Thursday, December 27, 2012

Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo Illustrated by Nathan Huang YP FIC ALONZO

Yancy didn’t run away from home.  He rode…a horse.  That’s vaquero style!  Unfortunately, he doesn’t feel muy macho, because he’s running away from his older brother, The Monster (the docs call it Conduct disorder, but Yancy knows Pure EVIL when he sees it).  Yancy brought his journal so he writes everything that is happening with drawings and comics and everything.

This is one of the best coming-of-age going on a journey books I’ve read in a long time.  First, Yancy is hilarious and his voice seems genuine.  Also his adventure is realistic, exciting, and the people he meets aren’t just there to teach him lessons. Also, his journey from sniveling in fear of his brother to learning to face his problems head on his handled realistically and smartly.  For instance, all of Yancy’s problems aren’t solved in a climactic scene where he finally has to face down his brother and his on fears.  Nope, poor Yancy is powerless to change much of his problems, because he’s fifteen.  This book works so well as a vision of a family dealing with mental illness because it looks at how hopeless it can seem and how only the Adults can make any real changes.  I really wasn’t sure how I’d like the journal format; the font looks like handwriting and instead of chapters we get date entries, but it grew on me and helped me see Yancy as a real person.  The art throughout is quite good and works, because Yancy wants to be an artist.  It never feels like a cheap gimmick.  This is one of those surprising gems that can fall through the cracks, because it isn’t based on a movie, have zombies, or about the world ending.  However, if you want a funny and unique book you should really give Riding Invisible a chance.

You can check our catalog for Riding Invisible here.

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