Graphic Novel Review: Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley

Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley. Random House Graphic, 2020. 9781984896841. 224pp.

Jen loves comics, dislikes chores, and hates snakes. She’s in charge of the farm’s chicken coop, but prefers drawing (which is especially awesome in her hideout in the barn, with the cats that live there). She’s kinda getting used to life in the country with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend Walter, including working their booth at the farmers market. Then Walter’s daughters come for a visit. The older of the pair, Andy, is a bit of a know-it-all who takes charge of everything. She starts naming the chicks Jen cares for, and things get worse from there. Jen’s mom and Walter see the value of what Andy does, but it’s totally irritating to Jen. (They do finally bond as part-time sisters, in part due to Jen’s comics, and in part because none of the girls loves life in the country.)

Knisley’s graphic novel for kids is based on her own life: after her parents split up, she and her mother moved from New York to a small farm. This is a great book about moving on after divorce and trying to become part of a new family unit, with a bit of math trouble thrown in. (Knisley discusses her dyscalculia at the end of the book.)



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