WanderingSon1Wandering Son, Volume 1 by Takako Shimura

ISBN:  9781606994160
Pages:  202
Publisher:  Fantographic Books
Release Date:  July 5, 2011
Audience:  Teen (14+) and Adult

Nitori Shuichi is a shy fifth grader with a secret – he loves girls clothes.  He is afraid of letting anyone know this secret and it is especially difficult to keep it hidden as he shares a room with his sister.  Nitori has just transfered to a new school and becomes friends with Takatsuki Yoshino.  They each discover their secrets – Nitori likes to dress as a girl and Yakatsuki likes to dress as a boy.  They grow closer as they share their secret with each other and try to live their secret far from home.

Takako Shimura  takes this coming of age story to a not often talked about place.  Not only is this  a story about a boy coming into his own, but it deals with his gender identity.  Shimura illuminates the topics of gender identity and being transgender in a tasteful way.  The characters are interesting, but sort of difficult to distinguish artistically.  The art style itself is rather cutesy, but with bland backgrounds.  However, this just emphasizes the narrative more.  The story can be disjointed at points, but overall a great coming of age story.

Wandering Son is on YALSA’s Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens (2012) as well as on ALA’s GLBT Round Table’s 2012 Rainbow List of recommended books for young readers.

Adaptation:  Aniplex brought out an animated version of this story in 2011.  You can watch the series on Crunchyroll.

Score:  3.5 out of 5

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About Michelle

I'm a Midwest girl who has landed herself on the east coast. I spend my days in libraryland. My passion/specialty is graphic novels, manga, and anime. For a few weekends of the year you will find me at an anime convention somewhere on the east coast.

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