Wandering Son: Volume Four

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Overview

In this manga, transgendered children cope with love complications as they enter high school.Wandering Son has garnered extensive praise (from the LGBTQ community, from manga fans, and from comics fans in general) for its uniquely funny, warm, and sensitive treatment of the travails of two Japanese tweens who find themselves coping with the knotty issue of gender identification, as they slowly realize that maybe they aren’t who they were meant to be. In this latest volume, love is in the air. It’s in the trees ...
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Overview

In this manga, transgendered children cope with love complications as they enter high school.Wandering Son has garnered extensive praise (from the LGBTQ community, from manga fans, and from comics fans in general) for its uniquely funny, warm, and sensitive treatment of the travails of two Japanese tweens who find themselves coping with the knotty issue of gender identification, as they slowly realize that maybe they aren’t who they were meant to be. In this latest volume, love is in the air. It’s in the trees and on the streets. It’s hanging on the walls and piled in great heaps on the floor. Or is it really love? These sixth and seventh graders don’t really know. But something is definitely amiss. They can’t sleep, and when they do sleep they have strange dreams. They get angry and cry, they blush and grin like idiots, for no reason. And it isn’t even spring. But the standard rules apply: If A is in love with B, B is certain to be in love with C, and C is likely to be in love with D, or possibly A. And now it seems a good third of the alphabet is in love with our shy protagonist, Nitori-kun. But the flip-side of love is jealousy, and hate. The simple friendships of childhood develop into the complex, tense relationships of adolescence. Friends become strangers, or worse. But while everyone seems to have caught the bug, Volume 4 revolves solidly around the triangle of Nitori-kun, Takatsukisan, and Chiba-san. Yet centrifugal force seems to push the three away from each other, and there is a certain grimness as they say goodbye to elementary school, and put on the (highly gendered) uniforms of junior high school…
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Editorial Reviews

Kat Callahan - Jezebel - ROYGBIV
“...[B]eing a trans woman means I'm used to seeing awful depictions of my lived experiences. I do not see me, and that is when I see trans women or trans people in general depicted at all. Until [Wandering Son]... I had never seen my own narrative depicted. At least not closely or accurately.”
School Library Journal
09/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—This volume continues the story of Nitori Shuichi, a girl who wants to be a boy named Takatsuki Yoshino, and the friends and rivals who enhance and complicate their lives. The characters are reintroduced in the opening pages (in "The Wandering Son Board Game"), which are illustrated in color. This story intersperses the real-life drama taking place between the youngsters at home and in the classroom with the stories that Shu writes in which he imagines himself as a "tragic heroine." The story is filled with mixed signals, rumors, unrequited love, boys and girls fighting over one another, and love-hate relationships. Add to this the gender confusion felt by the main characters, and the romantic tensions become even more complicated. And as the characters get ready to enter middle school, with its gender-specific uniforms, each one is being pushed to conform to society's standards. The illustrations are mostly done in a straightforward manga style, but periodically scenes are suddenly elevated to a cinematic level with dramatically faded backgrounds. Tatako's artwork definitely enhances the story, with the black-and-white pages conveying even more emotion and power than the color illustrations. Even though these books focus on middle-grade students, the story is told in such a thoughtful and mature way, featuring lots of interior monologues and character exploration, that will go over the heads that audience. Fans of the earlier books will want to read this volume and the rest of the books in this series to see how the different characters' relationships with on another evolve over time.—Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606996058
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 6/15/2013
  • Series: Wandering Son Series
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 553,259
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Shimura Takako lives in Tokyo, Japan.
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    Posted July 5, 2013

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