Subtitle: a graphic novel adventure about hope in the face of climate change
By: Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin
Illustrated by: Giovanni Rigano
Genre: YFW - Comic strip fiction / graphic novels
Published by: Hachette Children's Books
Published: 26 Apr 2023
ISBN: 9781444951912


This is a powerful, hopeful and timely story about the real effects of climate change: two young people on different continents whose lives are catastrophically changed by global warming. A graphic novel with glorious colour artwork throughout for children of all ages - from Eoin Colfer, previously Irish Children's Laureate, and the team behind Illegal, and his bestselling Artemis Fowl graphic novels.

Yuki lives in an increasingly deserted Inuit township in Nova Scotia. One day she sets out into the wilderness of the Arctic tundra planning to photograph a rare grolar bear (a terrifying grizzly-polar crossbreed created by climate change) - if she can prove it's a grolar, she can protect it from being shot. With only her faithful dog for company and adrift on a fragment of melting glacier, she finds herself being stalked across the changing wilderness by a starving grolar bear, with only her wits and her harpoon to keep her alive.

Sami lives in a fishing village on the Bay of Bengal. But because of the ever-rising ocean level, each day is a struggle to survive. One night, Sami sets out to return to his old, submerged family home, alone. He takes a deep breath and dives beneath the moonlit waters, hoping to find his past. But a cyclone is coming ... Illustrated by the talented Giovanni Rigano, this moving and important graphic novel will have breathtaking full-colour illustrations throughout.

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Set in both the Bay of Bengal in the Indian ocean, where Sami lives in a fishing village with his grandpa, and the Arctic region of northern Canada, where Yuki lives with her family, this is a story that shows the interconnectivity of all communities.

Sami and his grandpa are having trouble making ends meet. There are less fish around, and they need to go into deeper and deeper water to even find them.

Yuki wants to help save the grolar bears - who are a cross between polar and grizzly bears. They emerged due to global heating, when the polar and grizzly bear territories reduced, and are now overlapping.

This is an excellent graphic novel that highlights the need for global action on climate change, and importantly the things both small and large that individuals can do to play their part. 

It is a timely and accessible book that will suit middle grade readers in upper primary and lower secondary.

Reviewed by Rob