The Lost Boy is an enjoyable read for both those familiar and unfamiliar with graphic novel style and organization. The story flips between the past and present, visually placing readers in Walt’s time period when Nate plays the lost recordings he found. The writer/artist separates these two points of view clearly by marking them with two different backgrounds for those pages: Walt’s perspective has a black background, while Nate’s is white. Given that the illustrations are in black and white, it did take a couple pages to figure out the setup of the story, but overall it was well done. Also, readers will find that reading the dialogue is much like a reading a traditional story in that you track the words on the page from left to right and then down. Not all graphic novels appear this way which makes this book a great introduction to the genre. Such visual cues make it easy for readers who have never tried a graphic novel before to transition easily yet still provides interesting visuals to engage more experienced readers of graphic novels.
Overall, The Lost Boy is an enjoyable story that balances itself to suit many different readers. The plot feels suspenseful without being too scary, the story’s structure uses the spaces of both writing and drawing, and the genre is a combination of fantasy, mystery, and adventure. These components make Ruth’s book a highly suggested read for those who enjoy these kinds of unique and very approachable features or for those who wish to try something new.
Does it have a Young Adult Label?: No.
Recommended if you like: Talking animals, Forests, Mysterious keys, Gates to other realms, Toys that come alive, Stories about finding your destiny, and power