Stepping Stones, the Comic Collection

Diana R. Jenkins
Chris Sabatino
Pauline Books & Media
Number of pages: 
127 pages
Grade / Age level: 

Contemporary in theme and presentation, Stepping Stones, the Comic Collection deals with a lot of issues that school children, middle school and above, deal with.

These colorful comic stories follow the lives of Alberto, Chantal, Denver, and Suki, who represent a variety of ethnic backgrounds. As comic characters, they express very intense emotions, one minute crying, the next slapping one another on the back, and sometimes shouting to make a point. This can give the reader the impression of being on an emotional roller coaster.

Definitely, there is nothing mild mannered here. Although this is an age group, which expresses intense emotions, and these are comic characters, who naturally show strong emotions, in real life such behavior would be highly annoying, disruptive, and considered probamatic. Fortunately, these behaviors are addressed.

This collection deals with real life issues like a physically disabled girl, a drinking mom, a boy who needs anger management, gossiping students, friends vs. girlfriend/boyfriend relationship, childhood insecurities when a baby is added to the family, the desire for friends, qualities that make a “good” friend, forgiveness, and praying to God.

Stepping Stones presents a realistic view of grade school life. Even though it is a school setting, most of the issues deal with relationships and are not so academically oriented: insecurity about how others will perceive you, bullying, name calling, and misunderstandings among friends. Sounds very negative, but in the end, all the issues are resolved.

Since it presents a realistic portrayal of school and negative behaviors, it is a good book to ask the question, “If someone did that to you, what would you do? Or, do you think that character did the right thing?”

Some homeschool kids might think, “Whoa, I’m glad I’m not in school.” But some of these issues all children have to deal with, whether or not they are homeschooled.

Kids are attracted to the bold and colorful style of comics. Yet, younger children might not fully understand some of the issues. This collection of comics allows children to explore negative emotions and issues from the safe distance of a reader. The parent, however, would be wise to discuss some of the ramifications of the characters’ behaviors and choices.

Additional notes: 

This comic book treasury originally appeared in My Friend: The Catholic Magazine for Kids.

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