A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings

Tin House. Nov. 2022. 156p. ISBN 9781953534453. pap. $18.95. GRAPHIC NOVELS
In their debut graphic memoir, cartoonist Betke-Brunswick shows the world a glimpse inside of a deeply loving relationship between mother and child, including during one of its hardest moments: losing a parent to cancer. Betke-Brunswick details their mother’s endearing quirks and support throughout their life. For example when they were 12 years old, riding the bus to school filled them with worry about others making fun of them, where to sit, or the possibility of a stomachache. Betke-Brunswick’s mother slipped them an envelope and said to open it on the bus. Inside the envelope was a complex math problem that they could focus on for the entire ride to school, signed “Love, Mumin.” This memoir is filled with moments of tenderness and humor as the family, drawn as adorably awkward penguins, navigates cancer treatment, coming to terms with gender identity, and end of life choices together.
VERDICT The art style is a little unconventional, but readers will likely be drawn in by the poignant, yet humorous tale.
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