Taproot

Written & Illustrated by: Keezy Young

For ages: Young Adults and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Friendship, LGBT, Supernatural, Graphic Novels, Love, Friendship, Family, Acceptance.

Summary: Blue is in love with Hamal.  Unfortunately, Hamal is alive and Blue is a ghost. Hamal works at a flower shop, and also happens to be a necromancer (but he doesn’t know it yet).  Hamal and Blue are best friends, and spend most days together even though everyone thinks Hamal just talks to himself he’s really talking to his ghost pals.  When a reaper shows up, Hamal and Blue expect the worst!  The reaper just wants to issue Hamal a Necromancer permit, and to have him help out investigating supernatural occurrences around the neighborhood.  In an exciting turn of events, the reaper turns Blue back into a human!  Hamal and Blue are deeply in love, and go on more adventures together.

This is a quick read with adorable illustrations!  The plot moves very quickly, and a lot of ground is covered in the short book.  This book normalizes boys being affectionate and in love, and adds a little creepiness with the supernatural elements!  Recommended for a quick read, the book leaves off in a place that leaves the reader wanting a second edition to begin immediately.

Reflection Questions:

  • How do you think Hamal feels when people think he’s weird because he seems to be talking to himself all the time?
  • What ability in the book would you most like to have?
  • How do you think Blue feels now that he’s alive again, and can be with Hamal?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Learn more about native plants in your area.  Take nature walk and see what is growing naturally outdoors.  If there isn’t a forest nearby, you can try planting a few  easy herbs in pots on your stoop or porch!
  • Write your own supernatural story!  Illustrate the plot yourself, or collaborate with other artist to create your own comic book.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

91lhZQiw+yL._US230_Keezy Young is a comic artist and illustrator based out of Seattle.  She grew up drawing on her mother’s walls, sneakily staying up late to read by nightlight, and later, cutting class to go to the library and sketch. Any opportunity to con her teachers into letting her illustrate a book report instead of writing one was taken. Although her art is self-taught, she credits Digimon and Studio Ghibli as important influences.
Today, Keezy writes, draws, and designs her own young adult comics. Her stories are cute, eerie, and sometimes dark, but always hopeful at their core. Her work is character-focused, and she uses action, romance, and mystery to explore LGBTQIA characters and themes, since those are the stories she always looked for growing up, but could rarely find.  Photoshop is her tool of choice these days, but her roots in pencil, pen and ink, and watercolor show in her vivid colors and atmospheres.

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