Review of Lo & Behold

Lo & Behold Lo & Behold
by Wendy Mass; illus. by Gabi Mendez; color by Cai Tse
Intermediate, Middle School    Random House    224 pp.
5/23    9780593179635    $20.99
Library ed.  9780593179642    $23.99
Paper ed.  9780593179628    $13.99
e-book ed.  9780593179659    $8.99

In this moving and memorable graphic novel, twelve-year-old Addie loves tortoises, outer space, and moon trees (planted from seeds that traveled with the Apollo 14 mission before germinating back on Earth). A prologue reveals that when Addie was ten, her mom was injured in a bicycle accident and had surgery; things got worse from there. The main narrative begins almost two years later, after a traumatic (and ambiguously shown) incident, with Addie and her futurist dad adjusting to a “new normal.” The pair is now living on a college campus for the summer, her dad working with a fun-loving group of young researchers studying augmented and virtual reality. Thrust into a new environment, Addie makes friends (including Mateo, a kind, free-spirited neighbor kid) and has experiences that push her as she challenges assumptions, processes feelings, and grows in empathy, vulnerability, and confidence. Character, setting, dialogue, and plot are skillfully delineated, and the inclusion of sunny moments balance heavier, introspective scenes. Well-paced, deftly illustrated panels convey characters’ emotions and experiences; especially striking are fanciful VR-related images superimposed over realistic settings. When Addie’s family situation (involving addiction and incarceration) is fully disclosed, it is presented with care, compassion, and hope. Back matter includes notes from the creators and a link to additional resources, including augmented reality that can be integrated into the reading of the book.

From the July/August 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Elisa Gall

Elisa Gall is a teacher-librarian at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. 

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.