Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley

91j-lZ6KUIL._AC_UY218_Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley. RH Graphic, 2020. 9780593125243

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Realistic fiction

What did you like about the book? After her parents’ divorce, Jen leaves the city with her mom and they move to a farm with her mom’s boyfriend, Walter. It’s her mom’s dream to run a farm, but Jen sorely misses the city and its conveniences. Walter is a tough love kind of guy, and doesn’t spend much time on affection. When his daughters come for a visit, Jen feels brushed aside even more. The farmers’ market where her mother sells various products is also a source of stress.  At least Jen has her sketchbook to keep her company. Will the tension of living a completely new life ever subside? Knisley’s vibrant art, pencil with digital color, has a starring role in the story, showing a kid trying to find her role in a new family dynamic with affection and humor.

Anything you didn’t like about it? I am a fan of Knisley’s other graphic novels, which are geared towards teens and adults. In this book, the art shines, but the text feels underdeveloped. And although the story is somewhat based on her own childhood, the mother and her boyfriend in this story are not fleshed out enough to be fully believable.

To whom would you recommend this book?  For fans of realistic graphic novels such as works by Raina Telgemeier, Jennifer and Matthew Holm and others, ages 9-14.

Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Graphic fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: August 2, 2020

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