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Blue is an orphan who disguises herself as a newsboy. There's a war going on, and girls are expected to help the struggling economy by selling cookies. But Blue loves living and working at the Bugle,...
Blue is an orphan who disguises herself as a newsboy. There's a war going on, and girls are expected to help the struggling economy by selling cookies. But Blue loves living and working at the Bugle,...
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Description-

  • Blue is an orphan who disguises herself as a newsboy. There's a war going on, and girls are expected to help the struggling economy by selling cookies. But Blue loves living and working at the Bugle, the only paper in town that tells the truth. And what's printed in the newspapers now matters more than ever. But Blue struggles with her secret, and worries that if her friends and adopted family at the Bugle find out that she's a girl, she'll lose everything and everyone she cares about. And when she meets and befriends Crow, a boy who is also not what he seems, together they seek the freedom to be their true selves... and to save each other.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 24, 2016
    Though Blue holds her own among the newspaper lads in the town of Nautilene, few know that she’s not a boy. Her adopted family helps keep her secret, but that loyalty is challenged as Blue’s need to press boundaries pulls her into the geopolitics of her homeland of Goswing and its warring enemy, Grimmaea. She first befriends and becomes an apprentice to a scientist named Jack, who seems all too familiar with the war effort, then stumbles upon the reclusive Crow, who, like Blue, is not all he appears to be. Xu doesn’t always pull together narrative threads of her first graphic novel in ways that feel natural; encounters and dialogues can be forced, as when Blue randomly meets Crow sitting atop a building on a secured naval base and they become instant friends. There’s no faulting Xu’s art, though, which blends the expressiveness of manga with an emphasis on cross-panel action more commonly found in western comics. With rich coloring, retro cityscapes that hark to the era of newsies, and a miscellany of steampunk gadgetry, it’s an enjoyable romp that considers how hidden secrets shape who people become. Ages 8–12.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from December 1, 2016

    Gr 4-7-In a world where only boys can be newsies, Blue poses as a boy in order to live in the communal house and hawk papers each day. What seems like a familiar setup quickly takes strange and delightful turns in this graphic novel by new artist and author Xu. Blue's city is at war, and the leaders are looking for a missing weapon. Meanwhile, Blue's newest friend, Crow, and her new mentor Jack have lots of secrets as well. When Jack and Crow's secrets collide, it might be time for Blue to reveal hers. The full-color palette is beautifully rendered. Xu's artwork is imbued with a beauty and depth that create a world slightly out of step with our own, at once familiar and excitingly strange. The illustrations match pace perfectly with the story, frantic at times and celebratory at others. The style veers between steampunk and manga and more traditional American comics, resulting in an exciting and refreshing title. Some of the details of the plot and the world are maddeningly vague, but that should not confound readers for long. Those who enjoyed "Amulet" will eagerly devour this book, the first in what will surely be a popular new series. VERDICT This excellent and unique offering features strong world-building and an original story line. It will happily find a home in most library collections.-Elizabeth Nicolai, Anchorage Public Library, AK

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    November 1, 2016
    An escalating war unites a ragamuffin with a secret and two fugitives with secrets of their own in this steampunk-tinged opener.Having herself spent three years in disguise as a news "boy," orphan Lavender Blue is willing to accept Jack Jingle, a brilliant but distracted inventor, and the oddly clicking, heavily muffled figure Crow as friends without probing into their pasts. Ultimately those pasts come home to roost, though, with revelations that Jack has built a flying war machine and Crow is its reluctant but purpose-built mechanical pilot. An escape attempt ends in a crash, separating it from the main characters and setting up the next volume in the series. Xu creates a nicely realistic 1920s-style setting for events and spaces out her panels to make the action reasonably easy to follow. Her manga-influenced figures, though, display only a limited range of expressions, most of them more exaggerated than called for by the circumstances, and many of the story's twists are thoroughly telegraphed. Confusingly, the blue-eyed, light-skinned child is tagged as "mixed" (i.e., part Grimmaean) and therefore suspicious for her light hair, while Jack, with similar coloring, is accepted without comment. By and large, characters display a range of skin tones, from dark brown to white. Despite a few rough edges, a promising start. (Graphic science fiction. 11-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • DOGO Books inmemoryofcpr - Lavender Blue is a girl disguised as a boy that works at the Bugle and when she meets and unusual boy, named Crow, who is not what he seems, they become friends. But somebody is after Crow and now Blue must help him. I would recommend this for ages 10+ This book had really good graphics but the pace was sort of weird. While some parts were super exciting, some parts were really boring. I also found some parts really confusing. Other than that, this book was super fun to read and I would recommend it to fans of Be Prepared and Invisible Emmie.
  • Booklist

    December 15, 2016
    Grades 3-6 In the fictional city of Nautilene, Blue lives with a passel of orphaned newsboys, and Blue's got a secret: she's a girl. The plucky newsie is well loved by her misfit family and fantastic at slinging papers all over the city, but if anyone finds out her secret, she's toast. Meanwhile, absent-minded inventor Jack takes her under his wing, and while on an outing, she meets a mysterious boy who calls himself Crow. When Jack falls under suspicion for stealing a powerful weapon from a neighboring region, Blue learns that Crow isn't all that he seems. Xu's debut graphic novel makes great use of steampunk technology and 1920s-era fashions and architecture, which gives the whole book a sleek sense of style. While the tightly focused panels and quick shifts between scenes make the story occasionally difficult to decipher, the manga-style artwork is full of dynamic movement and comically over-the-top expressions. With a touch of mad science and an irrepressible heroine, this series starter should find an easy home among fans of adventure comics.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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    Scholastic Inc.
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