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Lat. Town boy.

LAT. Town boy. First Second Books. 192p. illus. c2007. 978-1596433311. $16.95. JS

This sequel to Kampung Boy (reviewed in KLIATT in November 2006) continues the story of Mat, a young man growing up in Malaysia in the 1960s. This graphic novel details Mat's school years and adolescence. We meet Mat's closest childhood friend, Frankie, a Chinese boy who shares his love of music. Frankie has a big record collection, so Mat often goes to his house to dance and play air guitar (with a mop) to groups such as Bill Haley and the Comets. Mat also chills with his classmates--they go to the cinema, hang out at the bus station and participate in various afterschool activities, including rugby, the school cadet band (Mat plays flute) and the Butterfly Catching society. We also tag along on Mat's first date--he and Normah go to the cinema for a viewing of Tarzan and His Mate. Town Boy ends when Frankie leaves for England.

Lat's art is full of energy--his style reminds me of Sergio Aragones and Matt Groening. Town Boy overflows with people, some of them quite strange looking; I particularly like the way Mat and Frankie strut (p. 88) and the friendly cow (p. 133). The crowd scenes are full of interesting details. Town Boy is a stand-alone graphic novel; you do not need to own Kampung Boy to read and enjoy this book. Recommended for junior high graphic novel collections; older teens may enjoy this also. If Kampung Boy did well at your library, it is a must buy. George Galuschak, YA Libn., Montvale PL, Montvale, NJ

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.
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Title Annotation:Town Boy
Author:Galuschak, George
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 1, 2008
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