Wandering Son Book 4
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Reading level - 13 to 16 years.
Love is in the air. The standard rules apply: If A is in love with B, B is certain to be in love with C, and C is likely to be in love with D, or possibly A.
The simple friendships of childhood develop into the complex, tense relationships of adolescence. Friends become strangers, or worse. But while everyone seems to have caught the bug, Volume 4 revolves solidly around the triangle of Nitori-kun, Takatsuki-san, and Chiba-san.
Yet centrifugal force seems to push the three away from each other, and there is a certain grimness as they say goodbye to elementary school, and put on the (highly gendered) uniforms of junior high school.
"Wandering Son is a delightful, quiet manga about a girly boy and a boyish girl.... This is not your typical gender-bender manga playing a gender switch for laughs (and fanservice); it's a quiet, subtle story of a boy coming to terms with himself."
"Shimura balances a full plate in this story, all the while offering it with the kind of easy grace that makes the balance appear to be almost magical.... In Shimura s sympathetic hands, this manga is neither gag nor message heavy: both main characters, their peers, and their family members are credible and developed with enough depth that readers can think about them beyond the bounds of the book. ...[Wandering Son Vol. 1] belongs in every high school library, as well as in public collections that are accessible to both youth and adults."
"...Shimura Takako is a master at portraying subtle events in a slice of life story about adolescence that never feels didactic.... Like the storyline, Shimura s art is simple but nuanced.... As you d expect from Fantagraphics, the production quality for Wandering Son is excellent."
"What makes Wandering Son work is its slow-burn pace and calm atmosphere. It takes a delicate subject transgender children- and explores it slowly and carefully. Much like its characters, it moves at its own pace, easing the reader into the characters lives."