Review of One Year at Ellsmere

One Year at Ellsmere
by Faith Erin Hicks; illus. by the author
Intermediate, Middle School    First Second/Roaring Brook    172 pp.    g
7/20    978-1-250-21909-1    $22.99
Paper ed.  978-1-250-21910-7    $14.99

Originally published as The War at Ellsmere in 2008 (by SLG Publishing) and now back in print with revamped art, this graphic novel stars Juniper, the first scholarship student at a prestigious boarding school for girls. Her friendship with her roommate and her conflicts with a rival both bring up issues of economic privilege, adding depth to a generally breezy (and generally realistic, though fantasy elements lurk in the school forest) read. Hicks’s varied panel sizes control pacing effectively, while her muted palette gives the castle-like school an archaic feel. Back matter details Hicks’s process of re-inking the book for this new edition.

From the July/August 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Shoshana Flax
Shoshana Flax

Shoshana Flax, associate editor of The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MFA in Writing for Children from Simmons University. She has served on the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and Sydney Taylor Book Award committees.

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