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Refresh, Refresh

First Second

By Danica Novgorodoff; Adapted from the screenplay by James Ponsoldt

Feb 12, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

In a thoroughly modern genesis, Danica Novgorodoff’s Refresh, Refresh is based upon the screenplay of the same name by James Ponsoldt, which in turn was adapted from the short story by Benjamin Percy. Refresh, Refresh follows three boys in rural Oregon whose fathers have been sent off to war. Left to fend for themselves, the everyday pitfalls the teenagers encounter take on a more urgent quality, as the pull of the war and their dwindling childhood yank them along.

This gravitational force is emphasized again and again by Novgorodoff’s masterful sense of framing. The artwork itself isn’t as successful, but it doesn’t ruin one’s experience. The book moves along at a rapid pace, the dread evident from the first page, where a small boy cuddles a puppy for two panels and then screams, “Hit him in the face!” These three writers have combined to relate one of the more fascinating sides of the war, an unexplored (to my knowledge) one at that: what if those left behind have the choice to join their loved ones? (

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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