Read this book.
Barbra Thorson has it rough. At school, she has no friends and is alternately bullied by larger kids and counseled by a therapist who's trying in vain to break through the shell of Barbra's denial. At home, she must face her disgruntled siblings, all of whom are dealing with the family's problem in different ways. With nowhere else to hide, Barbra mentally escapes to the fantasy role-playing universe. Unfortunately, she takes her coping mechanism too far, to the point of making herself "the weird kid," which only exacerbates her difficulties.
As heart-rending as this book can be, it's also one of the funniest things I've read this year. The heroine is as fierce and deadpan as she is tiny and strange, and when she frankly tells her teachers about her giant-slaying in a "you can't handle the truth" manner without even lowering her book, you feel equal parts terror and admiration for this miniature person who wears bunny ears as part of her daily outfit. Her transformation in the eyes of the reader from sad case to super girl is ultimately not due to the fact that she faces a real danger in the end of the comic. Her wit, resilience, and stubborn commitment to herself will astound you. She's the best-made character I've seen in a very long time.
And it doesn't stop with her. Her family, friends, and enemies are equally well-crafted, and much attention is paid to how they all interact. This book contains love, friendship, betrayal, grief, humor, hate, trust, redemption, and some really cute fairies.
I can't say enough good things about this comic. Find out for yourself!
Recommend to: Age 13+, troubled kids, reluctant readers, anyone looking for a good pick-me-up