Friends with Boys

By: Faith Erin Hicks

Maggie’s idyllic education ends when she goes from homeschool to high school. There, she faces dangers, new possibilities, and a chance to solve a ghostly mystery. Black-and-white illustrations.

ISBN: 9781596435568

JLG Release: May 2012


Sensitive Areas: Strong language
Topics: Homeschooling , High school , Cliques , Theft , Ghosts , Family

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Awards & Honors

Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Books of 2012; 2012 Cybils Award Winner, Young Adult Graphic Novels; YALSA Great Graphic Novels Top Ten 2013, Fiction

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Book List, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
Maggie’s secure homeschooled life with three older brothers, Daniel, Lloyd, and Zander, is ruptured when she must negotiate the rough waters of public school and a new family dynamic. She also happens to be haunted by a ghost, the widow of a sea captain, who is less terrifying to Maggie than the prospect of high

[STARRED REVIEW]
Maggie’s secure homeschooled life with three older brothers, Daniel, Lloyd, and Zander, is ruptured when she must negotiate the rough waters of public school and a new family dynamic. She also happens to be haunted by a ghost, the widow of a sea captain, who is less terrifying to Maggie than the prospect of high school. She eventually becomes friends with siblings Alistair and Lucy. This friendship is complicated by Alistair’s uneasy relationship with Daniel. The threesome visits the local museum and locates the sea captain’s prosthetic hand. Maggie determines that returning it to his widow’s ghost will put the apparition to rest. When her theft is discovered, Maggie’s brothers come to her rescue, returning the missing artifact and exonerating the trio. Various panel sizes are used to full advantage, creating a cinematic effect that moves from long shots to tight close-ups. Night scenes provide good contrast and heighten the dramatic tension. Excellent pacing gives pause for reflective moments and sets up the action scenes. Hicks is a master of wordless panels, using facial expressions, gestures, and character placement to effectively convey emotions that transcend words. Her artistic brilliance is especially evidenced in the character’s expressive faces, particularly the eyes. Note Lucy’s face during the horror movie and the faces of the siblings when confronted by their father. Originally published as a web comic, this excellent high school drama has already developed an online following. Friends with Boys will win new fans for this talented cartoonist.—Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

Horn Book

Starting at a new school is tough for any recently transplanted teen, but for Maggie it’s not moving that triggers the change, instead, she’s starting her first day of high school after having been homeschooled her entire life. Her three older brothers have all made the transition with varying success, but Maggie faces a further stumbli Starting at a new school is tough for any recently transplanted teen, but for Maggie it’s not moving that triggers the change, instead, she’s starting her first day of high school after having been homeschooled her entire life. Her three older brothers have all made the transition with varying success, but Maggie faces a further stumbling block: her mother—her only teacher and the only other female in a house full of men—left the family suddenly the year before. In this graphic novel, Maggie has to tackle making friends, figuring out cliques, and finding her place among long-established groups on her own. Hicks excels at showing everyday adventures and contemplative moments in expressive, sharp black-and-white ink work and careful pacing. Maggie’s conversations with her brothers, especially the sympathetic Daniel, who has found his niche among the school’s theater crowd, ring particularly true. The mixing in of mysteries involving a broken friendship and a restless ghost add layers to Maggie’s world. The additions are evocative, especially in conveying the connections between the unknown reason for her mother’s departure and the ghost’s inability to find peace, but the finish feels unresolved instead of purposefully open. Despite the too-swift resolution, the strong characters and excellent art give teens a (still rare in comics) girl’s slice of life.

Book Details

ISBN

9781596435568

First Release

May 2012

Genre

Dewey Classification

741.5/973

Trim Size

6" x 8 1/2"

Page Count

224

Accelerated Reader

Level 2.7; Points: 1;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.3; Points: 4;

Lexile

Level GN390L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Paperback

Publisher

First Second

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Strong language

Topics

Homeschooling, High school, Cliques, Theft, Ghosts, Family,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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