Vol 3, Encore: illustrated by Sam Johns, Rian Sygh, Brittney Williams, Caitlin Rose Boyle, Katy Farina, Walter Baiamonte
This graphic novel is a collection of Valentine's Day and Halloween stories featuring our favorite Stage Crew. Beckett hates Valentine’s Day and emotions in general, and usually spends Valentine’s Day watching scary movies. But everything turns out great when his crush joins him for some slasher thrillers. In the Halloween stories, Sasha hates Halloween for showing him clowns aren’t real, but he solves the mystery of a scary giant bug that comes out in the theater on Halloween every year.
This series continues to be cute and show its characters and readers with inclusivity. I'm generally glad these side stories brought Beckett the closure he deserved with his crush. I also think it's fitting that Sasha's love of cute things ends up serving him and his compatriots really well in the mystery of the Halloween monster. We get a needed but admittedly short glimpse of the background of the two stage managers just as they are about to graduate and leave the theater with the rest of the Backstagers. I am a little disappointed that this is the end of the series because I want more of the magic world behind and in the theater, and I want more Jory+Hunter and Beckett+Bailey.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 6-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1, vol 2
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Friendship, LGBTQ+, Magic, Theater
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