I really want to be the kind of person that listens to NPR. It’s an elusive goal of mine that remains so, I have tried and I just can’t do it. I tell myself it’s because I can’t stand starting in the middle of something, so jumping to that dial on my commute is an ill prospect but I’m grasping at straws. I just have come to understand that I’m not that kind of grown up. However, my husband is a big fan, so legally I’m half of a listener…or something. This is a very winding way to explain why a) he heard of this graphic novel and b) I had not. He heard about it on NPR and thought it would be of interest and bought me a copy. Grand!
I was about so say that I don’t think I have read a graphic novel memoir, but DUH, MAUS, so let me just skip right past that mistaken revelation. That said, I don’t think I’ve read a memoir that represents a coming of age story, a small snapshot of one summer in Hazel’s life. As a homeschooled white girl, she has a pretty narrow worldview and her summer job pulling ivy with other teens, many participating in sort of an “at risk” capacity is eye-opening for her. I praise Hazel for sharing such an authentic and vulnerable story and think it is very poignant in today’s political and social climate.
My kiddo is very into comics and graphic novels but due to language and Hazel’s reckoning with feelings for her adult leader, I think I’ll wait a little bit before getting this under his nose. I’m confident that this story will be a great way to discuss privilege, racism, classism, and a number of other important topics in a familiar package.