Cover Image: Lizard in a Zoot Suit

Lizard in a Zoot Suit

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Member Reviews

With the Zoot Suit Riots as a backdrop two teenage Chicana sisters find a juvenile lizard-man creature and try to get him back to his family. 

The story is just okay but it does a good job of incorporating the lizard-man as a stand in for the "other" - someone different -  the monster that is hunted by government forces when it is actually peaceful and harmless. It's basically a good guys and bad guys type of thing with everyone fitting neatly into their required roles.  The characters are suitable for young teens.

The afterward that gives a brief description of the Zoot Suit Riots is a highlight of the book.

***Thanks to NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group for providing me with a free digital copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.
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Lizard in a Zoot Suit is a fantastical little novel that packs a punch with history, fantasy and action!

Flaca and Cuata are heading home when they get into a brawl with some sailors. As they escape, they discover a lizard creature and befriend it. Suddenly, the government is after their lizard friend which causes much chaos. Meanwhile, the Lizard in a Zoot Suit is trying to find his own family since he lost them years ago. Will friendship prevail? Will our fancy smancy Lizard friend find his family? Will Cuata's skirt ever be brought up by her Mother?!

I thought this book was super fun! It's short and sweet yet packed full of action and adventure. There's not a ton of dialogue, but the pictures tell the story just perfectly. 

At the end of the book, there's a little section describing the Zoot Suit riots. I found it super intriguing to read about, since I hadn't been reminded of this since grade school. I'm always down for a little educational break within or after the novel.

Also, best title ever. Just saying.

Overall, I think this book is a real success! It's a fun, little comic that will bring lots of joy and excitement to readers. It reminds me of The Shape of Water without the R rated content.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you NetGalley and Lerner Publishing group for this wonderful opportunity to pick up this book. I hope to see more of Marco Finnegan soon!
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Well I certainly ended up grateful for the chance to read this book.  The main core of it, an adventure for two teenaged girls of Mexican heritage in LA in the 1940s, is perhaps a little too broad, a little too childish, and a little too simplistic.  For I think I'm actually crediting the post-script, the non-fiction part of this volume, as the greater success and perhaps of the greater interest.  I had no idea at all, here in the UK, about the Zoot Suit Riots – a manic week where US Navy idiots were intent on duffing up Latinx (whatever that means) people principally because of their colour and because of their choice of wardrobe.

I knew of the Yellow Peril, with people from Asia the brunt of American racial animosity, and of course that was soon followed by a Red one, but this book brought something new to my attention, the Mexican equivalent, where people were intent on chasing down the 'other', whether that be a token sewer-dwelling lizard monster or Mexicanos.  The drama has all the spirit of the 50s B-movies it sets out to attain, with dodgy men of dubious motive seeking the lizard man, and some people seeing with non-prejudicial eyes in retaliation.  The fact does remain that that's a little too slender a story for a graphic novel – although I would still recommend this for junior readers, and I would still thank this book for teaching me something I ought to have known.  Four stars is slightly generous perhaps, but for exceeding my expectations and for correcting my ignorance it feels about right.
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Ok... but WHY a lizard though? This could have been basically the exact same story without the lizard, and could have been a great comic about the zoot-suit riots in Los Angeles in the 1940's and the messed up relations between whites and Hispanics at the time. The lizard was cute and stuff but kind of unnecessary to tell the story this was trying to tell.
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Interesting Spin

As a graphic novel presentation of the 1943 Zoot Suit riots in L.A., this book is very successful. Read the historical summary at the end of the book before you start the story and you'll find yourself right in the middle of the era and the action. Telling the tale from the point of view of two sisters who were in the middle of the events is an effective way to immerse the reader in the period and the unfolding conflict.

I'm not quite sure why we had to have a lizard alien as part of the story, although that certainly jazzed things up. I guess he represents kindness or cooperation or justice or resistance, or another aspect of oppression and fear of the alien. He certainly adds something to the cover, and looks good disguised in a zoot suit.

Bottom line, the riots are something readers should be aware of, especially now. This book does a fine job of bringing that all into focus. The lizard is just an amusing, and at least not annoying, bonus. That was fine by me.

(Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
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Fantastic, bombastic — I wish I’d thought of it. A visually compelling reading experience worth sharing.
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Good, original and interesting art in every aspect of it. Unfortunately I can't say the same about the story which let me down rapidly....
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