Creators: L.L. McKinney & Robyn Smith
Publisher: DC Comics
There are stories that tell how we wish the world was and there are stories that tell how the world is. Nubia: Real One tells how it is in the real world for a young African-American woman.
Nubia is filled with so much potential this is misunderstood by most of those around her: her classmates, the cops, the woman at the convenience store. Nubia, however, is loved and protected fiercely by her moms and her best friends.
The story in Nubia: Real One includes racial profiling in policing, sexual harassment, and a school shooting. These topics may steer some readers away from Nubia, but it would be their loss. These are issues that teenagers are dealing with on a daily basis. These are the kinds of stories teenagers are yearning to read.
Even with addressing all of these serious topics, Nubia still manages to be a fun read. McKinney and Smith handle the juxtaposition of serious topics and teenage antics so well that this book feels like it could easily be adapted into a TV series. The scenes of Nubia hanging out with LaQuisha and Jason are some of my favorites.
As with all of the DC Graphic Novels for Young Adults, this book has a connection to the larger DC Comics Universe. When Wonder Woman appeared, I was worried that Nubia would lose all of her agency, but McKinney wrote Wonder Woman in a way that she was a true support to Nubia on her journey.
I would love to read more of Nubia’s adventures and I’ll definitely be seeking out more work by L.L. McKinney and Robyn Smith.
- Genre: Realistic Fantasy (Basically a realistic fiction story if you remove Wonder Woman and the Amazons.)
- Units of Study: Social Issues, Fantasy, Fiction
- Grades: 8th grade, High School