Foreword Reviews

The Girl and the Glim

In India Swift’s graphic novel The Girl and the Glim, a cosmic battle between the forces of light and darkness plays out as a girl seeks to adapt to life in a new town.

On Bridgette’s embarrassing first day at her new school, she’s laughed at for struggling to reach the chalkboard, and a bully locks her in a storage room. Climbing out the window, she enters a magical wooded realm presided over by a bear-like monster; she is chased away by mutant spiders. Then she’s followed home by a luminescent fluffball whom only she can see. Like an imaginary friend, the “glim” accompanies her as she tries to befriend her troubled classmates.

An initial palette of muted blue, pink, and purple reveals Bridgette’s melancholy outlook. Brighter daydream sequences picture her saying just the right thing to be perceived of as cool. The book then broadens its spectrum to mirror the expansion of Bridgette’s world: her visit to the enchanted forest; her budding friendships with Marla and Sylvia. Bridgette’s attempts to take Polaroids of the glim are a charming echo of ghost photography.

The glim is a mischievous sprite who helps Bridgette enact creative solutions to her setbacks. There’s a neat dichotomy between its benevolence and the clinging gloom of the spidery “glums,” which plague Marla as she worries about the outcome of her father’s surgery, resulting in an allegory about anxiety and loneliness. Whether the enemies are literal monsters or figurative ones is left open to interpretation: the book’s ending paves the way for this to launch a comics series.

Bullying and the pressure to get good grades are central themes in The Girl and the Glim, a fantasy adventure that’s ripe for Pixar-style animation treatment.

Reviewed by Rebecca Foster

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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