About The Book:
Into The Dangerous World
By: Julie Chibbaro
Artwork By: JM Superville Sovak
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Ror lives to draw—to her, it’s like breathing; it’s how she understands life. Raised on a Staten Island commune, she’s never attended a day of school, and knows little of the outside world. When her paranoid father burns down the commune with himself inside, Ror, her mother, and sister end up in a homeless residence in Manhattan. There, she runs into trouble—and love—with Trey, the leader of Noise Ink, a graffiti crew.
On the city’s streets, and in its museums and galleries, Ror finds herself pulled in different directions. Her father wanted her to make classic art. Noise Ink insists she stay within their lines. Her art teacher urges her to go to college. But what does she want? Ror’s soul-searching—expressed in remarkable drawings and sharp-edged prose, set in the gritty Manhattan of 1984—is cinematic in its scope, and its seamless blend of text and art makes Into the Dangerous World a groundbreaking event in young adult fiction.
Recently I was given the opportunity to read and review Into the Dangerous World by Julie Chibbaro for Lady Reader Book Tours. It is not often that I am blown away by a book. This time, however, I was. There were so many things to love about this book that I don’t know where to start and don’t have time to mention them all.
First, I have to mention how well this was written. The story, written in the first person (which I normally don’t like) was so well paced and interesting that I just kept turning pages without realizing how many I had read. The only thing that stopped me was the art (which I will get to). This story is about a teenage girl named Ror whose life is going through a transition after her family’s home was burned down by her father who died in it. Her world is thrown into a spiral as she attempts the tough transition from a self-sustaining lifestyle in the country to the hustle and bustle of civilized living in the city with her mother and sister.
We see Ror find solace in an existing love of art after going to school for the first time. It’s during this time that she befriends a group of people who change not just how she looks at the world but also herself. Ror is slowly thrust into the world of graffiti art and tagging which she finds a love and connection with. However, it’s during this time that Ror is torn between the art on the streets and what her abilities could do for her and her life. She is caught between the worlds of Street art and Mainstream art while battling with the conflicts of who she was and who she wants to be and who society wants her to be.
Chibbaro did a wonderful job of showing her battle with the now and her potential. Another thing I really liked was how realistic Chibbaro was in writing the characters like Ror and her street crew. She maintained that tough urban attitude and tone that often is glossed over in some novels. It really gave the story another added dimension of realism, which I really appreciated as a reader. It made me buy into the story more than I think I would have otherwise. That tone added even more effect, I think, to the journey of personal growth and discovery that Ror was on.
Growing up I had quite the passion for drawing, and like Ror it was my release when life got hard. It was how I coped with things before I found writing. So in that respect I liked the connection I was able to make with the story and how art can change the possibilities for people.
Lastly, I want to talk about the art in this book. Yes, it is a novel with pictures! Who doesn’t love that? The illustrations were done by JM Superville Sovak and really blew my mind. In some ways and in certain cases stylistically the drawings reminded me of the art in one of my favorite books of all time, “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. Which also inspired me as a young artist. In Into the Dangerous World, the art was blended so fluidly that they truly added to the story instead of feeling like they were just there. In this case, the drawings made the story more enjoyable, understandable, more interesting and added a whole different level to the book that you don’t see often in YA fiction.
Between the honest and gritty storytelling, the pop culture references and the equally gritty drawings I really loved this book. Sure this is meant as a YA fiction novel but I think it surpasses that and goes into a book that even an adult could enjoy. Its sees Chibarro and Superville make for a great team both in publishing and in life.
About The Authors:
Julie Chibbaro and Jean-Marc Superville Sovak are the husband and wife duo behind Into the Dangerous World (Viking 2015).Julie Chibbaro was born into a family of artists, and also married one. She grew up in NYC during the explosion of graffiti art. She has written two historical novels, Redemption, which won the American Book Award, and Deadly, which won the National Jewish Book Award. JM Superville Sovak is half-Trini, half-Czech, half-Canadian. His fourth half is spent making art, for which he earned his M.F.A. from Bard College in NY.They both live in Beacon, NY.
For those of you that purchase a copy of INTO THE DANGEROUS WORLD any time during the official book tour (August 18-September 30) will receive a one of a kind #IntoTheDangerousWorld pack filled with lots of goodies.(While supplies last)To qualify you must send proof of purchase to amydelrosso(at)gmail(dot)com.