Fourteen-year-old Yancy Aparicio is miserable. His big brother Will is a clearly a psycho, but no one seems to notice how dangerous he really is. Will is charming and manipulative to their parents, while being cold and cruel to Yancy, and no matter what Will does, their parents keep giving him more chances. So when Will cuts the tail off Yancy’s horse Shy in a fit of rage, Yancy decides he’s had enough. He packs his bags, saddles up Shy and heads for the hills. He also takes his journal, where he writes and draws about his journey, including small comic panels about Will, his parents, and his cute crush from school, Christi. The journey is hard, made worse by the fact that Yancy has no real plan for his future. He can’t just keep running from Will forever, but how can he convince his well-meaning parents that Will is the one who needs to be sent away, not him? Sometimes it feels like he’s the invisible son, and the only one his parents really see is Will. This modern day Western is full of unexpected accidents, suspenseful near misses and miraculous saves, with the tone and flavor of two of my other fav rodeo-ish reads. I’m also loving this trend of the illustrated novel for dudes, like Wimpy Kid all grown up. Sandra Alonzo‘s words and Nathan Huang‘s crisp, blocky B&W sketches mesh perfectly–I really felt like I was reading Yancy’s personal journal. Know of any other cool illustrated novels you think I should check out? Leave me the titles in the comments.
Riding Invisible by Sandra Alonzo, illustrated by Nathan Huang