The Black Mage
The Black Mage
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Annotation: When Tom Token is accepted into St. Ivory Academy, a historically white wizarding school, he begins uncovering strange clues and stumbles onto a conspiracy that could cost him his very soul.
Catalog Number: #6613897
Format: Paperback
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Kirkland, D. J.
Pages: 159 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-620-10652-3
ISBN 13: 978-1-620-10652-5
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019931469
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
ALA Booklist
When Tom Token enrolls in the St. Ivory Academy of Spellcraft and Sorcery, he knows that he's their first ever student of color, but he doesn't realize that Headmaster Lynch wizard shamelessly garbed, along with other faculty, in KKK robes s been oppressing Black people for centuries. With the help of sympathetic classmate Lindsay Whitethorn and the ghosts of magical freedom fighters Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, Tom must fight to recover John Henry's powerful hammer and overthrow the school's racist administration. Clearly, Barnes is not going for subtlety here; almost every element seems designed to remind the reader that we live in a world of overt white supremacy. Unfortunately, this exploration doesn't delve much deeper than surface level, with more energy spent on fight scenes than world building or character development. Kirkland dazzles with a number of dynamic action sequences, drawing inspiration from Japanese manga and video games, and while this collaboration begins to make a strong statement with bold representation, little attempt is made to address the important questions they've raised.
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 7 Up-Tom Token is the first black studentand black mageto be admitted to St. Ivory's Academy of Spellcraft and Sorcery. Tom's first day sees him fighting racist students and encountering faculty wearing Klan hoods, but he also befriends Lindsay, his student liaison, and soon, he stumbles onto a conspiracy. It looks like there might have been black students at the school in the past. Tom sets out to unravel this secret, with the help of not only Lindsay but also the ghosts of legendary wizards Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. The world of St. Ivory's is littered with references to "Harry Potter," Pokémon, Final Fantasy, Sailor Moon , the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and even more obscure media, such as G Gundam , much of which might fly over younger readers' heads. There are also allusions to racial tensions throughout history; those who reread and reexamine imagery will be richly rewarded. The pace is brisk, and Tom and Lindsay receive only a modicum of backstory before the story picks up. But the vivid, anime-esque artwork and creative, at times explosive panel layouts make up for the gaps in characterization, engrossing readers in a one-of-a-kind adventure. VERDICT Barnes and Kirkland's dynamic tale is best described as Jordan Peele's Get Out for the graphic novel set. Action packed, thoughtful, and visually delicious, this is a story that's not to be missed. Matisse Mozer, Los Angeles Public Library
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal Starred Review (10/1/19)
ALA Booklist (10/1/19)
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 7-12

Harry Potter meets Final Fantasy in this subversive original graphic novel where race, history and magic collide. 

When St. Ivory Academy, a historically white wizarding school, opens its doors to its first-ever black student, everyone believes that the wizarding community is finally taking its first crucial steps toward inclusivity. Or is it? When Tom Token, the beneficiary of the school's "Magical Minority Initiative," begins uncovering weird clues and receiving creepy texts on his phone, he and his friend, Lindsay, stumble into a conspiracy that dates all the way back to the American Civil War, and could cost Tom his very soul.


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