Join me in navigating middle school rollercoasters in Ray Xu's Alterations virtual book tour sponsored by Rockstar Book Tours. Find my review below and be sure to enter the giveaway.
Ray Xu's "Alterations" is a heartwarming and thought-provoking middle-grade graphic novel that skillfully tackles themes of identity, self-esteem, and the immigrant experience. Perfectly suited for fans of Gene Luen Yang’s "American Born Chinese" and Svetlana Chmakova’s "Awkward," this book introduces readers to Kevin Lee, a relatable protagonist navigating the challenges of adolescence in a bustling and diverse Toronto.
Kevin's life is far from glamorous, as he resides in a crowded apartment above his family's alterations and dry-cleaning store. The narrative masterfully captures the struggles of feeling invisible in a sea of faces and the desire to be acknowledged. The school environment doesn't provide much solace either, with Kevin standing out as one of the few Asian kids, attracting unwarranted attention.
The turning point in Kevin's life arrives with the announcement of a class trip to Thrill Planet, a spectacular theme park. As the anticipation builds, readers are taken on a journey where they witness Kevin's hopes and fears, wondering if this adventure will be the catalyst for positive change or just another day in the life of a seemingly invisible boy.
Xu's storytelling strikes a perfect balance between poignancy and humor, making "Alterations" a delightful and engaging read. The graphic novel format enhances the emotional depth of the narrative, allowing readers to connect with Kevin's experiences on a visual and emotional level. The exploration of family relationships, friendships, and the thrill of a theme park climax adds layers to the narrative, making it a rich and fulfilling experience for readers of all ages.
One of the standout features of "Alterations" is its commitment to portraying the Asian experience, addressing issues of racism, bullying, and the challenges of being an immigrant. Kevin's story provides much-needed representation, making it a valuable addition to the literary landscape for readers seeking diverse characters and authentic storytelling.
In summary, "Alterations" is a gem of a middle-grade graphic novel that seamlessly weaves together humor, heart, and important social themes. Ray Xu's narrative is a testament to the power of storytelling to inspire and resonate with readers, making it a must-read for those who appreciate humorous middle-grade fiction with diverse characters overcoming obstacles.