This is one of my new favourites. I fell head over heels for this middle grade graphic novels about deep sea creatures taking over a diving suit, addressing themes of loss, family and finding yourself. Massive thanks to Kiran at Scholastic for sending me a review copy, all opinions are entirely my own.
RELEASE DATE: 01/03/2022
STAR RATING: 5/5 ✶
SUMMARY: The Aquanaut follows a group of determined characters on their entangled journey to save their family. First there’s a band of sea creatures struggling to find their way to a fabled paradise and safe haven for marine life. Then there’s a girl who lost her father at sea and is at risk of losing her uncle to his obsession with the legacy of a theme park. The unlikely group find their way to each other at AQUALAND, and stumble across what they are looking for in unexpected ways. (from Scholastic)
OPINIONS: This middle grade graphic novel is absolutely adorable – but also heartbreaking and sad and emotional. It is one that is suited for children just as much as for adults, and perhaps older readers even get more out of it than younger ones. It deals with family, loss and standing up for yourself. This makes it not necessarily an easy read, but one worth your while. It starts out with the loss of a parent – a topic that may be triggering for some, but handles it well and with nuance throughout the story.
I thought that the graphic novel format worked especially well to tell this particular story – the form worked with the characters and plot to shape and make them come to life in ways that a purely linguistic story would not have been able to. A great example for the value of graphic stories for young readers! (I’m a huge proponent of letting everyone read in the format that works best for them, but its always lovely to come across a story where formats other than text add so much to it.)
For me, this is a true gem of a book, and one I see myself picking up again and again when I need to have a good cry and a comfort read. It is one of my favourite graphic novels of all time and I highly recommend it to anyone.