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I, Witness

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In a dark back alley, Boone and Andre witness a violent murder, and agree not to mention it. But the killers have different ideas and come after Boone and his friends, killing two of them. Boone is desperate to save himself but realizes to do so he will need to face the violent act in his past that continues to haunt him.

Told in Norah McClintock's trademark suspenseful style and with spare black-and-white illustrations from Mike Deas, this compelling graphic novel looks into the darkness and forces us to face our deepest fears.

144 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2012

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About the author

Norah McClintock

81 books203 followers
Norah McClintock’s fascinating mysteries are hard to put down. Her Chloe & Levesque series, Mike & Riel series, and Robyn Hunter series, all published by Scholastic Canada, have been popular with readers in many countries. Norah has also written several crime novels for reluctant readers in the Orca Soundings series from Orca Book Publishers,

Norah is a five-time winner of the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Novel. Read Mistaken Identity, The Body in the Basement, Sins of the Father, Scared to Death, and Break and Enter to find out why! Norah's books have been translated into more than a dozen languages, and she has won numerous awards.

Arthur Ellis Award - Juvenile
o 1996 – Mistaken Identity – Winner
o 1998 – The Body in the Basement – Winner
o 1999 – Sins of the Father – Winner
o 2002 – Scared to Death – Winner
o 2003 – Break and Enter – Winner

Red Maple Award
o 2004 – Hit and Run – Winner

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5 stars
18 (10%)
4 stars
42 (23%)
3 stars
68 (37%)
2 stars
38 (21%)
1 star
13 (7%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 43 reviews
Profile Image for Terry.
850 reviews35 followers
March 19, 2013
An interesting premise poorly executed. Mike Deas's black and white illustrations recall those of Frank Smith's "Sin City" books. The story follows Boone, who's friends Robbie and Andre are voiolently killed in a succession of shootings, one of which also hospitalizes Boone. As he numbly recovers, Boone thinks back on his friendship with Machal, which formed at summer camp after another death and in the wake of Boone's mother dying under suspicious circumstances. Boone may - or may not - know who shot Robbie and Andre, Machal may - or may not - know something about a kid who jumped in front of a train, which may - or may not - have been witnessed by Robbie. Then Boone finds a body in the hall at school. Meanwhile, Jax and Desiree - Machal's hommie and homegirl - think Boone's a punk for not doing anything about his dead friends while....

If you're a little confused at this point, that's where I was with this book. McCLintock has a long history writing hi/lo books for Canadian publisher Orca. This title has too many things going on to serve that audience, while the characers are too thin to matter to stronger readers. The stark illustrations inadequately differentiated characters, leaving me wondering who was doing what several times in the story, making the whole book harder than necessary to follow.
Profile Image for Ms. Davis.
336 reviews14 followers
March 13, 2017
This was a GREAT graphic novel. It's not necessarily for the faint-hearted - there's definitely a fair amount of violence. This one also definitely makes you think - the idea of someone being the tattletale is an interesting one. You don't want to be "the rat", but think about all of the injustice that continues just because someone doesn't have the courage to speak up! The main artistic thing about this book that I loved was the darkness of it - having it on fully black pages really affected how I felt reading this book. All in all, I would say this is a second-step graphic novel - not for the first-time graphic novel reader, but a great read for the somewhat-versed graphic novel reader.
12 reviews1 follower
April 16, 2013
this was a very good book. Its about this kid that witnessed a lot of murders and doesn't know what to tell the cops.I recommend everyone to read this book
October 12, 2016
I liked this book because it talks about real life, talks about gangs and that kind of things, I recommend this books because is amazing
6 reviews1 follower
November 3, 2018
In my book “I, Witness” the main character Boone was facing many challenges in high school. Boone and his two best friends adre and robbie got into a little trouble. In the book my favorite character was Boone. Boone was my favorite character because everyone blamed him of the killing of everyone who died, he proved them wrong. Boone never let the people get to him and never switched his story. Boone felt real to me because many people can be in a situation and have to do many things Boone had to do. In the book the characters keep me guessing. Throughout the book all I could think about is who’s next to kill.My favorite part of “I, Witness” was the ending when Boone told the police he could identify the killer if her saw him again. This was my favorite part because this proved how strong he was through out the whole book. The scene in the school was the best. It had many details and pictures. This book kept me turning the pages it was very detail and could have happened in real life so it made it more interesting. I wish the ending of my book would have not been a cliffhanger. I wish the author of my book would have wrote and shared who was the killer and why. The story “I, Witness” was not scary to me this book really sparked my interest. If you are into crime, mystery, or young “I, Witness” is the book for you. I give my book a 10/10. I like how it could happen in real life also I liked how detailed the book was.
6 reviews
March 12, 2019
Graphic novel, “I, witness“ by Noran McClintock and Mike Deas. This is a novel, it is about a boy named Boone. He had two close friends, Robbie and Andre. They all get mixed up with the wrong people and things do not go well from there, for his friends nor him. Boone ends up finding someone dead in the school hallway and he can not help but find out what happened to that kid.
I like this because of how it was a mystery and they setup the storyline pretty good. I would say Boone is my favorite character because you get to mostly see his perspective on things and grow a connection with him, which is what made me grip onto the story and keep turning the pages. The story kept you guessing on what was going to happen next and some parts are unexpected and that is another thing that I really enjoyed when I was reading this.
One thing I did not like about the book was that it skipped around to different time lines. One other thing that I disliked was that there was just a little too much going on throughout the story.
This is a great graphic novel, I think that this book had a great story line to it but it did have a few things I disliked, over all I would rate this book a seven out of ten. I recommend this novel for young teens that don’t mind seeing blood and who are interested in mystery books.
April 27, 2020
To everyone who is out there and wants to read an amazing crime graphic novel, this is the one for you. This book had me on my toes at most points because the main character Boone goes through a lot. He goes through murders, through detectives bothering him most of the day, getting shot, etc.
One of my favorite aspects of this book is the graphics in it is all in black and white to show how dark the book is and shows the blood in red. It makes the story line stand out and shows a more realistic crime scene compared to maybe a comedy or a peaceful calm novel. Something that shocked me in the book is that the main character Boone survived through everything he goes through without getting into trouble of his own and not just on luck or being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Profile Image for Marilyn.
1,123 reviews24 followers
July 30, 2017
A murder mystery that just piles on the dead bodies and yet doesn't flesh out the characters enough to make you care. The illustrations are almost like initial sketches and don't provide enough differences between the characters to make it clear just who is doing what. There were a few times when I had no idea who was doing what because they all look the same. Black and white illustrations (with splashes of blood red) is an interesting artistic idea but the details are all the more important then to provide the reader with a clue of what is happening. In the end, I found I couldn't care a whit about who did the murdering and why, I just wanted the book to be done.
20 reviews
May 3, 2020
I know many of the other reviews on here aren’t the best, but I really loved this graphic novel! I thought that the art style was interesting (though it can be hard to distinguish the characters from one another at times) and it’s not a style that I see very often in graphic novels. Usually the art is clean cut but this is messy and I’m kind of living for it. I think that the story was well done and decently executed, though I do wish I knew what happens after the novel “ends”
Profile Image for Dobie9 Library.
398 reviews16 followers
February 6, 2018
Rendered in black and white with the only color being the occasional splash of red, this story begs the reader to decide which is the right choice, to tell what you saw or to keep your mouth shut. Both answers have deadly consequences and the main character has to decide on which choice he will ultimately make.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,017 reviews43 followers
August 23, 2018
Black and white illustrations, somewhat hard to tell the difference among some of the male characters; shots of red, for blood, give the book a very graphic feel. It's about a teenager who witnesses a shooting and his choice to keep what he saw a secret causes events to escalate for those around him.
November 11, 2020
This book just gets you in instantly the first time you have your hands on it. I would compare it to something you've never seen or heard of before and you're just curious to find out anything, and you flip the pages over and over again and won't stop until you've found out the exact events. It's great.
Profile Image for TJ Mortel.
5 reviews1 follower
November 16, 2017
A pretty good comic about crime, investigations, gang in schools, and drugs. There is profanity but I still would recommend this comic book for 14 year old and up cause it is kinda like an R rated book.
Profile Image for Joe.
1,232 reviews10 followers
December 14, 2020
The concept intrigued me. However, I thought the plot jumped around a little too much without developing the characters as fully as they needed to be. Until I was deeper into the story, I had a bit of trouble keeping characters straight. Decent illustrations.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
546 reviews
March 30, 2021
Decent graphics. Story line was.. it left you intrigued; that’s for sure. It was odd though, it’s like half the time one story was developing, then the second half a completely different story and at the end it left you with the idea that they might be tied together.
Dark comic. Sad story.
Profile Image for Tiffany Smith.
141 reviews10 followers
July 19, 2018
This book is all over the place. I don't even know how to put my feelings into words.
Profile Image for Rob McGrory.
187 reviews
September 17, 2022
Drawings are a bit choppy which made it tough to understand who is who at first, but I got used to it. Good mystery story
Profile Image for Raina.
1,593 reviews124 followers
December 14, 2013
One the one hand, there need to be more stories like this. There aren't enough graphic novels featuring realistic stories in urban settings. I do like the way that Deas uses black and white except for the scenes of violence, where the blood is red red red.

On the other hand, this isn't really my style of illustration. I feel like I'm looking at the scenes through a foggy glass - none of the characters are drawn with much specificity - we rely on markers such as neck tattoos and setting to figure out who appears in each scene. It takes a while to warm up to the characters and feel much emotional impact beyond the shock of the events.

But, I hope this finds an audience. Because I suspect the teens living in urban areas who will particularly connect to the setting and the plot could really benefit from connecting with the graphic novel format. I think it's a really smart choice for McClintock to write a book like this - the main thing I know her for is the Orca hi-lo readers, and it makes sense to translate that high interest sensibility and awareness of how to write a riveting story at a low level of difficulty to the graphic novel medium.

I'm eager to see what Orca publishes in their Teen Graphic Novel line next, because there's a lot of potential here. Although I didn't particularly connect myself, I see the value of something like this being out there.
10 reviews1 follower
March 28, 2013
"I, Witness" is a graphic novel and a little more swearing and violence occurred in the book then I thought would. "I, Witness" starts off with three high school boys seeing a guy murder a different guy. One of the boys who saw the seen, Robbie, was shot by the murderer a few weeks later. Then another one of the three boys, Andre, was shot because he was going to tell the police what was going on, and the murderer knew that Andre was going to do this. So he shot Andre. The only boy left was David. David went a little crazy and was depressed that his best friends were killed, and David knew the whole story - who killed his friends, and why they were killed - however, David was too scared to reveal any answers. Then as the book goes on, David finally returns to school and he witnesses two other murders. He witnesses Peter getting shot. And he hears about Machal being thrown in front of a train. David finds out that Jax killed both Machal and Peter. At the end of the book David tells an instructor that he knew about all these killings, but he says he didn't say anything because he was too scared.
Profile Image for Sally Kruger.
967 reviews6 followers
May 16, 2016
Thanks to Nevercountedout.com I was able to read I, WITNESS and share it with my students.

Blood splashes across stark black & white images in this graphic novel by Norah McClintock and Mike Deas.

Boone seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time. When he and a friend witness the death of another teen, Boone is questioned by the police as well as his friends and the family of the victim. Swearing he didn't see a thing doesn't answer their questions and now he is facing threats of his own.

The heat from the first incident has barely died down when Boone and his friend are caught by fire in a drive-by shooting. Boone is injured, but his good friend dies. Once again the questions fly. What did Boone see? Is he not talking because he is protecting someone?

Harassed at school and pressured by the victims' families, Boone decides things have to change. He has an idea of who might be responsible, but can he figure it out before he becomes the next victim?

Action packed images add intensity to this neighborhood drama. Readers will be on the edge of their of their seats as Boone tries to find the killer before another life is lost.
Profile Image for Taneka.
653 reviews10 followers
November 1, 2012
Robbie witnesses a violent murder while dumpster diving with his friend Boone. He is murder outside of a convenient store. Andre is murdered at Robbies funeral because he saw the killers that shot Robbie. Boone survives both attacks but won't give a testimony out of fear. Then, Peter, the piano player at school is shot and killed in the hallway. What proceeds is Boone's search for the truth about what happened to Peter.

This graphic novel is rendered in black and white with the occasional red color to symbolize blood. It is a good mystery novel and the reader goes on the journey for truth along with Boone. However, the novel seems to be a campaign for "No Snitching". Boone refuses to speak about the shooting of Robbie and Andre, leaving their family to wonder why. He is always there when events occur but he never knows anything.
186 reviews4 followers
May 5, 2014
Well written and illustrated mystery, graphic novel.

Boone is a teenager, living in urban America, getting in trouble on the streets. Over the course of a year, he witnesses multiple friends die to gun violence. He too, is shot at while standing outside of a church right after attending a friend's funeral. He decides not to cooperate with the police for fear of retribution. When he sees one of the teacher's die he starts to investigate who is killing everyone and decides maybe it is worth telling the truth about what we knows.
December 11, 2012
I really liked this book. Yes, it was a graphic novel, but it was like you were living within the story itself. Throughout the whole book you were kept on the edge of your seat thinking about what is going to happen next. This book definitely did a good job of keeping the reader from getting bored. I would recommend this book to any reader who likes a lot of action and kind of a forensic type of person.
Profile Image for Dexter.
1,086 reviews17 followers
November 6, 2016
At first I was a little confused and wary of it. It's written in a somewhat strange manner and jumps around a lot. I honestly have no idea how much time the story covers.

But after the first ten pages or so, I got more into it. The art style really grew on me, as did the story. It's oddly profound in a way I wasn't expecting. I'm not totally satisfied with the ending... actually I'm not satisfied at all. I wish it had been a little more open-ended. But still, I liked it overall.
January 21, 2013
This is a great pairing with Yummy. I really liked how the panels were all black and white accept for when there was blood shed. This also made me feel like I was reading "The Wire" with the eye-for-an-eye retaliation and preventative shootings. Seems like there should be a sequel. A YES vote for me.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
2 reviews
November 16, 2016
I think this is a very good book ,it teaches you life lessons like watch who you hang out with and dont be afraid to tell someone. if you live in fear your life will be just like his horrible and there is no other way to escape that horrible like because you to stuck up to tell someone what is bothering you.Im happy i read this book because it really opens me up to be careful everywhere i go.
Profile Image for Amanda.
1,522 reviews16 followers
April 16, 2013
A timey story about retailation and the dangers of coming forward with information. Although the story is uneven at times, the art is solid and I think many teens could find a connection to the story.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 43 reviews

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