Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Learning You're Related To Fairies Is Not Necessarily A Good Thing

Okay, folks, it's time to talk about the Cybils YA graphic novel finalists I didn't cover during Cybil season.

Today we will begin with The Good Neighbors: Kin by Holly Black with graphics by Ted Naifeh. This is the first book by Black I've had a chance to read. I've seen the movie made from her Spiderwick Chronicles, and I saw her moderate a panel discussion at Readercon last year. My impression is that she's interested in fairies as subject matter, and sure enough, The Good Neighbors has fairies. Mysterious, possibly evil fairies. My guess is probably evil.

Rue is an angst-ridden teenager whose mother is missing and whose father appears to be depressed. That's kind of ho-hum for YA, but then she starts seeing creatures other people don't see. This doesn't make her feel any better. Neither does finding out that she's connected to these beings through her missing mother. And then there's the creepy grandfather.

The Good Neighbors: Kin includes a couple of either classic or stereotypical YA situations: the child who learns a secret about a parent and the child who learns there is something special about herself. Kin is the first book in The Good Neighbors serial, and I can't say a great deal happens in it. Rue is miserable and finds out all these secrets about her family and herself and then the book ends.

Ted Naifeh's artwork for this book was some of the most attractive I've seen in the graphic novels I read this past year.

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