Title: The Magic Fish by Trun Le Nguyen
Summary: Real life isn't a fairy tale but these are the library books Tiến enjoys reading out loud to his parents. It is hard to communicate with parents when you are a teenager but it is doubly hard when there your parents struggle to understand English. So how does one tell your parents you are gay when a language barrier exists.
Review: I saw some good reviews of this graphic novel by a very talented artist, Trung Le Nguyen, and thought I'd best check it out. What I liked about the story was the way that fairy tales were woven into the story line of a lonely boy hoping to communicate something very important to his parents. Many of the fairy tales were Vietnamese adaptions on Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson tales but others were ones I wasn't familiar with at all. Sometimes I couldn't really tell what happened in the tale. Did that person really come back to life? Why did they need to dig up the bones? What happened next? What I didn't like about the book was my confusion about the age of the characters. From the drawings Tiến seems to be around ten and his mother looks like she is about fifteen. The drama in his life was never fully flushed out, though I did understand there was a lot of it.
After reading this graphic novel I hopped over to Goodreads and took a peek at others' reviews and didn't find many (any) that agreed with me about the problems I found with the illustrations or the story line. I guess I may not be the best person to review a graphic novel since I read so few of them each year. I'd love to know what you think of this format or of this book specifically.