Monday, April 27, 2009

Graphic Novel Monday: Amy Unbounded: Belondweg Blossoming

Amy Unbounded: Belondweg Blossoming, by Rachel Hartman. Published 2002 by Pug House Press.

Amy Unbounded: Belondweg Blossoming is a charming collection of comics about ten year old farm girl Amy, who lives in a medieval-like time and place called Goredd, along with her family and an assortment of friends, including Bran, "quite possibly her best friend," Trigarth, a teen heartthrob and Amy's crush, and the Dragon Lalo, a visiting grad student. They, along with others, pursue romances, misadventures and daily life, all while young Amy navigates the perilous waters of tweenhood.
Hartman wrote six adventures starring Amy prior to Amy Unbounded; they are available in minicomic form from the author and by the time I was done reading this book I wanted to go find them. It's simply adorable. And just a little frenetic! All kinds of plots weave in and out of the book. Amy's father faces a downturn in his profession as a weaver. Her friend Niella falls in love with the dragon-cum-grad-student. Bran's brother brings home an unexpected wife. And one of Goredd's most prominent citizens, a wealthy businesswoman, must choose between her fortune and her independence.
Sounds heavy, but it isn't. It's filled with charming, detailed illustrations and light humor. Hartman also fills the stories with wholesome lessons about body image, feminism, and relations between men and women- without being preachy. It's also clean as a whistle, with no sex or violent content. My only complaint is that I found the pages to be rather packed and busy- sometimes I had trouble following it- but that is a minor quibble. It ends on a lovely optimistic note, even though the ending isn't exactly happy. Hartman doesn't shy away from the bad things that can happen in life, but the message is that just as one story ends, another begins. Amy Unbounded would be a great book for tween boys and girls, and for anyone looking for a sweet, light comic read.

Rating: BORROW

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review from the publisher.


Zibilee said...

Do you think that this would be appropriate for a 13 year old girl? I have been interested in getting my daughter some graphic novels, but I am not really familiar with the genre. I am trying to stay more on the graphic novel side then on the manga side. Thanks for any info you can give me!

Marie Cloutier said...

Zibilee, Yes, absolutely. I'd love to know what she thinks of it.