I am not starfire by Mariko Tamaki
Illustrated by Yoshi Yoshitani
Starfire’s daughter, Mandy, is trying to live a life outside of the shadow of her famous mother. Mandy has taken on a very dark persona, died her hair black, and wears lots of dark colors, trying desperately to stand out away from her bright, effervescent mother. When Mandy gets paired with the popular Clare for an English assignment, she discovers someone who maybe can be her friend, or even more than that, outside of people seeing her for her famous family and superhero friends. Starfire's past on her home planet catches up with her and makes like more complicated for Mandy, who really wants nothing to do with any of the super-powered politics of Tamaran. Mandy must believe in herself and her own strength to get through this newest challenge.
Mariko Tamaki has been on a roll with creating captivating stories for young adults featuring some of DC's greatest heroes, and Mandy is another in a line-up of inspiring young ladies. This story, as with Tamako's other books, focuses on a character coming into their own as a person and as a hero in their own way. It's less series than her take on Supergirl, but still enjoyable. However, the ending was a bit of a let down. Throughout the whole story, Mandy is loathe to have anyone associate her with hero business, so her quick acceptance of herself at the end needed a little bit more set up to help readers believe her swift change of character.
Yoshitani's illustrations and beautiful, bright colors are wonderfully captivating. She somehow makes Mandy into a colorful character despite Mandy's preference for black clothing. The environments Yoshitani designed are really intriguing - stop and look at Mandy's room to find some great Easter-eggs and some insights into Mandy's character.
Warning - this book is being "review bombed" on Goodreads. Lots of angry DC readers are giving it one star because they don't think DC should be putting out titles like this, so please don't let that 3 star level deter you from buying this for your students.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-10
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: July 27, 2021
ISBN: 9781779501264 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Graphic Fiction, Family, Superheroes, DC Comics
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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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