Genre: Adventure Fiction/ Graphic Novel
Shelf Location: Juvenile/ Middle Grade
I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.
This charming graphic novel told from the perspective of a group of young boys who make a pact never to look back regardless of how tough the road ahead gets. It’s the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, where the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. [taken from synopsis] This is the first year that Ben and his friends decide to follow the lanterns down the river to see where they end up. No one has ever completed this task. The group of boys make a pact with two rules: no one turns for home, and no one looks back. Ben and his friends start the journey but slowly they turn back one by one leaving been with Nathaniel. Nathaniel tries so hard to fit in with Ben and his friends, but he falls short. However, he doesn’t let that ruin his childlike personality, and he doesn’t let it stop him from trying to be friends with Ben. In the end, Nathaniel is all Ben has as they follow the lanterns to the end. These two will encounter their greatest adventure, build friendships with unexacting creatures, and find out how brave they are. Will they find out where the lanterns end or will they get lost trying?
I gave this graphic novel five stars, mostly due to the character development, the adventure, the realism, and the plot. The illustrations allow the reader to feel transported into the world of the story. The story flows wonderfully, and there is a hint of turmoil as the two main characters face an impasse. In this story, Ben developed as a reluctant character, and Nathaniel is the fearless character. The different character personalities allow for a humorous adventure as the two learn to break out of their shells. If you’re looking for a graphic novel filled with adventure, new friendships, and humor, then this is your book. I saw this book in a comic book store and felt like I had to read it. The story is appropriate for upper elementary to middle school.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely