Graphic Novel Review: Suee and the Shadow by Ginger Ly, Illustrated by Molly Park
Posted on April 2, 2020 at 9:28 am by Gene Ambaum
Suee and the Shadow by Ginger Ly, Illustrated by Molly Park. Translated b Keo Lee and Jane Lee. Amulet, 2017. 9781419725630. 236pp.
Suee Lee dresses differently from her classmates and doesn’t seem to worry about getting perfect grades. She lives alone with her father. (She tells people her mom died when she was little, but that’s not true — she just wants a little privacy.) Her father has just been demoted, so they’ve moved to Outskirtsville from Big City, and she’s starting at a new elementary school. She should make a few friends, but she has no interest in talking to most of the girls she sees, particularly the class bullies and popular kids.
One day a voice calls to her, telling her it will be her friend. When she wakes up the next day her shadow is talking to her. It’s mostly annoying, and she can’t let the other students find out, so she sticks to well-lit areas when she can to keep it quiet.
The Vice Principal starts an after school class for the school zeroes, zombified kids who drop the class average. Suee notices they don’t have shadows, which seems to have some relationship to being bullied, the voice she heard, and perhaps to her shadow as well. To investigate she forms the Zero Detective Club with two other students.
This is the first Korean graphic novel for kids I’ve seen that doesn’t use the typical manhwa style. The slick art and glossy paper really work well together. It’s got a bit of a lesson about bullying and friendship without being too lesson-heavy.