Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Reader's Diary #1132: Susan Hughes (writer), Willow Dawson (illustrations): No Girls Allowed

I had high hopes for No Girls Allowed, mostly because of its subtitle: Tales of Daring Women Dressed as Men for Love, Freedom and Adventure. Important message + love + adventure? I'm in!

Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed. Susan Hughes' stories of seven historical females from all over the world who, for various reasons, chose to dress as men fell oddly flat. At 77 pages, none of these women's lives or exploits were treated with a lot of depth. Facts were basic and time just clipped along methodically to the next fact, interspersed with the occasional snippets of stiff ex- or in- ternal dialogue.

Dawson's artwork was slightly better. It was certainly a unique style, but not a lot of range. Heavy in black and white inks, colour may have added much needed variety. Plus a bit more detail in the backgrounds could have kept things a bit more interesting.

In all the package felt rushed and overly simple, even for the younger audience it was aimed at. I think I would have enjoyed it more had Hughes and Dawson spent the time to turn this into a series. Instead of a chapter each, an entire book each.

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

What a shame! As you stated, there was so much potential for this to be really rivetting, as well as informative.