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Goldie Vance: Larceny in La La Land |Review

book cover

In the fifth volume of the Goldie Vance series, Larceny in La La Land, Goldie, along with her mother and her friends Diane and Cheryl, has the opportunity to spend the summer in Los Angeles. Diane has an internship with a record company, Cheryl has an internship with NASA, and Goldie’s mother is consulting on a film that former arch nemesis Sugar Maple is producing.

Goldie Vance: Larceny in La La Land
By Jackie Ball (writer), Mollie Rose (illustrator), and Natalie Nesterernko (colorist)
Grades 7 and up

While everyone is busy, Goldie is listless—until she is swept away in a mystery that has ties to silent films. She cajoles Avery, a female private detective, to let her join her agency. Though very resistant, Avery warms up to Goldie’s tenacious personality.  The mystery has lots of twists and turns, yet it feels more grounded in reality, relying less on the fantastic elements that the previous volumes have used (like underwater space stations). Diane and Cheryl mostly fade to the background in this story arc, though they play an important role during the wrap-up. Avery becomes much more central as Goldie’s sidekick.

There is a subtle shift in the artwork, giving this volume a different feel than the previous four books. The illustrations feel fresh and Hollywood-like. Goldie is often drawn with a bit of a younger feel. Side-by-side there is no discernible difference, but that’s my overall impression.

If a reader were to start at volume 5, I believe they’d be immediately hooked, even more so than the previous volumes. Goldie continues to be a strong female character, even with her many flaws, and her supporting and diverse group of friends really make this a strong choice for all readers.

Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.

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