Kantorovitz, Sylvie. Sylvie. Sylvie Kantorovitz, Illus. Graphic. Walker, 01/2021. 341pp. $24.99, 978-1-5362-0762-0, PB $16.99, 978-1-5362-0763-7. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 6-12.
Many readers will identify with young Sylvie, who is not sure what profession she might want to pursue in this graphic novel memoir. The author/illustrator describes her youth in France where the family lives at a school for boys because her father is the principal. Sylvie has many friends but feels different be cause she is the only Jewish person in her class; fortunately, her art endeavors give her self-confidence in dealing with her harsh mother. The paneled artwork is in color but dominated by white backgrounds and ink outlines, resembling picture book illustrations more than comic book art; all characters pictured are white. The story is very compelling, considering Sylvie’s life is not overly dramatic or tragic. It ends as Sylvie leaves for college; perhaps there will be a sequel.
Penny Peck, San Jose State University, iSchool