Manu: A Graphic Novel (Paperback)

Manu: A Graphic Novel By Kelly Fernández, Kelly Fernández (Illustrator) Cover Image

Manu: A Graphic Novel (Paperback)


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November/December 2021 Kids Indie Next List

“Manu is a very different kind of kid at her all-girls magic school. Her talents are unpredictable, and she’s quick to anger. As she starts to discover why, readers will relate to the many emotions and frustrations of growing up and feeling like you don’t fit in. I loved Manu!”
— Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books & Music, Millerton, NY

A funny and heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel adventure about friendship, defying expectations, and finding your place.

Manu and her best friend, Josefina, live at a magical school for girls, and Manu is always getting into trouble. The headmistress believes that Manu has the potential to help people with her magic, but Manu would rather have fun than fall in line. One day, a prank goes seriously wrong, and Josefina gets angry and wishes for Manu's magic to disappear... and it does. Manu uses a dangerous spell to restore it, but it makes her magic too powerful and nearly impossible to control. Great power comes at a cost, and it may be a price that Manu isn't able to pay!
Kelly Fernández makes comics that are inspired by her daily experiences, Dominican heritage, and American culture. Her work has been featured in comics anthologies, and she won a Chicago Alternative Comics Expo Cupcake Award for her minicomic Cuidando. Kelly is a winner of the Get Published by Graphix contest, and Manu is her debut graphic novel. She lives in Queens, New York, and you can visit her online at
Product Details ISBN: 9781338264180
ISBN-10: 1338264184
Publisher: Graphix
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021
Pages: 192
Language: English

Praise for Manu:

International Latino Book Award, Silver Medal Winner

Washington Post Best Children's Book of the Year

Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

Amazon Best Book of the Month

American Library Association Best Graphic Novel for Children

American Booksellers Association Indies Introduce Pick

American Booksellers Association Indie Next Pick

Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

Get Published by Graphix Contest Winner

Recipient of four starred reviews

★ “Fernández’s cartoon artwork in saturated tones and with lush, vibrant backgrounds dense with plants makes for charming, light-hearted atmosphere, within which she affectionately depicts the rich variety of love people can have for one another, such as the love of a parent, foster parent, or best friend.” -- Booklist, starred review

★ "Drawing from her own Dominican experience, Fernández weaves together religion, lore, and brujería and creates a world in which magical powers bestowed by saints and evil eye necklaces work hand in hand. Fun, refreshing, antics-filled magical adventures." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ "Fernández’s fast-paced graphic novel debut explores striving for individuality while yearning to belong, reminding readers that differences should never preclude extending kindness and love." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ "Though the emphasis on magic will draw in fantasy fans, this poignant graphic novel will resonate with any reader seeking a tale of friendship conquering all." -- School Library Journal, starred review

"Fernández, an incredibly adept cartoonist, fills her pages with hilarious gags, rebellious children and a main character who has to come to terms with her true self before she can truly excel." -- The Washington Post

"Adorable... If you've got a kid who loves comics, Manu is a solid choice with some really lovely art." -- NPR

"A beautiful tale with really lovely art and endearing characters." -- Book Riot

"This adorable, vibrant, and fantastical graphic novel perfectly captures the power and magic of friendship." -- Cat Chapman, bookseller at Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL

"A funny, friendship-filled adventure. Manu, Josefina, and their classmates will be a treat for all kids but especially for Latinx kids who may have dreamed about a magic school whose classmates looked like them." -- Brein Lopez, bookseller at Children's Book World in Los Angeles, CA