Wilhelmina “Will” Huxstep is a creative soul struggling to come to terms with a family tragedy. She crafts whimsical lamps, in part to deal with her fear of the dark. As she wraps up another summer in her mountain town, she longs for unplugged adventures with her fellow creative friends, Autumn, Noel, and Reese. Little does she know that she will get her wish in the form of an arts carnival and a blackout, courtesy of a hurricane named Whitney, which forces Will to face her fear of darkness.
Laura Lee Gulledge’s signature visual metaphors will be on full display in this all-new graphic novel, a moving look at shedding light on the dark corners of life.
Praise for Will & Whit
"This sophomore offering shines as bright as the lamps Will surrounds herself with... Quirky, clever and insightful."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Gulledge creates engaging characters (especially Reese, Noel’s precocious younger sister), and draws them with believable expressiveness… Gulledge’s values are wholesome, and her energy is up-to-the minute fresh."
"The most striking feature about Gulledge’s second graphic novel is the organic nature of the layouts. Action and dialogue flow smoothly from panel to panel, barely acknowledging their confines. Thick, sumptuous lines separate characters from richly detailed backgrounds, and this is all done in black and white. Gulledge populates her story with unique and likable characters who relate easily and naturally to one another."
School Library Journal
"Across the reaches of YA-targeted media, it’s rare to find a work with such a relentlessly upbeat tone and sense of uncompromising positivity as those found in this graphic novel."
"The shape and pacing of panels expertly capture the narrative’s tone; occasionally the panels disappear altogether, giving the images a dreamy feel. Eloquent pointillist shadows reveal Will’s emotionsespecially her fears and insecuritiesand her expansive imagination."
"Rendered in black and white panels, this graphic novel provides a surprisingly light-hearted story with a strong emotional core. Detailed backgrounds draw the reader into the scene, while the mixture of group shots and individual faces guides the narrative through social and introspective moments."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"Willhemena learns to deal with the shadows from her past and take a big step toward adulthood. This is a satisfying coming-of-age story with a good plot and strong images."
Library Media Connection
YALSA's Great Graphic Novels for Teens List 2014 (Top Ten Title)
Texas Library Association Maverick Graphic Novel 2014 list
Kirkus Best Book of 2013
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Laura Lee Gulledge is the author of Page by Paige, which was nominated for the prestigious Eisner Award. She has worked in art education, scenic painting, textile design, and event production, among other pursuits. Visit her online at whoislauralee.com, where she regularly posts new and in-progress art.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Will & Whit based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
This review was originally posted on my blog Belletristic Books. I’ve been attempting to read a lot more graphic novels recently. I found Laura Lee Gulledge’s debut, Page by Paige, while I was looking through the graphic novels section of my local library. I thought that the art in it was really quite lovely and the story of Paige coming out of her shell was quite inspiring! Because of how much I enjoyed it, I decided to read Gulledge’s second book, Will & Whit. The artwork in it is done in black-and-white and I believe it was a really good medium considering that the main character, Will, is afraid of the dark. The author does a great job at showing how Will’s shadow follows her around and that she can’t seem to overcome her fears. There are a few allusions to a family disaster that has lead Will to have her Aunt Ella as her only family member. It’s not completely tragic though! Will has wonderful friends – they’re an artsy and dynamic bunch of characters who all seem to have really cool talents. Will has a knack for putting together fancy lamps, her friend Autumn makes puppets, and her friend Noel is an aspiring chef. Will just wants to have a relaxing summer but a couple of events manage to actually liven up her life and push her closer to getting over her frights. One day while Will’s working in the family antiques store, a couple of characters come in who introduce her to an upcoming summer arts carnival while they’re looking for props for it. After telling her friends about it, Will and the gang head to check it out and get involved in preparing for it. As the summer goes on, there’s a lot of talk about an upcoming storm that people are getting nervous about. Will’s friends and her aunt are a bit worried since the storm could leave them in a blackout for a while. Both the carnival and the hurricane are good plot devices that help propel Will forward to start creating more art instead of just lamps as well as to get her comfortable enough to discuss the family accident that occurred. My absolute favorite part of this book were all the nerdy references made! Will says a quote from Doctor Who and there are various other pop culture mentions. I quite enjoyed how Gulledge is able to convey so much about each character through the minimal dialogue and well-drawn graphics. Even though I liked this story, I didn’t feel super attached to it. Because of this, I’m giving it a 3 of 5 stars. But if you’re interested in reading some fun yet moving graphic novels, I’d recommend both Will & Whit and Page by Paige!