Call the Name of the Night, Vol. 1

Yen Pr. (Call the Name of the Night). Mar. 2023. 194p. pap. $13. ISBN 9781975352004.
Gr 5 Up–Mira has a rare magical illness that turns all matter around her into night. In the event she doesn’t totally get it under control, she could end up transforming into night herself and be lost to humanity forever. To try and cure her malady, Mira’s parents send her to live with Master Rei, a doctor who specializes in magic medicine. But when one of Rei’s former classmates comes snooping around, will Mira’s recovery become imperiled? Not to be mistaken with the similarly named manga Call of the Night (which is not for kids), this book works well in any juvenile manga collection. Protagonists Mira and Rei are both charming individuals and stable role models for young readers. A villainous character named Cartos is introduced part way through the book and gives the plot another element of conflict that the leads have to try to thwart. The art is gentle but fantastic, with each panel filled with wondrous illustrations that bring this fantasy world to life. It’s not always easy for parents and educators to find manga that doesn’t feature mature content and that young readers can enjoy, but with this title, the plot is easy to follow and devoid of any suggestive components. It’s a book that librarians can recommend to young readers (as well as those older) without any fears whatsoever.
VERDICT A sweet fantasy story with good-natured leads and stellar art that will fit in great with any library’s collection.

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