Illustrated by Berenice Nelle
Izzy and her family move from San Francisco to Sleepy Hollow after her mom lands a job as the head chef of the town’s Michelin-star restaurant. While Izzy might prefer books to interacting with people, the school assigns her outgoing Water Polo star, “Croc” Byun to be her guide. Then, Izzy sees Victoria Van Tassel, as in the Van Tassels from the “Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Vicky doesn’t really have time to give Izzy any attention since she’s over-committed to all the town’s celebrations and traditions involving The Horseman, especially given that it’s October and the town’s busiest time for celebrations. But, Izzy works her way into Vicky’s life by becoming her math tutor. On the way home from one of their sessions, Izzy is actually chased by the Headless Horseman! As she’s running away, she decides to stand up for herself and stops, which is actually a relief to the Horseman, who has been trying to get someone’s attention for almost 200 years! The Horseman has to fulfill his duty and oath to protect the Van Tassels, but there is an evil entity who might be walking around in the daytime and after Vicky. Izzy brings Croc and Vicky into the fold, and the four have to work together to thwart the threat on Vicky’s life.
I absolutely love the twist to the Headless Horseman introduced by Walters and Boyer-White in their take on the “Legend”. Izzy, Croc, and Vicky, once they get to a place of cooperation, are a fun team to watch. This adventure has elements of old-timey stories and some modern heist plots with Croc’s crazy plans, and the result is something highly entertaining and satisfying. My heart also got involved when Izzy started crushing on Vicky. The romance is present but not overemphasized, so this story would appeal to all readers.
Nelle’s illustrations were beautifully colored and very enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed her more simplified people she used for folks in large groups or in the background of someone more detailed. Izzy often gets the simplified treatment, and sometimes it’s expertly used for comedic effect. The coloring is also really well done. In the two examples below, I've selected two pages where the pallet matches the scene through multiple panels. Nelle really sets a mood with her coloring that can sometimes last several pages.
BOOM lists this as young adult, but I think it could still be appealing to middle grade readers as well. The characters are in high school, but there's nothing too violent or inappropriate that wouldn't be suitable for middle graders.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
This review was made possible with a digital reader copy from the publisher.
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Publication Date: October 4th 2022
ISBN: 9781684158515 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Action Adventure, Folklore, Friendship, Romance, LGBTQ+, BOOM! Studios
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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