Graphic Novel Review: Manu by Kelly Fernández

Manu by Kelly Fernández. Scholastic Graphix, 2021. 9781338264180. 186pp.

Manu is always getting into trouble at La Academia de Santa Dominga, where she attends school with her friend Josephina and other magically talented girls. In part it’s because she’s so powerful, but she’s also very mischievous. After she causes yet another problematic and disruptive incident, Mother Dolores reminds Manu about why they’ve all been given their powers — so that they can “serve the poor and powerless” — and then Manu has to pray in front of a statue of the school’s namesake. But that doesn’t keep her from setting off and getting into more trouble. Ever since her first day at the school, folks have talked about how Manu is a demon, and there’s some hint early in the book that they may be right. (The truth comes out later.)

Fernández’s illustrations are beautiful, as is the coloring. I particularly love her inks– I was lucky enough to get an early ARC from Scholastic, and the section in the back is just her uncolored line work, which is gorgeous. Plus her writing is just as good. Fernández won the Get Published by Graphix contest, and this is her first graphic novel. You can see more of her comics and illustrations at


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