Was there ever a better match for a romantic teen graphic novel than Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks? This one is already nominated for the Cybils, but I am sure there are other great titles out there, which hopefully you’ve read and can nominate!
Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks. Color by Sarah Stern. First Second Books, 2019. ISBN 978-1250312853
Deja and Josiah (whom Deja calls Josie) have been working at the Succotash Hut at a big pumpkin patch all through high school. Now it’s the last night of the season, and next year, they’ll be at different colleges too far away to work. All these years, Deja’s listened to Josiah talking about the cute girl who works at the fudge shop, though he’s never mustered up the courage to talk to her. Deja is determined not to let him go off to college without at least trying to talk to her. She’s bribed them into a shift right near the object of his affections to give him a chance.
Only just as they switch places, the fudge shop girl has switched to a different spot, too. Soon, Deja and Josiah are on a tour of every attraction at the pumpkin patch, trying them out one last time, eating lots of delicious fall foods – and, in Deja’s case, having them stolen by the same bratty boy. They also run into lots of other pumpkin patch employees, many of whom (both male and female) Deja has dated over the years. In the background, other employees chase a runaway goat.
There’s an ongoing debate between the pair as they go – Josiah saying that maybe fate never intended him to date the girl of his dreams, Deja saying there’s no such thing, and Josiah needs to figure out what he wants and go for it. You can probably guess the end from the cover, but the journey there is a delightful one. Faith Erin Hicks’s drawings work perfectly to illustrate Rainbow Rowell’s characters, bringing the fun of the fall entertainment to life, while Sarah Stern’s beautiful gradient colors add yet more to the overall feel. It’s a quick, light read, with some good thoughts packed in, from the debate I mentioned earlier to the lack of fuss made over Deja’s dating a wide range of people or her unabashed love for treats from carmel apples to chocolate dipped pumpkin pie on a stick. This book makes a delicious, guilt-free autumn treat.