A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Paper Girls collects the first five issues of the ongoing comics series by writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Cliff Chiang. Set in 1988, it tells the story of four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls who witness incredibly strange events during their early morning rounds. The characters occasionally use strong language, including one or two instances each of "goddamn," "faggot," "s--t," "bitch," "hell," and "f--k." One of the girls is a regular smoker, and her mother is an alcoholic. Violent scenes include a fight with teens from the future, an attack by an alien, and an accidental shooting.
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What's the story?
As PAPER GIRLS begins, newspaper deliverers Tiffany, KJ, Erin, and MacKenzie are out on their suburban routes before dawn on the morning after Halloween. After Tiffany and KJ are jumped by three mysterious figures in "ghost costumes," the four girls break into an abandoned house to retrieve Tiffany's stolen walkie-talkie. In the basement, they discover a bizarre artifact that looks like an alien spacecraft. After they examine it, the sky erupts in vivid colors and all sorts of strange things begin to happen, including the arrival of flying dinosaurs.
Is it any good?
While aimed at readers older than its four main characters, this tale of four tweens dealing with mysterious goings-on in a Cleveland suburb expertly mixes '80s nostalgia with cutting-edge sci-fi. Author Brian K. Vaughan and artist Cliff Chiang do an exemplary job of distinguishing each of the main characters, capturing her distinct personality through dialogue and facial expressions. There's a lot of plot to keep track of, and nothing much is resolved in the first five issues, but older teen comics fans will enjoy the snappy wordplay, can-do attitude, plot twists, and tantalizing mysteries that mark this ongoing comics series.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Paper Girls mixes an everyday setting with science-fictional events. How has science shaped how we think about the future?
What role does violence play in Paper Girls? Are there times when violence is unavoidable?
How do children and adults act differently when confronted by a strange and dangerous situation?
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