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Giants Beware!: 01/07/15
Giants Beware! by Jorge Aguirre won the 2013 CYBILS in the middle grade graphic novels category. Claudette wants to be a giant slayer even though her blacksmith father lost both legs and arm in the slayer business. Meanwhile, her brother Gaston wants to be a pastry chef. The only person who believes in Charlotte's dreams is her princess in training friend, Marie.
Jorge Aguirre and illustrator Rafael Rosado populate the pages of Giants Beware! with a diverse cast, but it takes a while for the characters to come into their own as individuals, rather than trope reversals. For me, the set up of Claudette as the tough girl who wants to a hunter / slayer needed to get going quicker.
The best parts of the plot and characterization don't really surface until Charlotte finally heads out on her quest to find and slay the giant. The initial introduction to her, her family, friends and village needs to be about half the length it is.
I still though, do feel the book is deserving of its CYBILs award for its positive portrayal of diverse characters, as well as the overall message of taking time to listen — even to one's enemy. That lesson, though, is a hard one for Charlotte to learn.