By Michaela Keating
Instruction & Liaison Librarian
This beloved Hollywood trope of a ragtag group of kids setting out on an adventure to solve a mystery, right a wrong, or save the world, is currently thriving in pop culture. The recent successes of the series “Stranger Things,” and the reimagined film of Stephen King’s “IT,” shows that audiences are always eager to root for adolescent underdogs, more specifically in sci-fi like films. The fact that both this show and movie were created with adult audiences in mind says a lot about our sense of nostalgia. While the challenges these kids faced were not simple, the overall simplicity of childhood and coming of age stories still resonate strongly with viewers.
Adult problems require time, money, and professional help. However, as a kid, you can imagine solving any problem just by taking off into the woods with your best friends, that strange old book you found in the library basement, and a backpack. That’s why these stories are so much fun!
If you’re into this theme and enjoyed “Stranger Things” or “IT,” check out Brian K. Vaughn’s award winning mystery/sci-fi comic series, “Paper Girls.” The first issue starts on Halloween night in 1988, with four 12-year-old girls riding bikes around their Cleveland suburb, delivering papers in the predawn hours. Something cataclysmic happens, sliding between dimensions ensues, and absurdly gross monsters abound. Cliff Chiang’s art is stunning, the characters are endearing and hilarious, and the multidimensional world makes for an endlessly imaginative read. Trade paperbacks (a collected volume of individual issues covering one story arc) of this series can be requested from the McQuade Library.