OMG. I'm speechless. This book is so good. Words can't describe just how much. I give this a solid 5 star. Wow. Read it, trust me. Svetlanas drawings are SO GOOD ( I write that as l silently wish that I could draw like that) And, Svetlana, please, I beg you, write some more. I crave your books.
3.5★ “If you can’t use your sports skills to win and have to resort to verbal abuse and insults on my field, GET OFF MY FIELD!”
Middle school is hard. Being a new teenager is hard. But this is easy. An easy-to-read, easy-to-understand graphic novel that covers a lot of issues. Boys, girls, non-binary (one mention); extroverts and shy kids; sports jocks and bookish nerds; big guys and little kids; popular kids and loners; pale, medium, dark kids; blondes, brunettes, redheads, headscarf.
And names from around the globe: Jorge Ruiz (our hero), Olivia (Liv – Jorge’s best friend), Jazmine Duong (shy, quiet, and Jorge’s first crush), Zeke, Garrett, James, and a host of others, including Mrs. Rashad. Mrs Rashad is also the sports coach and the one who made the earlier remark about GET OFF MY FIELD.
Kids bounce around the hallways, open lockers, eat lunch together or alone, and most importantly, occasionally bully each other. Jorge is a big kid, and he doesn’t like bullying. When he calls it out, the kids call him the Sheriff. It’s a joke, but his interventions work.
When he meets Jazmine, he is surprised to find himself tongue-tied and blushing. You can guess where the story goes. It’s a long book, so I’ll just copy a few excerpts here to give you an idea. I’m not spoiling anything by saying it has a happy ending, but you probably figured as much, eh? 😊
First screenshot caption: Jorge, “the Sheriff”, breaks up boys ganging up on a smaller boy.
Second screenshot caption: Jorge shoots hoops and says that sports is simpler than middle school.
Third screenshot caption: Coach (Mrs) Rashad reads the kids the riot act about verbal abuse.
Fourth screenshot caption: Jorge realises he’s got a crush and gets so flustered he misses a passed ball.
Fifth screenshot caption: Garrett explains to Jorge he hangs out with another guy so he can be part of the in crowd.
Sixth screenshot caption: Mrs. Rashad makes sure the kids understand that they are in charge of their bodies.
Seventh screenshot caption: Jorge is upset because someone hacked his social media account and made nasty remarks about friends.