Soupy Leaves Home by Cecil Castellucci
A perfectly executed graphic historical fiction. This text seamlessly weaves color, layout and text to tell the story of Pearl/Soupy as she hits the rails and meets her hobo mentor Ramshackle. As she runs from her troubles she learns the ways of the hobo community and finds her place in the world.
The hobo signs sprinkled throughout the book are guaranteed to make readers attentive and curious. The story itself is a bit of history that often goes unnoticed. Grades 6-8 should find great appeal.
Click here for a book trailer created by the author.
Source: paperback from the public library
Audience: grade 6 and up
(I used guidelines from East Carolina University to help me critically evaluate this text.)
This graphic novel is a collection of 5 stories of similar style and tone. Think creepy ghost story meets very grim fairy tale. In each story the main character is faced with a choice, what she chooses will lead to her…adventure.
First off, the text. I found this appropriate for middle and high school in terms of content and vocabulary. Struggling readers will not find too many difficult words or sentence structures. Skilled readers will find the plots intriguing and interesting. The cover art certainly reflects the content of the book and will have excellent shelf appeal. The interior art and text work well together. I found myself flipping back pages to check detail in the art as I made predictions about the plot. Each palette of color seemed to be chosen deliberately. A variety of page layouts add to the interest of the book.
Artists may enjoy a scroll through the author’s website.
Thanks to my local library for buying this book!