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Fortunately, nobody is serving detention in Richard A. Hamilton’s graphic novel Fearbook Club. Whit Garcia is the new kid in middle school. He doesn’t gave friends. His concerned principal offers him a place at Yearbook club since he loves taking photos. This lad has a talent for getting snaps of ghostly figures too, something he tries to rationalise as dirt or anomalies of light.
It’s a detail I appreciate is in how careful Whit is with his “paranormal investigation.” He goes digging and discovers this school’s history says it all. For decades, youths have been disappearing. The reason they’re hiding is that they’ve been chased there, bullied by their peers (from various eras), and all of that has created a Freddy Krueger-like character who dampens their spirits. It doesn’t allow them to leave, and it’s the type of traditional horror trope which makes those tales truly terrifying!
Marco Matrone’s art gives this book an additional feel of an Archie comic. School’s out for some, but for others, they’re trapped. He draws these ghosts The Sixth Sense-style.
Like a certain John Hughes film, what’s learned is that the bonds created do more to give friendships strength. Whit has trouble understanding why he lost his father. The man was a war photojournalist and he gave his life to save another. It’s haunted his mom a lot more.
Hamilton’s message shows it’s possible to live happily ever after. He shows how having friends is important as each person supports each other. Readers discover there’s power together rather than split apart. This lesson is an easy one to take home, and as for what’s next, it’s being able to hold your head up high rather than to hide in the shadows all the time.