Charlie just wants to attend a normal high school and get a normal education, but Charlie's main problem is - he's not normal! Charlie is the world's first ever Humanzee! Born in a California lab 15 years ago then freed by the ALA -- The Animal Liberation Allliance -- Charlie has been trying to live a quiet life with his mom and dad in a small town in the Midwest, but all that changes when the ALA sets its sights on Charlie once again. When the ALA begins executing violent attacks in cities across the nation, folks start to wonder if it's safe for Charlie -- and for their own children -- for him to try to be a normal teenager.
This title packs a serious punch in examining the rights of humans and doesn't shy away from some heavy political topics. The story tackles "us vs them" and NIMBY (not in my backyard) attitudes that have been prevalent in recent years in US politics and also includes some comments on violent police and a "shoot-first, ask later" proclivity. Through all of this, Charlie is an innocent who has an interesting way of seeing the world. The way he questions the world's inequities will encourage readers to have some critical reflection as well. This is a manga that will get under readers skin while also satisfying the need for action and interesting characters.
Because of the violence, the age of the characters, and the more mature concepts, this title would be better suited for high school audiences.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publisher: Vertical (Kodansha)
Publication Date: September 5, 2023
ISBN: 9781647293161 (Paperback)
This review was made possible with a copy from the publisher.
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Action Adventure, Animals, School Life, Suspense, Kodansha
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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