Friends with Boys
A coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist! 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. Funny, surprising, and tender, "Friends with Boys "is a pitch perfect YA graphic novel full of spooky supernatural fun."
- Paperback | 224 pages
- 152.4 x 213.36 x 20.32mm | 294.83g
- 09 Nov 2012
- Roaring Brook Press
- FIRST SECOND
- New Milford, United States
- black & white illustrations
Easy-to-read slice-of-life action ... Maggie is a likable main character ... and her anxiety about school is well portrayed, while Hicks's black and white art is sharp and comically expressive. "Publishers Weekly" Friends With Boys started as a daily web comic, still available online, but was designed to work as a book and is a pleasurable read in both formats. The art is easy to follow, lively, and engaging, with plenty of effective silent moments. For all the expected family and high school angst, the book is rife with humor. Maggie is a sympathetic and likeable character and carries the story capably ... Hicks handles it all with warmth and aplomb. "VOYA" Fun for kids who can appreciate stories about teen angst that do not wallow in depression or self-loathing. "Children's Literature" The black-and-white coloring adds a nice somber tone to resonate emotional power, capturing a textual tone that moves from comedic to serious. "ALAN Review" Various panel sizes are used to full advantage, creating a cinematic effect that moves from long shots to tight close-ups. Night scenes provide good contrast and heighten the dramatic tension. Excellent pacing gives pause for reflective moments and sets up the action scenes. Hicks is a master of wordless panels, using facial expressions, gestures, and character placement to effectively convey emotions that transcend words. Her artistic brilliance is especially evidenced in the character's expressive faces, particularly the eyes... Originally published as a web comic, this excellent high school drama has already developed an online following. Friends with Boys will win new fans for this talented cartoonist. "School Library Journal" Filling monochrome ink-and-wash panels with wonderfully mobile faces, expressively posed bodies, wordless conversations in meaningful glances, funny banter and easy-to-read visual sequences ranging from hilarious to violent, Hicks crafts an upbeat, uncommonly engaging tale rich in humor, suspense and smart, complex characters. Readers will definitely want to have, know or be Maggie's brothers--but she herself proves to be no slouch when it comes to coping with change and taking on challenges. "Kirkus Reviews" Hicks excels at depicting adolescent emotion and the way feelings ricochet off the actions and reactions of others, each teenager suffering a constant and confusing onslaught of hurt and acceptance, infatuation and rejection, loneliness and relief She also shows flashes of clever humor But what mostly emerges is a fundamentally sweet and sensitive story, one with a rare, genuine-feeling portrait of loving sibling relations. "The New York Times"
About Faith Erin Hicks
FAITH ERIN HICKS is a writer and artist in Halifax, Canada. Her first two graphic novels, "Zombies Calling "and "The War at Ellsmere," were published by SLG Publishing. Most recently, she illustrated First Second's "Brain Camp." Hicks has three brothers and was homeschooled until high school. She has never seen a ghost.
Our customer reviews
Reason for Reading: I enjoy the author/artist and was intrigued that the book was about homeschooled teens. The author is obviously writing from her own life seeing as she was homeschooled until high school and has three brothers. This is the background of the main character in the book, added to Maggie's life is that her mom has just skipped out on them without her really knowing why and Maggie has been haunted by a 17th century ghost since she was about six. I really enjoyed this book. I think it gave a fairly accurate portrayal of homeschool life though Hicks did treat it like it was the 1990's, not now when it has become pretty much mainstream. (I was homeschooled for high school in the '80s and have been homeschooling my children in one way or another for the last 19 years.) The title is a little deceptive as I thought we might get into dating and stuff, but it refers to sisters being friends with their brothers and I really appreciated this theme. I don't have any brothers but I really envied the close relationship Maggie had with hers and how the relationship between Lucy and Alistair developed also. The book deals with other typical teen subjects such as being new to a school, dealing with bullies, how to make friends and what it's like when your brother is popular but you are not. Hicks artwork is as expected and truly measures up to her other work making it a delight to look at. The only problem with this could be that she draws her characters very similar and the main two females in this book are almost identical to the two females in "The War at Ellesmere" with different hairdos. I loved the characters, the story about the teens at school, the family dynamics, etc. but the bit about the ghost haunting was an oddity. It stuck out at first and didn't seem to fit in with the rest but eventually it came together and found a place within the larger scheme of things. Only, while I was happy with the way things ended for the humans in the story, the ghost ending was rather abrupt and left many unanswered questions. These kinds of endings bother me, but it does give one thoughts to ponder. Taken as a whole, this is my favourite book by Faith Erin Hicks so far and the small irritations I had with it don't amount to the lessening of my enjoyment, so I'm sticking with the full 5 stars.show moreby Nicola Mansfield