Graphic novel: “A Year WIthout Mom”


A Year Without Mom

by Dasha Tolstikova tells the story of 12 year-old Dasha living in Russia with her mother and grandparents. When her mom gets a chance to attend university in the USA, Dasha is left behind to stay with her grandparents. Month by month, we observe Dasha’s year without her mom.  Her two best friends get jealous of her high marks in math and cut class. Dasha attends a writer’s workshop where she develops a crush on a boy.  She visits Germany and ends up in the emergency room over an allergic reaction.  I was struck by how similar Dasha’s life and feelings were to a typical 12 year-old from the USA. It was very similar.  The mostly brown and gray colors force the reader to focus on the characters faces. Dasha’s angst and turmoil are very real and typical. A fast read.

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