Review of Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney (paperback) #inpartnershipwithDC



Thank you to DC for providing me with a free copy of Nubia for review.  #inpartnershipwithdc  



Nubia: Real One by L.L. McKinney

Can you be a hero…if society doesn’t see you as a person?

Nubia has always been a little bit…different. As a baby she showcased Amazonian-like strength by pushing over a tree to rescue her neighbor’s cat. But, despite having similar abilities, the world has no problem telling her that she’s no Wonder Woman. And even if she was, they wouldn’t want her. Every time she comes to the rescue, she’s reminded of how people see her; as a threat. Her Moms do their best to keep her safe, but Nubia can’t deny the fire within her, even if she’s a little awkward about it sometimes. Even if it means people assume the worst.

When Nubia’s best friend, Quisha, is threatened by a boy who thinks he owns the town, Nubia will risk it all—her safety, her home, and her crush on that cute kid in English class—to become the hero society tells her she isn’t.

From the witty and powerful voice behind A Blade So Black, L.L. McKinney, and with endearing and expressive art by Robyn Smith, comes a vital story for today about equality, identity and kicking it with your squad.




I am kind of surprised by how much I loved this book!  It’s got some very important topics and I recommend it for all ages.


Nubia is tall and has superhuman strength.  She’s not sure exactly why she’s that way, but her moms have taught her to hide it.  When it’s come out, people have not acted kindly and they’ve had to move.  She’s finally in a place with friends she loves, so she tries to keep her head down and behave.  Nubia’s best friend, Quisha, is more of an activist and speaks out.  But when a rich, white boy kisses her without her permission, she lets him get away with it.  At some point, Nubia has had enough and she punches him.  The video shows up online and she’s worried about being found out.  Her moms are very protective and she had to sneak out to go to the party to begin with.


There was a local black teen killed by a police officer and a protest is planned.  It’s peaceful until that same white boy and his friends start crap.  Things quickly get out of hand and there are shootings.  A lot of the book focuses on how black people are treated vs white people.  That white kid gets away with everything and the black kids get hurt and arrested.  Nubia realizes that she needs to figure out if she wants to stay hidden  or use her strength and speed to help.  


Besides the social justice topics, my favorite things in the book were the relationships.  Nubia’s moms love her even if they don’t exactly know what to do to keep her safe.  The friendships were so strong and loving.  And Nubia’s crush was super cute, too.   There’s even an appearance by Wonder Woman.


This was a pretty powerful graphic novel and definitely needed.  I gave this 5 stars.  Thank you to DC for providing me with a copy for review.  I really want more from Nubia and her friends.


Warnings for homophobia, racism, blood, sexual assault, talk of domestic abuse.


Have you read Nubia yet?  Is it on your TBR?





Author: confessionsofayareader

I'm Kristi. I'm a wife, mom, and grandma. I have been breeding leopard geckos for ten years. I love to read and have been trying to review more books (the reason for this blog besides wanting to talk about books with everyone). I also love music and going to concerts, mostly punk and pop punk.

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