The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl
Author: Barry Lyga
Publisher: Boston: Houghton Mifflin 2006
Classification: Young Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary life
Topics: graphic novels, bullying, individuality
Media Type: Book
Grade level: 9-Adult
Reader's annotation: Hoping to remain invisible so as not to get bullied in school, our storyteller lives for his graphic novel that he is drawing and writing. Then he meets Kyra aka Goth Girl who not only wants to talk to him but gives him the support he needs to stand up for himself.
Summary: Written in first person, our narrator spends much of his time at school trying to be inconspicuous so as to keep from getting bullied. At the same time he is a straight A student in all of the top level classes. While trying to ignore the jock who is punching him in the shoulder over and over, he attracts the attention of Kyra (aka Goth Girl) who gives him the nickname of Fanboy. This is his first real friend since he moved to this town 6 years ago. His only other friend is Cal who can’t be seen with him in public for fear of alienating his jock friends, but they share a love of comics and graphic novels. Fanboy is working on his own graphic novel, Schemata. He is anxiously awaiting the convention where he will show twenty of his best pages to his favorite writer/artist Bendis. He and Cal have been planning this for months, that is until Cal’s lacrosse team wins and gets to go to the playoffs. He still has Kyra, that is until he has a fight with her too. It will all be worth it when Bendis sees his work.
Evaluation: A good choice for those interested in graphic novels or comics and for anyone who has been bullied or feels alone and invisible at school. Lyga touches on issues of suicide, family dysfunction and violent fantasies. He captures the “voice” of teens in both of the main characters.
- I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in western MA and lived in NYC dancing for several years before getting my teaching credentials and unintentionally moving to Santa Cruz CA. Married and divorced with two kids almost grown, a daughter in college and a son in high school, I am thrilled to be a librarian now, something that I should have done years ago. I love the applications of technology and realize that I have been interested in that since my first computer class back in 1986 - a new requirement for teaching degrees. Finally I can combine my love of curriculum, educational resources, working with adults and children, and technology applications.