Cover image for On a sunbeam
Title:
On a sunbeam
ISBN:
9781250178145

9781250178138
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : First Second, 2018.

©2018
Physical Description:
533 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 23 cm
Summary:
In two interwoven timelines, a ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together; and two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love, only to learn the pain of loss.
Audience:
Decoding demand: 86 (very high) Semantic demand: 100 (very high) Syntactic demand: 42 (medium) Structure demand: 85 (very high) Lexile
Audience:
GN210L Lexile
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
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Teen Paperback Fiction Walde
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Teen Paperback Fiction Walde
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Teen Paperback Fiction Walde
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On Order

Summary

Summary

"Tillie Walden is the future of comics, and On a Sunbeam is her best work yet. It's a 'space' story unlike any you've ever read, with a rich, lived-in universe of complex characters." --Brian K. Vaughan, Saga and Paper Girls

Two timelines. Second chances. One love.

A ragtag crew travels to the deepest reaches of space, rebuilding beautiful, broken structures to piece the past together.

Two girls meet in boarding school and fall deeply in love--only to learn the pain of loss.

With interwoven timelines and stunning art, award-winning graphic novelist Tillie Walden creates an inventive world, breathtaking romance, and an epic quest for love.

A Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2018
One of The Washington Post 's "10 Best Graphic Novels of 2018"
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2018
A YALSA Top Ten Great Graphic Novel


Author Notes

Tillie Walden is a cartoonist and illustrator from Austin, Texas. Born in 1996, she is a graduate from the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont. Over the course of her time at CCS she published three books with the London based Avery Hill Publishing. Her graphic novels with First Second include her autobiographical work Spinning and the sci-fi epic On a Sunbeam. She is a two-time Eisner nominee and Ignatz Award winner who now lives in Los Angeles. When she is not drawing comics, Tillie can be found walking and listening to audiobooks or asleep with a cat.


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this sprawling, wonderfully original space jaunt by Walden (Spinning), the depicted characters are all female or gender nonbinary, and the diverse protagonists inhabit cluttered and homey quarters aboard a fish-shaped starship. Teenage Mia joins the close-knit crew of the spaceship Aktis, who travel the galaxy restoring old buildings that float untethered in open space. Flashbacks chronicle Mia's freshman year at boarding school-bullies, sports, and all-and her doomed romance with the mysterious Grace. When Mia discovers her crewmates' unexpected connection to Grace, the crew embarks on a dangerous mission to a forbidden planet to find her. The exquisite art foregrounds simply lined characters against intricate architectural constructs, and Walden's distinctive layers of flat color create temporal cohesion and emphasize themes of memory and family. As Walden develops the relationships, and drops tantalizing hints about the vast universe this graphic novel inhabits, it becomes clear that the meandering, atmospheric journey-and the growth it affords each character-is the point. With a gratifying conclusion, this masterful blend of science fiction-inflected school drama, road trip, and adventure is nothing less than marvelous. Ages 12-up. Agent: Seth Fishman, the Gernert Company. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

This serial webcomic turned epic graphic novel tells Mia and Graces story in two alternating, far-future timelines, each initially distinguished by a different limited palette. In the first timeline, depicted in mostly purple tones, eighteen-year-old Mia tries to find her place among the tight-knit crewmates of a tiny spacecraft as they work to restore an abandoned space structure. In the second, set five years earlier at an intergalactic boarding school and shown in blues, Mia befriends mysterious new arrival Grace; the two girls fall deeply in love and are ultimately, traumatically separated by forces beyond their control. As connections between the narratives emerge, the palettes blend and expand into a full spectrum of sunset hues to portray the young womens emotionally and logistically high-stakes reunion on Graces dangerous home planet. Walden immerses readers in a uniquely imagined and compelling sci-fi universe with a cast thats refreshingly and matter-of-factly female-centric, orientation-inclusive, and racially diverse. (A subplot about nonbinary crew member Elliot is also welcome.) But the inventive cosmology is almost incidental to the plot and development of the interpersonal relationships, which, as in Waldens graphic memoir Spinning (rev. 11/17), are rooted in the idea of not just finding but actively and consciously creating yourself, love, and your family. At over five hundred pages, this is a hefty but page-turning and profoundly moving read. katie bircher (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* When Mia joins a crew tasked with restoring abandoned space ruins, it's clear she's running from something. But between the hard work and the spirited characters of her shipmates, there's hardly time to dwell on it. Interspersed flashbacks of strong-willed Mia at her all-girls boarding school hint at her troubles a burgeoning romance with her classmate Grace, sneaking into the gym to (disastrously) try flying a small ship but it's not until she and her crewmates get a job restoring an ancient, strange temple that the pieces start coming together. Walden's (Spinning, 2017) swirling, atmospheric artwork is phenomenal: she plays with darkness and shadows in captivating ways perfectly in keeping with the light-poor space atmosphere, and swathes of luminous, saturated color only emphasize that darkness. There aren't many planets in the inky black, star-speckled backgrounds, but architectural structures float freely, and they're set together at weird, surprising angles, unconstrained by gravity. There's an organic, familiar quality to the spaces, with trees, rock formations, window seats, cathedral ceilings, and messy rooms, but the starry expanses outside every window are a stark reminder of their interstellar location. The sparking interplay between familiar and foreign is utterly mesmerizing, and the story carries that through as well: the sf components are inventive and compellingly strange, but the romance between Mia and Grace, not to mention the warm, teasing affection among Mia's crewmates, grounds the story in a heartening, recognizable place. A remarkable, stunning comic.--Sarah Hunter Copyright 2018 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Walden's meditative space epic will easily win the hearts of sci-fi and romance fans. Mia is the latest addition to a team of restorers, who are tasked with repairing abandoned structures across the galaxy. Though each member of the tight-knit crew is harboring a complicated past, it is wistful Mia who proves to be the linchpin of the plot. Walden treats readers to a stunning interpretation of interstellar life; fluid, fish-shaped ships, floating cathedral-like ruins, and giant celestial creatures add to the grandeur of the story, as do the enormously meaningful friendships and romances among the cast of women and nonbinary characters. The narrative is split into two time lines: one set in the present, colored in berry tones with swatches of orange and red, that follows Mia and the restoration crew; and one five years earlier, done in black, white, and shades of gray blue, where Mia, then a freshman at a boarding school, develops a swoon-worthy romance with new classmate Grace. Walden depicts them with warmth, often dedicating an entire wordless page to their embrace. The artwork, from expansive landscapes to cozy glimpses of the shipmates snuggled together watching TV, is a sight to behold. VERDICT Bound to be a sci-fi favorite, especially for teens who also appreciated Nina LaCour's We Are Okay.-Della Farrell, School Library Journal © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.