A Sneak Peek at The Oracle Code, the new graphic novel by Marieke Nijkamp
This year, TLT is focusing on learning more about disability representation in middle grade and young adult literature. Each year we choose an area of focus to help us learn how to better serve the youth in our libraries. With this goal in mind, I was very excited to learn about the upcoming graphic novel by bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp. Today I am sharing with you a press release and trailer for The Oracle Code, a look at the life of Barbara Gordon as she adapts to life with a wheelchair.
In celebration of International Wheelchair Day on March 1st, DC revealed the official trailer for the publisher’s highly anticipated young adult (YA) graphic novel, The Oracle Code, written by Marieke Nijkamp and illustrated by Manuel Preitano. Set within a mysterious thriller, this moving coming-of-age tale follows teenager Barbara Gordon as she adapts to a new normal after a tragic accident and begins her path to becoming Oracle, one of DC’s fiercest Super Heroes.
Nijkamp is the author of bestselling YA novels This Is Where It Ends and Before I Let Go and has built a celebrated career advocating for and writing stories that elevate disabled voices. She is the editor of the YA anthology Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens, and is also a co-founder of We Need Diverse Books, a nonprofit organization created to promote diversity of multiple forms in children’s literature and publishing. Now, Nijkamp brings her thoughtful and authentic storytelling expertise to DC to put a fresh twist on one of the publisher’s most beloved disabled characters.
“The Oracle Code is my love letter to Barbara Gordon, to Oracle,” said Nijkamp. “It’s a book for everyone who’s ever felt like the puzzle pieces don’t quite fit, whether they’re in a creepy Arkham institute or simply figuring out themselves. And it’s for every disabled reader who knows they can be a hero too.”
The Oracle Code marks Nijkamp and Preitano’s first work with DC. Preitano is an Italian illustrator and graphic designer, best known for the Destiny, NY, series he co-created with author Pat Shand.
“Illustrating The Oracle Code was a great challenge and an opportunity to grow as an artist,” said Preitano. “The strength Barbara, Yeong, Issy, and the other characters displayed was truly inspiring, which reflects Marieke’s attention to details. The script really made me feel the mood of the scenes I was going to draw and we worked together to get the best out of each sequence.”
Nijkamp added, “Manuel’s art brought the story to life in a way that was beyond my wildest dreams. He got the characters from the very first sketch and his eye for detail made their whole world shine!”
“I hope readers will see the incredible work the whole team (writer, colorist, letterer, editors…and maybe this humble artist, too!) did with this book, reflected in every page!” said Preitano. “And I hope this will inspire them too!”
The Oracle Code Written by Marieke Nijkamp, Illustrated by Manuel Preitano, Colored by Jordie Bellaire with Manuel Preitano and Lettered by Clayton Cowles
Publisher’s Book Description:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp and artist Manuel Preitano unveil a graphic novel that explores the dark corridors of Barbara Gordon’s first mystery: herself.
After a gunshot leaves her paralyzed below the waist, Barbara Gordon undergoes physical and mental rehabilitation at the Arkham Center for Independence. She must adapt to a new normal, but she cannot shake the feeling that something is dangerously amiss. Strange sounds escape at night while patients start to go missing.
Is this suspicion simply a result of her trauma? Or does Barbara actually hear voices coming from the center’s labyrinthine hallways? It’s up to her to put the pieces together to solve the mysteries behind the walls.
In The Oracle Code, universal truths cannot be escaped, and Barbara Gordon must battle the phantoms of her past before they consume her future. This book publishes on March 10th.
Filed under: Graphic Novels
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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