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Dear Friend,

I’ve been slacking on my reading this week, or rather I had two huge assignments that wouldn’t go away, so I stuck to one book and read “Confidential Confessions: Deai” by Reiko Momochi. This book is a graphic novel in the manga tradition, being read from right to left. I hadn’t read anything in this style since middle school, so it took a bit to readjust. This book follows a high school student, Rika, as she find herself swept up in the deai-kei industry, where men pay money to send emails to girls they hope to then meet in person. At the beginning, Rika is just trying to have fun and pay off her cell phone bills, but as the job begins to push more and more boundaries she begins to question why she started in the first place. It also pulls in and follows a large number of other characters which can make it somewhat confusing, but the overall story is focused on Rika.

I’m not sure which age group I would recommend this book to. It is an easy read, but has the more serious theme of human trafficking. In fact, I just noticed that the book has a “16+” age rating on the back. I do think, however that manga, in general, is a great way to engage young readers. One reason for this is that today, imagery rules the world. Seriously, many adolescents would rather watch movies than read because it has become an age of images. Now, I personally think books of words, words, words are the way to go, making the reader use their imagination much differently from when they are looking at pictures. Anywhoo, I’m beginning to ramble… my point was: What better way to connect books to students who are invested in the imagery age than by combining book with images!

Love, Mandi Jo