Created By: Adara Sanchez
Written By: Ricardo Sanchez
Illustrated By: Arianna Florean
Lettering By: Tom Napolitano
Cover By: Arianna Florean
Published By: Humanoids
Rena is a young pre-teen girl who suffers from social anxiety, which has made her daily school life quite difficult to handle. As an outcast within her class, her robotics engineer mother has been enrolling Rena in counselling sessions for a while now. None of which seemed to have made any difference for the girl, until one day it’s suggested she joins the local Ninja Club in order to socialize more. From here the story of Rena the Ninja begins, can she conquer her fears and become the Ninja of legend known as ‘The Ghost’?!
This is a great read for children and adults alike, as there is a bit of something for everyone to enjoy. Social anxiety is no joke and has become more apparent in the last year alone, with people experiencing some form of anxiety due to the current pandemic, with its social restrictions and lockdowns. So this book is the perfect medium to help those that may need to connect with a character that is going through somewhat similar difficulties, with a splash of ninja fun.
Now it’s not all fun and games, although Rena soon gets the hang of some classic ninja skills. Her instructor, the mysterious Dysart, has other plans. Having brought to her attention the legend of ‘The Ghost’, he convinces Rena that she is the one. This inturn did encourage the girl to battle her fears, but he also deceived her. It’s a very good plot twist, one that had some good action involved and some very clever deception. So what is Renas’ ultimate goal here? Apart from becoming the ninja of legend that is. She also wants to overcome her anxiety, be just a normal kid at school again and ultimately, be able to visit her best friend Sidney in person. Who has his own set of problems!
Now this story is a collaboration between real life father and daughter duo; Adara and Ricardo Sanchez. Within just the opening pages of this book, Ricardo included a very detailed foreword as to how this story was created. Which is quite touching to read before we get into the ninja action. The illustrations were handled by Arianna Florean, a comic book artist, illustrator and colorist. Who is currently working on a number of projects for Disney America, Marvel and IDW Publishing. The artwork in Shy Ninja has been pretty flawless. It reminds me of a lot of cartoons that came out in the early to mid 2000s, including Scooby Doo and Avatar the Last Airbender. With fun illustrations such as these, the facial designs are sometimes over the top but the reactions are just hilarious. It plays itself towards younger readers, but even as an adult I had great fun reading this book.
Click on the link below to buy online from Humanoids today. Also available at other online retailers and always make sure to check out your local bookstore.