Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2024) Featured Review: Hollow by Watters, Boyer-White, & Nelle

  • Hollow
  • by Shannon Watters, Branden Boyer-White, and Berenice Nelle (Illustrator)
  • Publisher: Boom Box!
  • Publication Date: October 4, 2022
  • ISBN-13: 9781684158522

Izzy Crane is the new kid in the titular town of Sleepy Hollow. There is no relation between her and Ichabod Crane of the famous tale, but there is a relation between Vicky Van Tassel and the female character of that story. Izzy soon discovers that this town takes the legend very seriously, that she’s moved here just in time for all the annual festivities, and that the Headless Horseman is making another appearance! But has he been misunderstood all this time? Is he there to protect Vicky or harm her? And why does Izzy feel like her new friendship with Vicky could be more than she thought? The clock is ticking and Halloween is right around the corner! Will Izzy and her new friends be able to solve the mystery and keep Vicky safe?

Hollow is a fun and spooky story that plays on an older legend, but knowledge of it is not necessary to enjoy this title. The artwork is enjoyable to look at and the coloring of the fall landscape is vibrant without stealing the show. The characters are well-defined and multi-faceted as well as being likable and funny. There is great diversity in the characters’ backgrounds as well as queer representation that is part of the story but not the basis for it.

Hollow will appeal to readers who enjoy not-too-spooky stories, beginning relationships and friendships, being a new kid in school when everyone knows everyone else, and even stories set in the fall. Hand this to readers who are fans of Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu, Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks, and The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag.

-Mariela Siegert

Other Nominated Titles

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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 feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

ALA Midwinter Update

From picture books to cookbooks, there is something for everyone at ALA Midwinter 2021! For the YA crowd, the can’t-miss session from Day 1 was a panel on the new digital-first series Represent! from DC. The panel discussion included author Christian Cooper, artist Alitha E. Martinez, editor Marie Javins, and moderator Andrew Aydin.

The first issue in this new series, written by Cooper and drawn by Martinez, is the story of Jules, a young Black birdwatcher, and readers can get this first issue for free (!) through all the major digital outlets.

Starting February 1, the Represent! series will release a new issue each week, each one giving voice to underrepresented perspectives, drawing on the personal stories of their creators. Click here to read a summary of the next five chapters in this exciting new series.