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Americus Paperback – August 30, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (August 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596436018
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596436015
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Indie comics writer and illustrator MK Reed lives in Brooklyn. She’s an old hand at the self publishing scene but this is her first go-round with a big publisher.

Jonathan Hill is a cartoonist & illustrator living in Portland, Oregon. Americus will be his first graphic novel.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By SAN on October 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This debut graphic novel from Reed and Hill is pretty much pitch perfect. It's the sort of small town coming-of-age story on which we've seen many variations, but Reed and Hill manage to pick out all the moments which will most resonate with any reader. I couldn't put it down. A great purchase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on September 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Neil Barton is your typical average teenager about to start high school...in other words he's a bit awkward, not really sure how to interact with girls, and still trying to find out who he is. But he is sure of one thing, "The Chronicles of Apathea Ravenchilde," is his favorite book series and he can't wait to read the latest volume. There's just one problem...his best friend's mom thinks that it's promoting witchcraft and wants it banned from the library! So in addition to trying to make new friends, navigate high school, he now has to step up and help make sure that Apathea is saved for all to read.

Taken at face value this may seem like a simple tale, but in reality it's quite complex. On one hand you have Neil, a teenage boy about to start high school and attempting to figure out who he is. In this book he not only sees his best friend, Danny, sent to Military School, but he starts learning about how to interact with girls, how to stand up for himself, and what type of music is out in the world that defines and echos within his soul. And then on the other hand you have the battle to save the Apathea series from being banned by Christian activists in the town, and seeing the library and the community working together to prevent this. And one of the best aspects of the battle, for me, is that they depicted members of the community--young and old--discussing what the series had come to mean for them. And the author blends these two tales together to make a solid story.

The author does a fantastic job of making Neil and most of the characters real people, someone that you could recognize off the street or someone that you might know...perhaps yourself. Where they falter a bit is the seemingly one dimensional side of Danny's mom and her friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carolina West on April 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
A graphic novel with a realistic setting, believable characters and an unfortunately common conflict, Americus is one of my personal favorites.
The story revolves around Neil, a small-town bookworm, his best friend Danny, and an advocacy group's desire to ban a popular series from the town's library. They also have to deal with growing up and the consequences of an overly-zealous parent. I highly suggest reading it to learn all the details!

If there is one gripe I have, it's that the book series involved isn't real. It sounds like an entertaining read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Schensted VINE VOICE on September 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
in a sentence or so: Neil's best friend moves away and his favorite book is in the process of getting banned from his local library just before he starts his freshman year of high school. Neil will have to stand up for his friends, for what he believes, and ultimately for himself.

Neil and his best friend Danny are quite taken with an epic fantasy series. when Danny's mom finds out that there are witches and magic, she's not too happy about it. in fact, she's downright angry. she begins a movement to get the books banned from the library and sends Danny to military school in the meantime. Neil is left to fend for himself and fight against the crazy moms trying to ban the best books ever and navigate the choppy waters of high school as a glaringly obvious nerd.

this graphic novel alternates between Neil's tale and that of the fantasy series within the book, "The Chronicles of Apathea Ravenchilde". as you can guess, the book within the book represents the struggle for identity and doing what's right, just as the plot with Neil does. the inner book doesn't dominate the read, but rather adds another layer and insight to the plot. while teen characters were fleshed out and complex, the crazy mom character was two dimensional and Totally Wrong and didn't have balance or depth, so that was a bummer.

while some good issues are raised and some questions are explored, i think more balance and redemption with characters could have taken this read to the next level. overall, this was a quick read and one that i'd definitely recommend to book clubs or to chat about with others!

fave quote: "...and finally, no jokes about your tools. You're not clever, wise guys, and I'm sick of hearing them." (Neil's shop teacher on his first day of school, pg 127)

fix er up: depth and detail, please!
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