Review Detail

Middle Grade Fiction 79
An Emotional Journey of a Trans Boy Finding His Place
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
LUNAR BOY is a graphic novel geared towards ages 8 and up. This graphic novel stars Indu as he and his adoptive mother move to live on Earth. Indu originally came from the moon and then lived on a spaceship and settling on Earth is a lot more difficult than he though it was going to be.

What I Loved:
This is a very touching story. Indu’s struggle to find where he belongs in a new community tore at my heartstrings. He was lost, confused, and he didn’t know how to handle these emotions properly. He was just a child trying to do his best. He makes mistakes and the people around him, adults and children alike, do the same. But as a community they address the mistakes, and they grow. I loved the scenes where the characters were making mistakes and being emotional because those scenes were written with care. They will make people cry because Indu and the other characters are allowed to be vulnerable. They make mistakes, but they are forgiven.
The illustrations in this book were gorgeous. They brimmed with colors and the illustrator did an amazing job of highlighting or fading scenes based on how the character was feeling. The drawings work well at conveying the emotions of the character and the turmoil that he is feeling. The character designs were pretty, and I especially loved it when there were background characters included. Those scenes would allow for the casual inclusion of trans and nonbinary characters with top surgery scars or wearing binder-like garments.
This book doesn’t shy away from talking about some of the rough ¬¬¬¬¬stuff that children encounter, especially when moving to a new place. Indu faces isolation and not understanding the language. He must weigh being friends with someone or standing up against their prejudice. The book is honest about how this can feel at times. It allows time for it to build up and for it to weigh on Indu and the reader. It doesn’t sugarcoat it because it’s made for children, rather it allows children to see that they are not alone.
The book also includes untranslated Indonesian dialogue. While I would have loved to know what was being said, it added so much to helping me as a reader relate to Indu’s confusion.

What Left Me Wanting More:
I truly only had one thing in this book that left me wanting more and that was Indu’s relationship with his new brother. I would have liked a little more time with the two characters as they discussed how they had behaved throughout the book. What the book gave us was good, but I feel it could have been more drawn out.

Final Verdict:
Graphic novels like LUNAR BOY are vital because they allow young children to see other children like them. They allow for the discovery of a community, much like Indu was searching for in the book. When a book is crafted with love and heart like this book was, it adds to the experience. It allows for a careful examination of experiences, but it still allows for flawed characters.
LUNAR BOY is a graphic novel brimming with heart and unafraid to discuss both the beautiful and rough moments of finding where you fit in a community.
Good Points
-Gorgeous Drawings
-Casual Representation
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