Duel – book review

by Jessixa Bagley
Illustrated by Aaron Bagley
Graphic Novel
Realistic Fiction
* * * Stars (Pretty good)

Lucy (6th grader) and Gigi (older sis) are now going to the same middle school and it’s not ideal. The sisters have been fighting nonstop since their father passed away, and their quarrels carry over into their school lives, where, on their first day, Gigi trips Lucy in the cafeteria and Lucy challenges Gigi to a duel – drawing her older sister’s fencing foil, which gets them both into trouble. Although they promise not to actually fight, the duel is ON and the rest of the school is placing bets on who will win. Lucy trains hard on her own with the help of her best friend, while Gigi tries to concentrate on becoming the captain of the school’s fencing team. They continue to squabble throughout. Over the course of this story, readers learn more about the girls’ history and their parents, as well as the day-to-day challenges the girls face as middle schoolers, sisters, and friends. Although this wraps up nicely in the end, some folks may find it a struggle getting there – the sisters can be so mean to one another. Grief can express itself in strange ways, and the sisters are tearing each other apart instead of trying to hold their family together. Recommended for grades 4-8.

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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