Illustrated by Jon Sommariva
While panhandling in the subway one day, Luz is bumped onto the train tracks and saved in part by her friend Bee, but mostly a stranger named Paco. Paco turns out to be an orphan just like Bee and Luz, so Bee invites him back to their hideout: a trailer in a junkyard. There, he meets Felix, Gracie, and Justin. Paco asks them all if they wish for a better life, and when they say yes, he and a fairy whisk them away to Neverland! Paco has brought them into the middle of a war between the Neverlanders and the pirates from Otherland who want to harvest the magic from the island.
Katie struggles with food as a child, not wanting to eat what her parents gave her and finding interesting ways to hide what she didn’t want to eat. She gives up junk food for lent one year and finds that after her diet change, junk food doesn’t sit well anymore. She starts regulating her food intake and counting calories. She also does lots of long walks to make up for even the slightest slip up. She continues on until she passes out from near-starvation. Her parents rush her to the hospital where she is diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. Katie continues to struggle throughout high school and into college, not only with food, but her ability to control her body, her food, and her doubts and anxieties. Just when she thinks she’s found someone to help her heal, it turns out to be even more harmful when Katie realizes she is being sexually assaulted by the one person she had trusted with her recovery.
Mei and her father work in the kitchen for a logging camp in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the late 1800s, where they expertly make delicious meals for the loggers after a long day of hard work. Mei makes wonderful pies that everyone craves, and at night, she entertains the camp's children by telling fanciful stories. One such stories is the legend of Po Pan Yin, an elderly Chinese woman logger who watches over the camp and works in the forest with her giant blue ox. The children accuse Mei of stealing the American legend of Paul Bunyan, but Mei makes Auntie Po into her own myth and a guardian spirit for the camp and herself. With the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act limiting the opportunities and safety for Chinese immigrants, Mei and her father must navigate an increasingly hostile community where violence against Chinese workers is not uncommon. On top of all of this, Mei must work out her feelings for her best friend Bee, which are becoming increasingly romantic, as well as plan for her future away from the logging camp.
Katie is the successful head chef of a restaurant named Seconds. Everyone loves the food. But Katie is unsatisfied with her life. All her friends who were with her when she opened Seconds have moved on with their lives, and Katie is surrounded by young-ins she barely knows. She’s working on a new restaurant in a beautiful old building that’s in a not so great part of town, hoping a fresh start on her own will help with her mood. One night, Katie is visited by a strange girl who offers Katie a way to undo some of her past mistakes, but this becomes a slippery slope with major consequences.
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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