Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wandering Son Review

Wandering Son: Volume One

Book talk:  When shy Shuichi meets the outgoing Yoshino both their lives change.  Yoshino's mom is always buying dresses that she doesn't want while Shuichi secretly longs to try his sister's clothes on.  Then Yoshino gives Shuichi one of her unwanted dresses and it starts them both on a journey to self discovery.  This sweet slice-of-life comic follows their ups and downs at school and home as they learn to embrace their identities and find the strength to share them with the world.

Rocks my socks:  First and foremost this is a great school story following two fifth graders as they navigate the emotionally fraught waters of puberty.  Their relationships with friends and family are shown with great humor, realism, and empathy.  Additionally it tells a story that doesn't get much attention in the media--what it is like to be a transgender youth.  This is particularly remarkable because it isn't a special episode of a show that has one narrative arc and is finished or something happening in the background to a minor character.  Both the main characters are transgender and the comics go on for many volumes portraying many different types of stories and allowing a more natural pace instead of one artificially simplified and condensed to fit a short story line.  This quiet but powerful comic touched my heart and its characters will stay with me.

Rocks in my socks:  Several of the characters look similar and distinguishing between them can get a bit confusing.  It got much easier with each volume though as the personalities become more clear and I got to know them better.

Every book its reader:  I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a sweet slice-of-life school comic.

Source: school library

Wandering Son by Shimura Takako: buy it or check it out today!

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