Safia loves reading about adventures in her audiobooks but she never reads about adventurers who are blind like her.
When she is sent to live with her reclusive and mysterious aunt, Lord Whimsy, Safia soon realizes she might be ready to have some adventures of her own.
Aunt Whimsy used to be a renowned traveler and adventure–things she set aside after her accident. That is until Whimsy’s old rival Professor Doctor Cecilia Choi resurface with news of their greatest discovery yet–a discovery that Whimsy found years before. Whisked along while her aunt tries to best her rival one last time, Safia embarks on the start of her own life as an adventure.
But adventuring is about more than traveling. When a group of chaotic agents threaten Whimsy, Professor Doctor Choi, and the entire world Safia will have to think fast to save the day in My Aunt is a Monster (2022) by Reimena Yee.
My Aunt is a Monster is a standalone graphic novel with full color illustrations. Safia is brown skinned with relatives in Egypt and India–there is also diversity and LGBTQ+ representation in the supporting cast.
My Aunt is a Monster is a fast-paced adventured filled with humor and richly detailed world building as Safia learns more about her aunt’s exploits and life as an explorer. Safia’s journey as she realizes that she can be an adventurer just as she is makes for an empowering character arc and much needed representation. Unfortunately, Safia’s blindess is also used against her multiple times first with Aunt Whimsy lying to Safia and telling Safia that she is disfigured rather than cursed to take on the form of a monster while another character distracts Safia and takes advantage of her blindness to steal an artifact that Safia cannot see. Whimsy does eventually apologize and it could be seen as a teachable moment but it’s still a problematic one to be aware of.
Yee’s illustrations are intricately detailed and filled with fun elements from Whimsy’s adventures and the new backdrops of this current story. Quirky humor and take-charge heroine Safia make My Aunt is a Monster a great choice for anyone seeking a new graphic novel adventure.
Possible Pairings: Claire and the Dragons by Wander Antunes, Oddly Normal by Otis Frampton, The Rema Chronicles by Amy Kim Kibuishi, Target Practice by Mike Maihack, The Sand Warrior by Mike Siegel, Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson