Wednesday 15 November 2023

Scary Girl

Scary girl by Nathan Jurevicius (Allen & Unwin) PB RRP $17.99 ISBN 9781761069277

Reviewed by Nikki M Heath

A girl is abandoned with little memory of her past before being adopted. After some of those memories re-emerge, she decides to seek out the place from whence she came. After surviving dangers along the way, she discovers her origin story - but it isn’t at all the happy homecoming she’d imagined, leading to a dramatic escape.

Well, that was my interpretation of the graphic novel that is Scarygirl. As a book with no words (other than some introductory character profiles), there is a lot of room to choose your own reading of the adventure. This re-release of the 2009 work is a companion to the recent major film release.

The images are bold, fully saturated, and often quite creepy. They convey atmosphere and action, as well as depth of character and emotion. The panels aren’t necessarily that clear in their meaning, so it can take some puzzling to figure out what is happening.

The narrative of the film departs from that of the book, although the characters and basic plot arc remain consistent, as is the art style. It’s a joy to hear Australian voices in a big screen children’s animation, but the film does lack some of the mystery and looming atmosphere of the book. The Scarygirl universe also takes the form of video games and various other expressions for super fans.

While the publisher suggested an age range of 8 to 18 years, both book and film probably skew slightly younger in appeal. Younger readers will likely need adult assistance to interpret both the flow and meaning of the graphic novel, but the lack of words makes it accessible for beginner readers - and the guessing game is part of the fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.