Maggie who had been homeschooled her whole life, along with her three brothers but was about to embark on a whole new world, high school. She would have much rather stayed at home but she had no choice as her mother had left the family. She was the youngest in her family so her brothers had already entered this new world and sometimes had wisdom and direction for her (sometimes they didn’t).  She was pretty naïve to the socialization that occurred within the walls of the school and had to learn more than her books could teach her.

She felt like an outsider, which  lead her to become friends with a brother and sister who also seemingly stayed on the outskirts of the social scene in the high school.  Her brothers, two of which are twins, start to not get along and distance themselves from one another. The stress of a new environment, new expectations and a family that seems to be disintegrating is almost more than Maggie can take. Oh, but wait, I didn’t mention that Maggie has a ghost that follows her around almost as if she wants something from her…

First I need to describe the book itself.  Now I do enjoy a Kindle book, but if it had been in digital form it just wouldn’t have been the same experience as it was in hard copy. The book itself is so well made. It’s a soft cover but it is made to where each page varies a bit in how wide the page is. This results in some of the pages sticking out instead of being smooth. (I hope that makes sense!) Plus, as a book lover you just cannot beat the smell of a real book!

The illustrations are seriously amazing and detailed and I admit going through the book twice just to look at the illustrations themselves again. In the back of the book there are even some early sketches of the scenes and characters that are very good. The story line completely drew me in and I honestly had a hard time putting the book down.

There were a few things in the book that I didn’t care for. There was the stereotype that Maggie evidently was never around anyone but her family.  I am sure there are homeschoolers like that out there but in my 8 years of homeschooling I have never met a family like that. Also I do want to point out that there is a minimal amount of bad language throughout the book. No REALLY bad language, but definitely worth mentioning. The school also has a play about zombies. I do not have an issue with zombies but some parents might.

With that said I would recommend the book for high school age and up. I really enjoyed the story line and the graphics. Oh I forgot to mention that the author/illustrator, Faith Erin Hicks, was also homeschooled up until high school, and also has three brothers. However she has never seen a ghost.

  • Age Range: 12 – 16 years
  • Grade Level: 7 – 11
  • Lexile Measure: 390L (What’s this?)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: First Second; Original edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596435569
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596435568

 

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