Graphic Novel Rec #1: You Brought Me the Ocean

Creators: Alex Sanchez & Julie Maroh

Publisher: DC Graphic Novels for Young Adults

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of another world. A world where I can discover who I really am, where I’m part of something greater than myself.” 

This is how Alex Sanchez begins You Brought Me the Ocean. As someone who frequently chooses books based on the first line, first page, first sequence of panels…I was hooked. 

The art delivers just as much as the writing. Maroh’s expressive cartooning helps strengthen the reader’s connection with the characters. You feel what they feel. You’re in it with them. The subdued color palette allows the cartooning to shine. This warm and muted color palette makes the blues pop and in a story called You Brought Me the Ocean this is no accident. 

You Brought Me the Ocean is a coming out story, but not just a coming out story. It’s a story about identity and reaching for your dreams. Even when your dreams take you far away from everyone you love. It’s a story about the struggles you go through with friends and family as you grow into who you are, who you want to be. 

There is a connection to the DC Comics/Movie Universe and as someone who is well-versed in the DCU, this helped to build out the world of You Brought Me the Ocean.  Sanchez brings this DCU connection into this story so well, that it will not confuse anyone unfamiliar with DC comics continuity. 

Teaching Considerations: 

  • Genre: A realistic fiction story with fantasy elements, “fantasy in the real world”
  • Units of Study: Social Issues, Fantasy, Fiction, Identity
  • Grades: Middle School, High School

Published by Eric Hand

I'm an educator and literacy professional with a long-standing passion for comic books and graphic novels.

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