By Hope Larson & Rebecca Mock. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR).
Hardcover, 224 pages, Colour, 2016.
It's 1860 in New York City. When 12-year-old twins Alexander and Cleopatra's father disappears, they join the Black Hook Gang and are caught by the police pulling off a heist. They agree to reveal the identity of the gang in exchange for tickets to New Orleans. But once there, Alex is shanghaied to work on a ship that is heading for San Francisco via Cape Horn. Cleo stows away on a steamer to New Granada where she hopes to catch a train to San Francisco to find her brother. Neither Alexander nor Cleo realizes the real danger they are in-they are being followed by pirates who think they hold the key to treasure. How they outwit the pirates and find each other makes for a fast-paced, breathtaking adventure.
A Margaret Ferguson Book
“Mock’s luminous full-color artwork beautifully showcases the late nineteenth-century locations, swashbuckling pirate battles, and jungle treks, all while effortlessly distinguishing among characters (no small feat, given the expansive, diverse cast and two sets of twins). Meanwhile, Larson, befitting the seafaring adventure, keeps the pace clipping along with frequent scene breaks and propulsive reveals . . . A gorgeously executed, lively caper.” —Booklist, starred review
“Larson, best known for her graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, weaves a wonderful, vivid story, assisted beautifully by Mock’s illustrations, which take the twins from murky back alleys to bright and vibrant ocean scenes...A charming choice for elementary and middle school library graphic novel collections.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“Larson’s (Who Is AC?) concoction of tried-and-true adventure elements—stowaways, pirate raids, jungle tribes—hangs together convincingly, and scene-stealers such as Tarboro, a free black man who’s a brilliant swordsman and the story’s true hero, provide moral ballast. Illustrator Mock, making her debut, adeptly captures the changing relationships between the twins—especially the gender-bending awkwardness that accompanies Cleo’s stint as a boy. A sequel is promised.” —Publishers Weekly
“This graphic novel series-opener captures all the rollicking action of a Robert Louis Stevenson sea adventure—with the welcome additions of a capable female protagonist and several fully realized secondary characters of color. A variety of panel sizes keeps the pace brisk while allowing for the occasional pause to set the scene or linger in an emotional moment. Plenty of tantalizing questions remain, setting up another exciting adventure.” —The Horn Book
Hope Larson adapted and illustrated A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel, for which she won an Eisner Award. She is also the author and illustrator of Salamander Dream, Gray Horses, Chiggers, and Mercury. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
Rebecca Mock is an illustrator and comic artist. Her work has appeared in various publications including the New York Times and The New Yorker. She is co-organizer of the Hana Doki Kira anthology. Compass South is her first book.