Rummanah Aasi
  Anyone who has ever been nervous about the first day of school can easily relate to Maggie's dilemma in Faith Erin Hick's graphic novel, Friends with Boys. While I did enjoy the graphic novel, it felt unfinished and left me wanting more.


Description: Maggie McKay hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, it's time for Maggie to face the outside world, all on her own. But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life. Maybe it even means making a new friend—one who isn't one of her brothers.

Review: Friends with Boys is an easy to read slice of life graphic novel that centers around Maggie's first entry into a public school after being home-schooled her whole life,. Hicks does a good job in displaying her anxiety and fears. She seeks comfort in her older brothers, who are a nice group of characters and eventually makes a few friends of her own that others might consider weird because of how they look, but they turn out to be good companions.  
 There is also a light supernatural element in the book which I wished had been more developed. Maggie is being haunted by a female ghost who died about 200 years ago. We really don't know much about the ghost per se, perhaps it represents Maggie's feeling of overcoming her fears about school and perhaps getting over the fact that her mother left. Interestingly enough, the graphic novel doesn't steer into the genre with the presence of the ghost (it's unclear if anyone else besides Maggie can she the ghost or since when she's be haunted by it), it remains in reality. And while the book starts out strongly, it left me unsatisfied and I did have quite a few unanswered questions such why did Maggie's mother leave or what does the ghost want, leading to a somewhat abrupt ending. As for the illustrations, I did enjoy Hicks's black and white art which I thought is sharp and expressive.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of caution: There is some language and underage drinking. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol, Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
3 Responses
  1. I would be disappointed with the whole ghost thing. I would want more development on that story line as well!


  2. Might check it out for the graphics but not the story. I would hate to feel unsatisfied by the end. Brilly review!


  3. Hm, I'm curious as to how the title of this one relates to the story.


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