Review: Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley
Stepping Stones (Peapod Farm #1)
By Lucy Knisley
Random House Graphic
Find it at:
McLean & Eakin | Your Library
The first time I heard of Lucy Knisley was when her second book, Relish, was announced as an Alex Award winner at the 2014 Youth Media Awards. I went out and read it and have been singing its praises ever since – honest, vulnerable, intelligent, and informative – a joy to read. The Alex Award is given to “books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults”, so as I’ve been enjoying her post-Relish work for grown-ups, I’ve held out hope that one day she might write a graphic novel for a younger audience. That day has arrived, folks, and Stepping Stones is the sort of memoir(ish – it’s fiction) story that readers are going to read and reread and reread.
When her parents divorce, Jen is uprooted from the city to live a country life of chicken coops and farmers markets with her mom. This extreme scenery change would be hard enough, but added into the mix are mom’s often-annoying boyfriend, Walter, and his two daughters. Will Jen find her place in this unfamiliar new reality?
Stepping Stones isn’t a memoir, but id does draw on elements from the author’s real life. Because of this, it hums with authenticity. The relationship between struggling Jen and know-it-all Andy will ring true for many readers. Knisley also deftly deploys humor in ways that make for a balanced emotional journey.
Knisley’s pencilwork (Blackwing 602s) is clean and refined. The digital color is subtle and warm. The pacing and panel work is clear and unfussy.
Stepping Stones is a wonderful kick off this this fish-out-of-water series. It’s also likely to make a whole lot of new Lucy Knisley fans.
Review copy purchased.
Watch Lucy Knisley give some behind the scenes deets on Stepping Stones:
Filed under: Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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