Yo Miss #1: A Graphic Look at High School

Yo Miss #1: A Graphic Look at High School

by Lisa Wilde

This serialized graphic novel comes from a teacher's perspective after sixteen years at Wildcat Academy, a second-chance school for students where "school hasn't worked" in New York City. They are kids that, like all adults, have issues. But their issues are more noticeable in the school system. And there are reasons the staff is here too. For example, our editor chose it in mid-life as as young mother. The book tracks eight students as they try to get that ticket to the middle class—a high school diploma. Will/Streetz has a deal with his probation officer that he must attend school everyday. Natalie gets published in an online newspaper but her family doesn't care or even want to read it. Jasmine/MIA's mom was a crack addict, and she is dyslexic and dangerously close to being too old to attend public school for free. To close it out, there's a touching poem by a real student about how his father was a drug dealer who left his family. The graphic novel format is perfect to create emotional proximity between the reader and the student. The students discuss whether Oedipus was a "real original gangster" because of the way he flipped out on his dad before he knew it was his father and other amazing gems, which also makes it appear that Lisa is a good teacher. 



Broken Pencil tue 4/8 1:05pm

"She succeeds at revealing the anxiety and the hope underlying her work at the school without soliciting cheap empathy for her or her students fighting against the odds. Most importantly, the students are characterized respectfully — acknowledging underprivileged circumstances, but also criticizing behaviours that exacerbate those circumstances. While she holds them accountable in the classroom, she is also their advocate in this zine. I’d recommend this zine on its merits as a comic and as a snapshot of inner city American education. "

Joshua Barton - Broken Pencil