Tin Man

Abrams/Amulet. Apr. 2022. 224p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781419751042.
Gr 8 Up–If it wasn’t for the parallels to The Wizard of Oz, this work would seem like a very strange story indeed. Fenn and Solar are siblings who used to be close-knit, but the passing of their grandma left Solar turning away from her goal of becoming an aerospace engineer and gravitating instead to a group of local good-for-nothing teens. Fenn, who longs to be a space explorer, misses their time spent working on the rocketship in their garage together and having a sister who would pay attention to him. They reside in Old Zarrow (Oz for short, of course) and Tin People live outside of their town in the Tin Forest. Fenn meets a Tin Man named Campbell in a local junkyard, and they strike up an unlikely friendship. Campbell longed to have a heart, but his mechanical heart was broken by a girl named Dottie. Campbell finds comfort in his new friendship with Fenn and also discovers that he has lots in common with Solar. Fenn and Solar must find their way back to one another and learn to work through their grief for their grandmother while still chasing their dreams. Madson’s art is consistent, and his characters are especially relatable. References to L. Frank Baum’s books can be found tucked into the background, such as the residents of run-down Oz worrying about tornadoes in the forecast.
VERDICT An oddly compelling twist on The Wizard of Oz with a heavy dose of sibling drama. Good for larger graphic novel collections.

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