This Was Our Pact

This Was Our Pact

Ryan Andrews's This Was Our Pact is an astonishing, magical-realist adventure story for middle-grade readers.It's the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they'll soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars, but could that actually be true? This...

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Title:This Was Our Pact
Author:Ryan Andrews
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This Was Our Pact Reviews

  • Ivy

    There have been few times in my entire life when I’ve felt the need to hold a book to my chest after reading it and simply contemplate what just happened. You guessed it, that just happened with this book.

    The story was so freaking beautiful, it’s impossible to explain. Sometimes times I loose hope in kid’s books, frowning at the fact that there seem to be no modern stories for young kids that have any depth to them, no new stories to take kids on magical journeys. Thank you for restoring my hope

    There have been few times in my entire life when I’ve felt the need to hold a book to my chest after reading it and simply contemplate what just happened. You guessed it, that just happened with this book.

    The story was so freaking beautiful, it’s impossible to explain. Sometimes times I loose hope in kid’s books, frowning at the fact that there seem to be no modern stories for young kids that have any depth to them, no new stories to take kids on magical journeys. Thank you for restoring my hope in good fiction for children, Ryan Andrews, and in good fiction in general.

    This is a graphic novel, so I’ve got to discuss the art. Lemme say right off the bat - mind-bendingly detailed, incredibly emotive, inventively expressive, revolutionarily attention-grabbing are a few of the things I could say. Instead, I think a simple “comfortingly familiar while also being dwarfingly vast” will suffice.

    This Was Our Pact was perfect for now and will be perfect forever, a story about two very real children discovering the scope of their universe, something I wish could be as easy as riding a bike, helping a bear, calling a witch, harvesting a star and eating Rice Krispie Treats.

  • Alissa

    Ohwowohwowohwowohwowohwow!

    Studio Ghibli REALLY needs to obtain the rights to this fantastical and beautiful tale of friendship and adventure! I have a feeling those particular writers and animators would have what it takes to truly capture the magic of this story (forget Disney or Dreamworks--too mainstream). I'd watch it...and probably buy my own copy as soon as the dvd was available. So I could get lost in the journey to find the lantern's final destination among the stars. I want to encounter

    Ohwowohwowohwowohwowohwow!

    Studio Ghibli REALLY needs to obtain the rights to this fantastical and beautiful tale of friendship and adventure! I have a feeling those particular writers and animators would have what it takes to truly capture the magic of this story (forget Disney or Dreamworks--too mainstream). I'd watch it...and probably buy my own copy as soon as the dvd was available. So I could get lost in the journey to find the lantern's final destination among the stars. I want to encounter fisherbears and map-drawing crows and explore caves that carry all the stars in the cosmos. And I want to see it all unfold on the screen.

    But for now, I was enchanted by this graphic novel. It was exactly the book I was looking for, even though I didn't know I was looking for it.

    Also, this sort of reminded me of

    , which I loved as well. The stories have a similar vibe.

  • Maia

    This book knocked my socks off. The starting scene, of a group of kids on bikes setting off down a dark road might suggest

    but a closer emotional match is probably

    . Ben is one of five boys from his school who decide that this year, after the autumn festival, they will follow the paper lanterns released into the river below their town to see where they go. An old folk song says they turn into stars and rise into the sky, but that can't be true, can it? Tagging after

    This book knocked my socks off. The starting scene, of a group of kids on bikes setting off down a dark road might suggest

    but a closer emotional match is probably

    . Ben is one of five boys from his school who decide that this year, after the autumn festival, they will follow the paper lanterns released into the river below their town to see where they go. An old folk song says they turn into stars and rise into the sky, but that can't be true, can it? Tagging after the group is Nathaniel, a nerd and an outsider. Ben's friends tease him and Ben is too uncomfortable to speak up in his defense. But one by one the others drop out until only Ben and Nathaniel are left on the mission to follow the river and the lights. The things they discover are weirder, scarier, more beautiful and more wonderful than either could have imagined- or what I, as the reader, had imagined. This book really went places I wasn't expecting and I loved that. The art is gorgeous- an energetic pencil line with digital colors heavy on blues and purples, except for a few warm yellow or active magenta scenes. I think I will end up buying this book because I want to keep looking at it!

  • Milliebot

    Another excellent middle-grade/coming-of-age comic about friendship. I had no idea there was a fantasy element involved in this book, because I didn't bother to read the blurb. I really love when modern-day books have a splash of magic in them - it makes me think that maybe someday I'll meet a talking bear or come upon a barge full of magical creatures or a friendly troll living under a bridge. The themes of friendship, self-acceptance, accepting others and bullying seem to be big for me this mo

    Another excellent middle-grade/coming-of-age comic about friendship. I had no idea there was a fantasy element involved in this book, because I didn't bother to read the blurb. I really love when modern-day books have a splash of magic in them - it makes me think that maybe someday I'll meet a talking bear or come upon a barge full of magical creatures or a friendly troll living under a bridge. The themes of friendship, self-acceptance, accepting others and bullying seem to be big for me this month. Very much enjoying that! I highly recommend this one, especially if you love selective color palettes in your graphic novels.

  • Melki

    Two boys share a magical adventure when they attempt to follow some paper lanterns on a trip down the river. Andrews packs this graphic novel with all sorts of sciency tidbits about astronomy, but there's also a wonderful message about daring to take chances.

    As you can probably tell by the cover, the artwork is gorgeous.

  • Sara

    This is a fantastical, joyous ode to little weirdo's having wild adventures that made me get all teary like the big weirdo I am. Ryan Andrews is a marvelous story teller with a gift for capturing young boys in all their glory, wit, and occasional cruelty. His artistic style is just as kinetic and just a little choatic as his heroes who are determined to learn the fate of the paper lanterns they let lose every year at their autumn festival. What begins as a quick bike ride down the road swiftly b

    This is a fantastical, joyous ode to little weirdo's having wild adventures that made me get all teary like the big weirdo I am. Ryan Andrews is a marvelous story teller with a gift for capturing young boys in all their glory, wit, and occasional cruelty. His artistic style is just as kinetic and just a little choatic as his heroes who are determined to learn the fate of the paper lanterns they let lose every year at their autumn festival. What begins as a quick bike ride down the road swiftly becomes an utterly epic journey with talking bears, magic potions, monsters and the best thing of all, new friendships.

    I loved every single page of this. It is a complete and total treasure of a story.

  • Earl

    The must read graphic novel of the summer starts off like with a realistic premise of a group of boys out to see whether a fantastical story they've heard all their lives is true or not and then veers off into Miyazaki/ Studio Ghibli territory! What I also liked is that this was pretty substantial text-wise.

  • Calista

    This is a story suited perfectly for me. I very much enjoyed the fantasy of this. The colors and the mood set a magical tone and it delighted me.

    Each year a village will send lighted lanterns down the river on the autumn equinox. A group of boys wants to follow the lanterns down the river and see where it goes. There are 4 of them that have made a pact not to stop and then a 5th boy tagging along the others don't really like. As the night begins, 3 of the boys in the original pack bail. The las

    This is a story suited perfectly for me. I very much enjoyed the fantasy of this. The colors and the mood set a magical tone and it delighted me.

    Each year a village will send lighted lanterns down the river on the autumn equinox. A group of boys wants to follow the lanterns down the river and see where it goes. There are 4 of them that have made a pact not to stop and then a 5th boy tagging along the others don't really like. As the night begins, 3 of the boys in the original pack bail. The last boy won't give up and he actually does like the 5th boy. So the 2 of them strike out on a quest to see what happens to the lanterns.

    Well, along the way, they meet interesting characters like a bear, who talks and many other odd people. I could say more, but I don't want to spoil this lovely story.

    If you enjoy a bright fantastical story that brings hope to this world and pure joy of living, then you might enjoy this story too. It's done by the fantastic First Second press. It is almost 300 pages, and it reads quickly. I love when the world feels like it's filled with endless possibilities. Anything is possible.

  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    This is a fairly lovely graphic novel with a sweet, interesting story, but it's

    longer than I feel like it ought to be, and I actually put it down at the halfway mark when I realized I hadn't cared about anything that had happened in a while. It doesn't help that the artwork is all pretty monochrome, so things start to blur together after a time.

  • Hannah

    THIS WAS OUR PACT is a wild, fun, magical ride. It scratched that itch of mine for stories where our world is tilted to reveal a rich, fantastical macrocosm--this one is filled with a gentlemanly fisherbears; sassy potion-makers, and giant dogs who love Rice Krispies bars. A must-read for fans of mythology and OVER THE GARDEN WALL. My only complaint? I wanted to dive deeper into this starry, moonlit world.

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