Fence Vol. 1

By C. S. Pacat
Young Adult Graphic Novels, 2018

Reviewed by Kelsey Psaute, Young Adult Services

For the first time, Nicholas is fencing seriously. A lot rides on his performance, including a scholarship to a better fencing school and fulfillment of his destiny. Unfortunately for him, this means beating the arrogant and undefeated Seiji Katayama. With borrowed shoes, a half-rate coach and a lot of determination, Nicholas surprises everyone with his unconventional (left-handed) and fierce performance at a typically bourgeois sport. Keeping readers in the dark while setting the stage for lots of drama, Pacat exquisitely weaves a page-turner filled with mystery, romance and plenty of rivalry. More will no doubt be revealed in Volume 2, but this standout collection of the first few installments of Pacat’s fascinating new comic is sure to delight graphic novel enthusiasts as well as those new to the genre.

Baby Teeth: A Novel

By Zoje Stage
Adult Fiction, 2018

Reviewed by Kelly MCagg, Library Director

Suzette is a stay-at home mom who suffers from Crohn’s disease and is trying her best to be the mother she never had. Hanna is a willful 7-year-old who refuses to talk, has psychotic fantasies and adores her father. A fit of uncontrollable outbursts result in Hanna being homeschooled, where her contempt for her mother grows. It also provides her with lots of time to conceive of ways to get rid of Suzette. Unlike Lionel Shriver’s “We Need to Talk about Kevin,” Stage reveals both characters’ thoughts and motives, thereby offering a more empathetic experience. “Baby Teeth” is an unnerving debut that holds a mirror to past failures. Parents of young children will find this noir drama especially chilling.