The Lucky Poor TP
Publisher: Iron Circus Comics
Release Date: March 12, 2024
Price: $12.00
Creator: Mazie Lovie
Format: 134 pgs., Full-Color, 6" x 9",Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9-784-8053-1761-7
Age Rating: Middle grade
ICv2 Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5

This is a fairly complex personal story, and the framework of the story about the author and her family getting a home with the help of Habitat for Humanity is far from being the whole thing.  She does tie it together by explaining that several of the changes in her life would not have been possible without the new home, but the reader is led into everything from sexual orientation issues to choosing a career, with side issues relate to poverty, autism and bad step-parenting by the mom’s longtime boyfriend.

This book is the author’s debut as a full-length graphic novelist, even though she has done shorter work published in anthologies, and it was interesting to see her put five years of her youth into the story in this manner.

The only real weakness is the time elapsed versus the intended audience.  The story covers the period of time of middle school and high school, focusing heavily on the earlier period but including things from the later period.  The more "grown up" parts of her story, during high school, seem a little startling as the reader remembers Mazie only a few pages earlier, dealing with things from four to five years earlier.

The book is not a masterpiece, but it is worth reading and worth recommending, because it deals with simple explanations for real-world situations.  The title is derived from the idea that you can be poor without being destroyed by being poor, and that with enough help and co-operation your life can still come out okay. Is it perfect in explaining poverty?  No, but it’s a good way to show poverty to kids who don’t understand being poor without blending in other issues like racism, cultural and behavioral conflicts.

--Nick Smith