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The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl Paperback – September 24, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 9 Up–On good days, Fanboy is invisible to the students at his high school. On bad ones, he's a target for bullying and violence. When a classmate is cruel to him, Fanboy adds him to The List and moves on. His only real friend, Cal, is a jock who can't be seen with him in public. Their love of comics, though, keeps them close friends outside of school. Reading comics and writing his own graphic novel, Schemata, are the only things that keep him sane. He dreams of showing his work to a famous author at a comic-book convention and being discovered as the next great graphic novelist. When Goth Girl Kyra IMs him with photos of him being beaten up, he's skeptical. Why does she care what happens to him? He learns, though, that she's as much an outsider as he is. The two form a tentative friendship based on hatred of their classmates, particularly jocks, and her interest in Schemata. Fanboy is a rule follower, but Kyra is a rebel with a foul mouth. She teaches him to stand up for himself, and gives him the confidence to do it. Lyga looks at how teens are pushed to their limits by society. Though he toys with such concepts as teen suicide and Columbine-like violence, the novel never turns tragic. His love of comics carries over into all three teen characters, breathing animation into a potentially sad but often funny story. This is a great bridge book for teens who already like graphic novels.–Stephanie L. Petruso, Anne Arundel County Public Library, Odenton, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

"I'm a computer geek, a comic book geek, a study geek. Even in the Fast-Track classes, I'm apart." Fifteen-year-old Fanboy is miserable at school, where he is bullied, and at home, with his pregnant mother and her husband, the "step-fascist." His only relief is the late hours spent creating his own comic book. Then he receives an instant message from Kyra, an enigmatic Goth who seems to be the only witness to the violence he endures, and the two form a cagey, charged friendship. Unlike Daniel Ehrenhaft's Drawing a Blank (2006), in which a young comics fan embarks on a wild, fantastical adventure, Lyga's debut novel is a darkly comic, realistic, contemporary story of bullying and a teen's private escape in artistic pursuits. Fanboy entertains plenty of violent thoughts. He carries a bullet, keeps a tally of his abusers ("The List"), and lashes out with sometimes-cruel remarks, which feel sharply authentic. The insider comics details will slow some readers, and the open-ended questions about Kyra's personal story will frustrate others. Yet Fanboy's whip-smart, often hilariously sarcastic voice skillfully captures a teenager's growing self-awareness, and adds a fresh, urgent perspective to age-old questions about how young people cope with bullying and their own feelings of helplessness, rage, and being misunderstood as they try to discover themselves. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 710 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618916520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618916528
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Things are going from bad to worse for 15-year-old comic book geek Donnie, aka "Fanboy." He keeps getting bullied in school. His parents are divorced and now his mother is pregnant with the "step-fascist's" baby. "The List" of people he'd rather have far away from his school keeps getting bigger and bigger. And now, his only friend Cal is becoming more obsessed with sports than comic books.

Donnie has several tools that help him in his struggle with high school survival. He carries in his pocket a bullet, which is like a security blanket; just knowing it's there soothes him. But the thing that gets him through it all is the graphic novel he is working on, SCHEMATA. He's convinced that if he shows his work to the famous author Bendis, he'll get signed --- and a ticket right out of town.

As he deals with his daily struggles, Donnie starts going through another torture. In gym class, Mitchell Frampton keeps punching him in the same spot on his arm over and over again. Nobody seems to notice --- nobody but a flash of white and black from the bleachers, that is. And then Donnie gets an anonymous IM from Promeatha387 asking, "Why do you let him hit you?" Promeatha is the name of an Alan Moore comic book character, and it immediately gets Donnie's attention.

They meet at the playground after school. Promeatha387 turns out to be Kyra, aka "Goth Girl," who wears all black and has black dyed hair. "Her face is so pale...that I can't even think of something to compare it to. Chalk? Kabuki makeup? Liquid Paper? Her eyes are brown stamps on it, her nose a bump that sparkles with a red stone through one side. Her mouth twists in a sneer, her lower lip is pierced at the corner, and the ring somehow makes the sneer broader.
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Format: Hardcover
Fanboy and Gothgirl is a book about a teenage boy who is in love with comics, excuse me, i mean "graphic novels." He's an outcast to a lot of kids, and is a punching bag to the rest. To get away from all the madness he has in his life including, being a punching bag, the genius in the school, his pregnet mother, divorced parents, and having a jock as a bestfriend he makes his own graphic novel to show his favorite, not to mention his role model, graphic novel writter.

Fanboy meets a girl and they become friends. Fanboy has never really had any friend but his jock friend that usually pays no attention to him, so he's sorta new at the new friend thing. Fanboys' novel is a secret that he hasn't told anyone, but his family, about. He opens up to Gothgirl and tells her about his novel. She ends up helping him with it. Even though they have fights, they still stay close.

When Mr. Andree (my english teacher) told my class about this book, I thought that I wouldn't like it, but I took it to read anyways. It was totally different than I had expected and I couldn't put the book down. This book had helped me through my reality by teaching me that just how the way people look or act doesn't mean that you should treat them differently. They are their own character and you can't, and shouldn't, try to change that, or take that from them. I would defiantly recommend this book out to people of all ages that like teenage drama.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the second novel I've read in the last several months in which the protagonist is a precociously clever young teenage boy whose main outlet is the secret creation of a comic book/graphic novel. Evan Kuhlman's "Wolf Boy" is an excellent --sometimes painful, sometimes funny -- portrait of a 13-year-old whose big brother has died and whose parents are drifting apart. Here, the titular "Fanboy" is a 15-year-old whose parents are already divorced and has exactly one friend. He's kind of a classic sophomore smart geek loner -- the kind one could well imagine going TCM on everyone if he weren't too smart for that (although he does fantasize about just such a scenario and keeps a list of people he's like to see dead).

Fanboy's into superhero comics and his schoolwork, hates the school jocks (although his one friend is a lacrosse player), and pines for the school beauties. At home, he resents his pregnant mother and tries his best to ignore his "step-fascist", hiding out in his basement room as much as possible, devoting endless hours to his secret project. His fairly miserable balance is upset when a reckless classmate (aka "Goth Girl"), semi-befriends him. This leads to great confusion for him, as he struggles to say the right thing to the ultra-sarcastic, whip-smart, defensive girl, who challenges his notions about how to get through high-school. Lurking in the background to all this is an impending comic book convention where Fanboy plans to show his masterwork to Brian Michael Bendis (a prominent real-life comic creator). This meeting, he assumes, will be the catalyst for his rise to fame as a creative genius and will herald end his current misanthropic lifestyle.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was the first novel published by Barry Lyga and it is the first of four in the Brookdale High series, which I just happened to read in reverse order. The strength of Lyga's writing is evident from this first novel and gets better with every book he writes. Lyga has an incredible gift as a storyteller. He captures life in and around high school in this series in a wonderful way. His stories are about real people with real problems and real life. Each of his books has something the reader can take away and it will help them be better at being. But I think the greatest testament to Lyga's craft as a writer is that even though I just finished this book, I am already planning to reread it.

Brookdale High or South Brook High is an interesting school. Not the worst school and not the best. There are cliques, and jocks, and geeks - all the usual groups you would find in and around a high school. And like most high schools, some of them get it and some do not. For Kyra Sellers and Fanboy (aka Donnie) it is just putting in time. Both want to be somewhere else. Both need things to change. Kyra witnesses Fanboy being punched repeatedly in gym class and wonders why he allows it to happen. Soon they have a strange friendship developing. They both have a love of Graphic Novels but prefer different styles. Fanboy is working on one and Goth Girl wants to help make it better. But as we all know, life in high school or life in general is usually not easy and things often go wrong or at least not the way we expect, and in this story that is definitely the case.

There are a number of strengths that make this novel so good. First, there are the characters.
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