Enlighten Me (A Graphic Novel) (Hardcover)
September/October 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“Using video games to explain meditation is a brilliant way to engage young readers. The text’s humor blends beautifully with the art to make a complex topic relatable. Recommended for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Christina Soontornvat.”
— Julie Schultz, This House of Books, Billings, MT
Award-winning author Minh Lê and New York Times bestselling illustrator Chan Chau team up for a fun and enlightening graphic novel about one kid’s journey to finding inner peace and belonging. Perfect for fans of Measuring Up and New Kid.
When Bình fights back against a bully who makes fun of his Vietnamese heritage, he expects to be cheered as the hero. He defeated the bad guy, right?
Instead, it gets him a stern warning from his vice principal and worried parents. Now he’s stuck on a family trip to a silent meditation retreat. That means no talking—and no video games!—for a whole weekend. Could things possibly get any worse?
However, when a nun gathers all the kids to tell them the Jataka tales—the stories of the Buddha’s many past lives—Bình takes a fantastical dive into his imagination and starts to see himself in these stories. Will he retreat further into himself, or will he emerge from the weekend open to change?
With any luck, these next few days will prove more enlightening than he thought.
About the Author
Minh Lê is the author of The Blur, the Eisner-nominated Lift, Drawn Together (winner of the 2019 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature), Green Lantern: Legacy, and more. He is also on the faculty of the Hamline University MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, serves on the board of We Need Diverse Books, and has written for a number of national publications, including NPR, HuffPost, and the New York Times. Minh does not meditate as much as he should, but he does savor every moment of life with his wonderful wife and children at their home in San Diego.
Chan Chau is a graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. They are the artist of New York Times bestselling Baby-Sitter's Club graphic novel adaptations of Kristy and the Snobs and Jessi's Secret Language. Before this, they worked in animation and were featured in multiple award-winning anthologies. In their free time, they love to play video games, read manga, and spend quality time with their found family. They currently reside in Washington state.
*"By visualizing these stories as games, Bình learns how to rely on his intellect, family, and community to navigate everyday challenges."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
*"Both readers who are unfamiliar with the religion and those who practice it will enjoy this refreshing, modern Buddhist primer."—The Horn Book, starred review
"Informative, imaginative, and quietly impressive, Enlighten Me inspires readers to take a deep breath."—Shelf Awareness
"A thoughtful, humorous, community-centered exploration of identity and Buddhism."—Kirkus Reviews