Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that should absolutely be put at the top of your TBR pile. Recommended books will vary across genre and age category and include shiny new books, older books you may have missed, and some classics I suggest finally getting around to. Make space for another pile of books on your floor because here we go!

Today’s pick is a young adult graphic novel that is unlike other superhero graphic novels I’ve read. I’m rarely into the “tights and capes” heroes, but this graphic novel is phenomenal and like nothing I expected. If you are familiar with Wonder Woman lore, then you probably know who Nubia is. If you don’t, then you’re in for a wonderful surprise with this book.

Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney, illustrated by Robyn Smith with Bex Glendining, Brie Henderson, and Ariana Maher

Nubia is a Black seventeen-year-old with superpowers that she does her best to keep hidden and under control for obvious reasons: she is Black with superpowers! Racists already think normal Black people are dangerous, how do we think they’d treat a Black girl with super strength? Yes she has powers, but she is not invincible so she lays low with her two moms. In fact, because of a few incidents, they’ve already had to pick up and move towns multiple times in order to keep Nubia safe. They’ve finally lived in a place long enough where she’s been able to plant some roots and make some really good friends.

Nubia’s two best friends are Quisha and Jason. At the beginning of the book, Nubia, Quisha, and Jason are outside the corner store, having slushies and talking about their summer plans. Nubia’s moms are kinda strict so it’s likely she won’t be doing much of anything, though Quisha wants her at least to come to the upcoming march against police brutality. Quisha and Jason leave, and Nubia goes into the shop to get a refill. Her crush, Oscar, happens to be in the shop. While they are in there, there’s an attempted robbery and Nubia has no choice but to use her powers to stop them.

You know, her powers she is supposed to be keeping secret.

This comic is fantastic. Nubia’s story, though fantasy, is still the very real story of Black women being at the forefront of fights for justice. How much do we all, as people, need to risk in order to protect others? And how can we keep up the fight for a society that views us as less than human? Not gonna lie, I cried through most of this comic. Not because it’s bad, but because it is so incredibly good. Nubia is the hero I didn’t know I needed.

I highly recommend this comic, even if you’re not into superhero comics, you need to read this one.

That’s it for now, book-lovers!


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