– Mandy Smoker Broaddus, Natalie Peeterse, Dale Ray Deforest –
Published 26 April 2022
I am always on the lookout for new graphic novels for my school library and Thunderous is going to be a must-buy.
A beautiful story of adventure and identity, Thunderous is the story of Aiyana. She just wants to fit in at school, get followers online and be liked. She’d rather not listen to yet another Lakota story from her grandmother or her dorky cousin. When on a school field trip, three girls who Aiyana wants desperately to impress, deal Aiyana to climb on top of a building in a storm, Aiyana finds herself accidentally plunged into a strange world where animals talk and she must complete four challenges if she is to be allowed to return home.
The artwork is gorgeous. Some pages have sequences of panels done in a tight monochromatic palette of incredibly bright colours, from vibrant blues to neon pinks. These colours are used to highlight different passages of Aiyana’s journey and are an excellent way to bring night scenes to life. Other panels use a full range of colours.
Thunderous is both a story of Lakota stories and Native American heritage and a story of family and accepting your identity. On her journey, Aiyana learns compassion, to stand up against those who are cunning and wish her harm, and the importance of family. It is a story of growth and I loved watching Aiyana step into and start to appreciate her heritage. Thunderous is also a story of adventure, epic landscapes and beautiful animals who offer Aiyana guidance, strength and support.
I adored this beautiful graphic novel and it belongs on all school library shelves (and not just those in the USA.)
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Middle grade graphic novel
Themes: Family, Native American Heritage, Native American storytelling, Animals, Quests.
Reading age guide: Ages 8 and up.
Published: 26 April 2022 by Dynamite Entertainment
Format: Paperback. 96 pages.