Get ready for a thrilling journey in Compass South, a New York Times–bestselling middle-grade graphic novel full of pirates and adventure, written by the adapter and illustrator of the New York Times–bestselling A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel.
It's 1860 in New York City. When 12-year-old twins Alex and Cleo's father disappears, they join the Black Hook Gang and are caught by the police pulling off a heist. They agree to reveal the identity of the gang in exchange for tickets to New Orleans.
But once there, Alex is kidnapped and made to work on a ship that is heading for San Francisco via Cape Horn. Cleo stows away on a steamer to New Granada where she hopes to catch a train to San Francisco to find her brother.
Neither Alex nor Cleo realizes the real danger they are inthey are being followed by pirates who think they hold the key to treasure. How they outwit the pirates and find each other makes for a fast-paced adventure.
This full color graphic novel is perfect for readers of all genders, including reluctant readers, comics fans, and anyone who enjoys action packed seafaring adventures. It's the first book in a duology, followed by a standalone sequel, Knife's Edge.
Praise for Compass South:
A New York Times bestseller!
"Mock’s luminous full-color artwork beautifully showcases the late nineteenth-century locations, swashbuckling pirate battles, and jungle treks, all while effortlessly distinguishing among characters (no small feat, given the expansive, diverse cast and two sets of twins). Meanwhile, Larson, befitting the seafaring adventure, keeps the pace clipping along with frequent scene breaks and propulsive reveals. . . . A gorgeously executed, lively caper.” Booklist, starred review
“Larson, best known for her graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, weaves a wonderful, vivid story, assisted beautifully by Mock’s illustrations, which take the twins from murky back alleys to bright and vibrant ocean scenes...A charming choice for elementary and middle school library graphic novel collections.” School Library Journal, starred review
“Larson’s (Who Is AC?) concoction of tried-and-true adventure elementsstowaways, pirate raids, jungle tribeshangs together convincingly, and scene-stealers such as Tarboro, a free black man who’s a brilliant swordsman and the story’s true hero, provide moral ballast. Illustrator Mock, making her debut, adeptly captures the changing relationships between the twinsespecially the gender-bending awkwardness that accompanies Cleo’s stint as a boy. A sequel is promised.” Publishers Weekly
“Captures all the rollicking action of a Robert Louis Stevenson–type sea adventure.” The Horn Book
About the Author
Hope Larson adapted and illustrated A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel, for which she won an Eisner award. She is also the author and illustrator of Salamander Dream, Gray Horses, Chiggers, and Mercury. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
Rebecca Mock is an illustrator and comic artist. Her work has appeared in various publications including the New York Times and The New Yorker. She is co-organizer of the Hana Doki Kira anthology. Compass South is her first book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A good start. Well-drawn. An intriguing mystery with a Railway Children feel but taking advantage of its American setting. Fast-paced, inventive, and highly energetic.
It was a very intreaging tale and very enjoyable
New York City, 1860: When Alexander and Cleopatra's father disappears, the twins are soon forced into service for the Black Hook Gang to try and survive. Facing jail time after a heist goes awry, Alex and Cleo inform on the gang in exchange for tickets out of the city. The twins hatch a plan to head to San Francisco impersonating the long-lost sons of a millionaire. But like most cons, nothing goes quite right. When they meet Silas and Edwin, another set of twins with the same con in mind, tempers flare and trouble forms leaving Alex and Edwin shanghaied on a ship heading to San Francisco. While Alex and Edwin try to find their way on the ship, Cleo and Silas reluctantly join forces to reunite with their brothers in Compass South (2016) by Hope Larson, illustrated by Rebecca Mock. Compass South is the start of a projected graphic novel series. Cleo and Alex are orphans being raised by their uncle (known to them as their father) with only two mysterious treasures--a watch and a knife--as their family legacy. The larger mystery of the knife and the watch begins to unfold as Alex and Cleo's madcap trip to San Francisco begins. Silas and Edwin serve as a nice contrast to Alex and Cleo with different priorities and outlooks during the course of their journeys. Larson's nappy dialogue (in easy to read speech bubbles) works well with Mock's carefully detailed full-color illustrations. This story, filled with a variety of moving parts, subplots, and characters, comes together nicely in a fun introduction to the indomitable Alex and Cleo. As might be expected in a story with two different sets of twins, sometimes it's difficult to gauge who is being shown in frame however visual clues and dialogue help to quickly clear up any confusion. Compass South is a fast-paced graphic novel filled with action and adventure. Sure to appeal to readers of all ages looking for an exciting piece of historical fiction, and of course to comics fans. Readers will be clamoring to see what comes next for all of the characters and eager for future installments.