Monstrous: A Transracial Adoption Story (Paperback)
Chosen by: Emily
This book is a beautiful visual memoir of the author’s childhood, rife with pain and conflict but also overflowing with creativity and love. Growing up in the 80s and 90s as a Korean-American adopted by white parents, Sarah endured racism and bullying. They retreat into themself through drawing, anime, and cosplay, hobbies encouraged by Sarah’s parents but ridiculed by many of their schoolmates. As Sarah fights to figure out their own identity, they begin to battle their own compulsions towards anger and violence. This book is so nuanced and poignant–a really important read.— From September 2023 Staff Picks
"A beautiful, courageous book.”
Gene Luen Yang, author of American Born Chinese
Monstrous is poignant young adult graphic memoir about a Korean-American girl who uses fandom and art-making to overcome racist bullying. Perfect for fans of Almost American Girl!
Sarah has always struggled to fit in. Born in South Korea and adopted at birth by a white couple, she grows up in a rural community with few Asian neighbors. People whisper in the supermarket. Classmates bully her. She has trouble containing her anger in these moments—but through it all, she has her art. She's always been a compulsive drawer, and when she discovers anime, her hobby becomes an obsession.
Though drawing and cosplay offer her an escape, she still struggles to connect with others. And in high school, the bullies are louder and meaner. Sarah's bubbling rage is threatening to burst.
About the Author
Sarah Myer is a comic artist and illustrator hailing from a ten-acre farm in White Hall, Maryland. An old-school cosplayer and anime fan, Sarah has attended anime/comic conventions as a fan and artist alley participant since 1999 and has constructed and worn more than fifty costumes. When they aren’t drawing, writing, or cosplaying, Sarah enjoys cooking, weight training, and spending time with their mackerel tabby, Loki. Sarah graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with BFA and MFA degrees in sequential art and taught foundation studies classes at the college for three years. In 2019, First Second published Maker Comics: Create a Costume!, Sarah’s first graphic novel. Their graphic memoir, Monstrous, debuts in 2023.
A Junior Library Guild selection
"For fans of Jarrett Krosoczka’s Hey, Kiddo and Robin Ha’s Almost American Girl, this coming-of-age memoir will appeal to youth who are struggling with their identity." —School Library Journal, starred review
"Immersive and engrossing: a beautifully depicted emotional journey."—Kirkus, starred review
"Her powerful memoir is an empathic gift, presented in full technicolor with never-static panels, showcasing raw energy."—Booklist, starred review
"This is a fierce graphic memoir with grit and honesty."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"Those wrestling with feelings of disconnect from their communities will find validation in this confessional read."—Publishers Weekly
"How each feeling is detailed in Monstrous was extraordinarily done... We all have a monster within us, but as Sarah shows us in their story, the best way to fight the monster is with love for each other, and most importantly, ourselves." —Good Comics for Kids