Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Lisa Sterle
Greenwillow / HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 5, 2021
ISBN: 9780062943149

Set in a San Francisco suburb, Piedmont High becomes Becca’s new scene to be popular and powerful. A chance meeting in the girls bathroom between Marley and Becca is more than fate; it’s as if Becca was the new choice of prey. All she has to do is learn to dress, act, and party like the ‘group.’ Soon, Amanda, Arianna, and Marley offer Becca the invitation of a lifetime…to join the Squad. Becca doesn’t think twice, she just howls, and it becomes business as usual—until an auspicious night with Thatcher, Arianna’s boyfriend, and the power balance topples…. What will this mean for the Squad? What will happen to Becca?

Squad is a fast-paced paranormal thriller. The artwork represents a mix between classic comics (like Archie) and pop culture, sharing classic lines and bright hues shaded with horror. Squad’s major appeal is its revenge-style genre, packing a female-led story with themes of feminism, anti-patriarchy, and anti-misogyny. It does not disappoint with scenes of bloody gore and stylish rage. These vigilante beauties feel justified in their desire to feed their hunger for power and decrease society’s list of predators. Growing up is already challenging, whether you’re a teen, a young woman, and/or a gay person. This coming-of-age tale throws caution to the wind by embracing villany and unapologetic girl power.

Recommend this title to fans of CW’s Riverdale and Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard.

—Mitzi Mack

Other Nominated Titles

  • Queer as All Get Out: 10 People Who’ve Inspired Me by Shelby Criswell (October 12, 2021)
  • Harriet Tubman: Toward Freedom by Whit Taylor and Kazimir Lee (June 15, 2021) 
  • Yasmeen by Saif A. Ahmed and Fabiana Mascolo (November 30, 2021)
  • Future State: Wonder Woman by Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad, Joëlle Jones, L.L. McKinney, Jen Bartel, Leila del Duca, Alitha Martinez, et. al (July 20, 2021)
  • Specter Inspectors by Bowen McCurdy and Kaitlyn Musto (October 19, 2021)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination. 

Each week, the teams will feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation will be listed as well. At year’s end, the team will use that list of nominated titles to select a final list and Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are also made available on The Hub.

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Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.