Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman and Sergio Garcia Sanchez

Published by TOON Graphics

Summary:  It’s the first day at a new school for Pablo; his sixth, and he’s decided it’s just too hard to keep trying to make new friends.  Alicia has other ideas, though, and volunteers to be his partner on the field trip to the Empire State Building.  Before they leave, their teacher, Mr. Bartle, gives them an engaging lesson on the history and layout of New York’s subway system.  In spite of this, Pablo and Alicia manage to get themselves on the wrong train, and eventually the two of them get separated.  Armed with his new knowledge, Pablo manages to negotiate the subway system to get to the Empire State Building, where he’s reunited with the rest of the class and his new friend Alicia.  Grades 3-6.

Pros:  This is an engaging story of friendship with a lot of interesting information about NYC and its subway woven in.  But the real treasure of this book is the artwork.  When Mr. Bartle teaches about the subway, a map springs to life in their classroom, allowing kids to perch on New Jersey and Queens, surrounded by historical photos.  When the kids are lost in NYC, readers could spend an hour poring over the details of each page, with its dozens of diverse characters. There’s even a Where’s Waldo-type challenge, as Mr. Sanchez included pictures of himself and a police officer in every spread.  You will definitely want to visit New York and ride the subway after seeing these marvelous illustrations.

Cons:  There may be a bit too much technical detail for non-engineering types.

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