Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Will You Believe In Me? A Story About Skiing and Friendship is an adventure graphic novel for children, grades K-3, written by Matt Sterbenz and illustrated by Ingrid Ochoa. Matt always loved skiing. When he was small, he relished the feel of the soft, powdery snow hitting his face whenever he would make a sharp turn. And as he got older, he couldn’t help but experiment with the half pipes and try the daring moves that were usually only attempted by snowboarders. Matt lived for being out on the slopes, but he wanted to do something more than skiing. He wanted to design skis that would allow him and others to break the rules and do more; he wanted to make the best “freeskiing” skis. So he decided to open up 4FRNT, a small business where he’d design and manufacture the best skis out there. One day, David, a freeskier he recognized from out on the slopes, came into his shop with one question: Will you believe in me?
Matt Sterbenz’s sports graphic novel for children, grades K-3, Will You Believe In Me? A Story About Skiing and Friendship, illustrates how with trust, friendship and teamwork, you can achieve just about anything. I especially liked the way this inspiring story shows how children can brush themselves off after a fall or a setback and keep on working towards their dreams. Matt’s story is autobiographical, and his business is still out there in Utah, working on making their skis even better. Ingrid Ochoa’s pen and ink sketches work perfectly with the story; it’s almost as if you’re out there enjoying the snow and slopes yourself. Each of her drawings imparts a sense of movement as the skiers flip, soar and glide. The shop images are also inspired and give the reader a real feel for the inside of a working ski developer’s shop. Will You Believe In Me? A Story About Skiing and Friendship is most highly recommended.