A Kirkus's Best Middle Grade Books of 2021 PickFrom the author of The Deep & Dark Blue comes a tender graphic novel, perfect for our time, that gently explores themes of self-discovery, friendship, healing from tragedy, and hope for a better tomorrow. Struggling with anxiety after witnessing a harrowing instance of gun violence, Manuel Soto copes through photography, using his cell-phone camera to find anchors that keep him grounded. His days are a lonely, latchkey monotony until he's teamed with his classmates, Sebastian and Caysha, for a group project. Sebastian lives on a grass-fed cattle farm outside of town, and Manuel finds solace in the open fields and in the antics of the newborn calf Sebastian is hand-raising. As Manuel aides his new friends in their preparations for the local county fair, he learns to open up, confronts his deepest fears, and even finds first love. This title will be simultaneously available in paperback.
Author: Niki Smith Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Published: 11/23/2021 Pages: 256 Binding Type: Hardcover Weight: 1.45lbs Size: 8.30h x 6.00w x 1.00d ISBN: 9780316540377 Audience: Ages 9-12
Review Citation(s): Publishers Weekly 08/23/2021 pg. 71 School Library Journal 10/01/2021 pg. 92 Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks 11/01/2021 Horn Book Magazine 11/01/2021 pg. 116 Booklist 12/21/2021
About the Author Niki Smith is the author/illustrator of The Deep & Dark Blue and is a cartoonist based out of Munich. She is a Lambda Literary Award nominated author for Crossplay, has been digitally published by DC Comics and The Nib, and has contributed to the Lambda Literary Award-winning Beyond anthology.