Sunday, March 26, 2017

News Prints by Ru Xu

Cover image for NewsprintsBlue is an aggressive newsie in the coastal town of Nautelene. None of the other orphans know Blue's secret; she isn't a boy, as she appears, but is a girl who dresses as a boy so she can work and try to pay her own way.  One day Blue meets a enigmatic inventor, Jack, who takes her on as an apprentice.  She also meets another street kid, Crow, who, like her, hides a secret.  Little does Blue know that Jack also has a secret that ultimately connects Blue and Crow to the future of Natalene's looming war.

Here is a new "steam punk" series for those who like Kibuishi's Amulet   Blue is an appealing strong-girl character who is both tough and kind.  Xu's full-color illustrations do a great job at establishing the personalities of the characters and setting the tone of the story, while keeping up the breathless pace and high action of the plot. I think I like this one just as much as the first Amulet I read, maybe a little more because it doesn't have the "stuffed animal" style sidekicks that seem a little silly to me (but maybe kids really like the silly sidekicks, I don't know.) I did, at times, have a hard time keeping track of who was whom among the supporting cast in this book. Still, this is a good solid choice for the astute graphic novel connoisseur.  (198 p.)

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