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Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet

Aya of Yop City

by Marguerite Abouet

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Aya (2)

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The story begins with big company boss Mr. Sissoko giving an ultimatum to (Aya's friend) Adjoua's parent's to prove her newborn's son paternity within a week, as he looks nothing like his son Moussa and strangely a lot like Mamadou, an attractive, but irredeemable flirt who's been hanging around all of Aya's friends. Meanwhile, Aya's other friend Bintou falls for the suspicious charms of Grégoire, a local just arrived from his stay in Paris, where he claims to have made a fortune and is now back home staying in a luxury hotel, allegedly to find a wife with proper values. Adjoua's brother Albert has secret meetings at night in the "Hotel Under the Stars" with a mystery woman. Meanwhile all the girls in town are excited about the upcoming Miss Yopougon contest, to which seemingly every girl wants to participate except of course Aya, and her father has a huge and not necessarily happy surprise for the whole family. ( )
  Smiler69 | Aug 27, 2014 |
I liked it alot. Reminded me of Gilbert Hernandez's Palomar stories without the magic realism ( )
  theballisflat | Jul 23, 2013 |
This graphic novel is the sequel to Aya. Abouet continues the story of teenagers growing up in the 1970's on the Ivory Coast. Aya and her friends Bintou and Adjoua have different dreams and asperations in the first book - Aya is dedicated to her education and wants to be a doctor, her friends are more interested in boys and Adjoua gets pregnant. Moussa, (son of a wealthy businessman) agrees to marry her even though he's not the father. In Aya of Yop City Moussa's father tries to find out who the real father is. Aya and Bintou help Adjoua raise her baby while trying to pursue their own lives. Men are not depicted very favorably: Bintou is duped by a sweet talker; Aya finds out that her father has a mistress he's been supporting in the town where he works; Moussa is weak and fumbling in his attempts to become a presence in his father's company. Aya seems to be the only character to believe an education is the path to a better life. On a positive note the father of Adjoua's baby agrees to take responsibility for her and his son.
This book deals with the typical concerns of older teenage girls and the pitfalls they should watch out for. It is both funny and sad. It offers a students insights into life in a typical modernized city on the Ivory Coast before the current crisis in Africa. The format makes it an easy read for ELLs. The colors and drawings are appealing, each frame is set off with a border and it is easy to follow. This book offers a glossary, a recipe and tips on how to use a pagne ( a bright, wax-printed cloth) to carry a baby and information on the community raising of children in Africa. ( )
  bsittig | Jul 29, 2009 |
"Aya of Yop City" is a playful, lower-class soap-opera style introduction to West Africa. Abouet conjures three interrelated families, focusing her attention on one young woman from each family all of whom are trying to navigate their way towards dependable spouses in a landscape of dirt bags and forced marriages. The writing is light and conversational, leaning towards slang, with absolutely nothing brooding, poetic or introspective about it (thought bubbles do not appear at any time). Despite being authentically West African in their utterances, dress, past-times and occupations, the characters do feel a bit cliched and it is not hard to guess which characters will end up together and which will be embarrassed. I mention the need to guess because this is actually the first installation in a series. My copy of this graphic novel doesn't acknowledge this in any prominent way; so I felt a little burnt when I reached the end only to find every major plotline totally unresolved. Oh well, I'm happy to support a writer from the Ivory Coast and I'm happy that this work portrays Africa very even-handedly, without a discernible agenda. That was actually quite refreshing. Though it does mean, in case it's not obvious, that the book is 100% apolitical. Government figures, national or regional politics, disease, poverty and suffering do not complicate Abouet's story. And while there are sexual themes, they are dealt with chastely enough that any young adult could enjoy this work. Oubrerie is an excellent illustrator/artist with a sense of humor that does not depend on caricature or exaggeration. It seems that he works with ink or watercolor, which gives a painterly look to some of his best efforts and makes his frames look more like products than sketches. It would be nice to see this series being passed around, especially in West Africa. Check it out. ( )
  fieldnotes | Nov 11, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marguerite Abouetprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oubrerie, ClémentIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A continuation of the Quill Award-nominated graphic tale returns to Africa's Ivory Coast in the late 1970s, where the community is challenged by a questionable paternity situation, Adjoua employs Aya's frequent help with a new baby, and Bintou forsakes friends and responsibilities for a new romance.… (more)

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