October 13, 2015

Graphic Novel by CDL Instructor Marika McCoola Debuts as No. 3 on NY Times Bestseller List

Self Portrait: digitally altered photograph of clay, wire, paint, embroidery thread, and ink on paper.  ©2014 Marika McCoola
Self Portrait: digitally altered photograph of clay, wire, paint, embroidery thread, and ink on paper. ©2014 Marika McCoola

“Baba Yaga’s Assistant," a graphic, young adult novel by Center for Distance Learning Instructor Marika McCoola, and illustrated by Emily Carroll, debuted as No. 3 on the New York Times Bestseller list to critical praise.

Published by Candlewick Press, the novel follows the story of Masha, a young teen. After the death of her grandmother, Masha doesn't know what to do with her life. Her father is absent, more involved with his fiancée than his daughter. When Masha discovers an ad seeking an assistant for Baba Yaga, she ventures into the woods to apply. Once there, Masha must pass three tests handed down from the terrifying witch, the last of which is cooking children for dinner.

The novel is the 2015 New England Book Award winner, 2015 Junior Library Guild selection, shortlisted for the 2015 Autostraddle Comic and Sequential Art Awards in the Favorite Graphic Novel/Book category, nominated for the 2016 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens list in the fiction category and received a Kirkus starred review as, "A magnificently magical must-read for all fairy-tale fans." 

PW said, "Strong, complex characters and the inventive fusion of contemporary and fairy tale elements make this a noteworthy collaboration." The Booklist review said, "Carroll’s dark yet luminous artwork is a perfect match for McCoola’s tale...full of eerie shading and delicate detail."

McCoola teaches illustration, studio art and children’s literature.

For more information, visit McCoola’s website at marikamccoola.com.

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