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*Starred Review* Longtime Web cartoonist Hicks has written a spot-on graphic novel for girls who are too young or not yet jaded enough for Gossip Girl and its clones. Ellsmere is a posh boarding school where the titular war is one of class: the snooty rich bullies versus new girl Juniper (the year’s “scholarship project”) and her roommate, who is nicknamed the Orphan because her family provides her with no emotional support. By introducing an element of fantasy to support the message that being true to yourself is the right way to live your life, Hicks gives readers enough tension and quirky turns to satisfy and pleasantly surprise. Her loopy black-and-white art does a fine job of distinguishing the girls from each other, and Ellsmere is depicted as both traditional (plaid uniforms) as well as contemporary (laptops in the dorm rooms). Not just for kids with boarding-school fantasies, this comic should also be handed to budding writers and storytellers. Juniper is a fully developed, eminently realistic character whose self-confidence and emotional intelligence make her a role model not only for her classmates but also for readers who are less sure of themselves or haven’t yet discovered how to channel their own creativity. Grades 5-8. --Francisca Goldsmith
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Book Description SLG Publishing, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX159362140X
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