Author: Marjorie Liu (writer) Teny Aida Issakhanian (artist)
Publisher: Quill Tree Books (2022)
I was lucky enough to have been contacted and asked to review this brand new younger grade graphic novel. The copy I received is an advanced reader’s copy, so it did not have full art and color, but that didn’t stop me from immensely enjoying it!
Plot: Wingbearer follows Zuli, a young girl, confused about her past, raised by birds that oversee a magical tree that spawns the souls of birds that have passed and welcomes them into a new life. However, when the souls stop coming to the tree, Zuli and a guardian owl named Frowly take off to discover the reason.
What you need to know: This is a volume one. The story will continue and leaves us wanting to know what’s to come on the next leg of the journey. While geared to kids ages 8-12, it’s complex. I’m excited to get this into the hands of my 8-year-old niece and allow her to explore this world…which will make her think. I’d like to mention that it’s not only the plot that is complex; character motivations and rationale also get one thinking.
The Good: The art (well…the 28 pages of full-color that I got in the ARC) is colorful and beautiful! The pages are filled with wonderful characters, and the story never stays in one place too long. The pacing and art make this a fantastic book for younger readers. And as I said earlier, the story is complex; we need more stories like this for younger readers.
The Not So Good: Uhhh…not sure. I really liked this. Maybe, when volume two comes out, I won’t remember all of the characters that I met along the way in this volume. I might need to read it again. It’s about 200 pages, and we meet at least 15-20 characters that may or may not come back in future plot points. But that’s about it. I wanted more pages!
Overall Impressions: This is a great one for the young people in your life and would make a great addition to any school book shelf. Could you teach this book? Yes. Would you buy a class set to use on a whole class? Probably not, but it might be a great title to add to a lit circle! And the school library should have a few copies on hand as well.
This was fun! Now go get reading!