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Friends with Boys

CRITICS HAVE SAID

  • After being homeschooled her whole life, Maggie is starting high school at a public school and she’s understandably terrified. Anxiously she goes to school and eventually makes a few friends that others might consider weird because of how they look, but they turn out to be good comrades. In the midst of this easy-to-read slice-of-life action, Maggie is also being haunted by a female ghost who died about 200 years ago. Despite the addition of the ghost to the story, the graphic novel continues in realism mode, instead of shifting to a horror tale. And while the book starts out strongly, it leaves many things unanswered, like why Maggie’s mother left or what the ghost wants, leading to a somewhat abrupt ending. Maggie is a likable main character, however, and her anxiety about school is well portrayed, while Hicks’s black and white art is sharp and comically expressive.
    Publisher
  • Hicks excels at depicting adolescent emotion and the way feelings ricochet off the actions and reactions of others, each teenager suffering a constant and confusing onslaught of hurt and acceptance, infatuation and rejection, loneliness and relief. Her black-and-white panels, often wordless, are better at conveying these fleeting but deeply felt states than they are at depicting action, which is sometimes lost in the shuffle. She also shows flashes of clever humor, as when she labels an image of two brothers embracing “Manly Hug.”
    New York Times
  • Filling monochrome ink-and-wash panels with wonderfully mobile faces, expressively posed bodies, wordless conversations in meaningful glances, funny banter and easy-to-read visual sequences ranging from hilarious to violent, Hicks crafts an upbeat, uncommonly engaging tale rich in humor, suspense and smart, complex characters.
    Kirkus Reviews

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