I was not sure what to make of this book – going back and forth from liking the book, to not liking the book, and back to liking it again.
The book is a coming-of-age story of Lucy, a middle school student. Like middle school students all over the world, she’s going through a lot of turmoil. She’s just coming to discover the things she likes and the things she’s good at. Her friendships are on-again/off-again, with friends sometimes being the cruelest. Her family is splintering, with her grandmother – the steady influence in Lucy’s life – showing frightening signs of aging.
Lucy discovers two things that give her something to feel good about. She discovers her love of music and with some friends starts a band. And she discovers her father’s old Beatles’ records, solidifying her love of music. But what if music is what separates friends? Can music make things right, too?
What grabbed me initially about the book, of course, is the obvious Beatles connection. The title and the cover image homage to Sgt. Pepper are definitely eye-catching to those of us who are Beatles fans. Yet while we’re likely to be the ones to pick up this graphic novel, we’re also likely to be a bit disappointed because this book is not for us. This is for our children and grandchildren.
And that’s why I struggled initially. I wasn’t putting it into context as to who the target audience for the book was.
The book feels a little bit over-written. Lucy goes through SO. Much, Drama. with her friends. It’s back and forth without resolve. I wanted to give up a few times and I admit to looking ahead to see how many pages were left.
But a middle-school girl? This is every day of middle schooler’s life. I think a young reader will immediately catch on to and connect with this. The Beatles part is secondary to a middle-schooler’s reading. The Beatles get the attention of the older generation who are perhaps more likely to purchase the book to give to the young reader.
Real or not, I did not need the drama to drag on quite so much. We already have a lot going on – parents, grandparent, friends, music – that pulling it all together a little tighter would have made this a more enjoyable book for this reader.
The art by Sean Chiki, is ‘simple,’ solid lines with bold colors and not a lot of depth/shading. It works well for this book and complements the story nicely,
Looking for a good book? Beatles fans may get sucked into picking the graphic novel, Lucy in the Sky, but it is the reality of the middle school slice of life that will keep young readers interested.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Lucy in the Sky
author: Kiara Brinkman
artist: Sean Chiki
publisher: First Second
paperback, 304 pages