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Young Adult Fiction General

I, Witness

by (author) Norah McClintock

illustrated by Mike Deas

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2012
General, Violence, Law & Crime
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2012
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12
  • Grade: 8 to 12
  • Reading age: 12


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.

About the authors


Norah McClintock est l’auteure de plus de 40 livres, dont ceux des collections Chloe & Levesque, Mike & Riel et Robyn Hunter Mysteries, tous publiés chez Scholastic Canada. Les livres de Norah ont été traduits dans une douzaine de langues. Elle a remporté le prix Arthur Ellis dans la catégorie du meilleur roman policier jeunesse et beaucoup d’autres récompenses. Native de Montréal, Norah a obtenu un baccalauréat en histoire de l’Université McGill. Une mer de chagrin est son premier roman historique. «Il est temps d’utiliser toutes ces connaissances en histoire», a-t-elle dit. Norah vit maintenant à Toronto.


Norah McClintock is the author of Tell and Snitch, both Orca Soundings novels. Norah lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Norah McClintock's profile page


Mike Deas est auteur-illustrateur de bandes dessinées, telles que Tank and Fizz and The Case of the Tentacle Terror. Il signe aussi les illustrations de la série Graphic Guide Adventure. Sa passion pour l'illustration a été entretenue tout au long de son enfance à l'île Saltspring, en Colombie-Britannique où il habite encore aujourd'hui.


MIKE DEAS is an author/illustrator of graphic novels, most recently Tank and Fizz and the Case of the Tentacle Terror. He is the illustrator of the Graphic Guide Adventure series. His love for illustrative storytelling comes from an early love of reading and drawing while growing up on Saltspring Island, British Columbia. Visit him online at

Mike Deas' profile page


  • Commended, Texas Library Association (TLA) Maverick Graphic Novel Reading List (TMGNRL)
  • Nominated, Stellar Book Award
  • Short-listed, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Quick Picks
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
  • Commended, Junior Library Guild (JLG) Gold Standard Selection

Editorial Reviews

"Deas's illustrations...employ expressive, loose jags of line that effectively channel teenage emotion...McClintock's first foray into graphica is a teenage mystery with enough twists and turns to interest readers."

Quill & Quire

"Deas' black and white illustrations, with occasional Gorey-esque crimson blood splatters, are appropriately edgy and atmospheric, and ample swaths of pitch-black negative space add to the moodiness...The arty creepiness of the overall look should be enough to entice bystanders to ask, 'Whatcha readin'?"

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Black-and-white illustrations, with splashes of gruesome red, accompany this fast-paced tale of rivalry, justice, and loyalty. The simplistic drawings add to the sense of urgency, and even reluctant readers will be drawn into the fray...Readers may never have had to deal with witnessing a murder, yet David's confusion, indecision, and fear will be familiar and relatable. This would make a good addition to collections for teens for its themes and elements of emotional struggle."


"A suspenseful, murder mystery-themed graphic novel...McClintock has crafted an intriguing story, one which is not only entertaining to read, but is also surprisingly complex and comprehensive despite occupying less than one hundred and fifty pages...Deas' illustrations are wonderful additions to the story, working well to support and, at key points, enhance the text laid out by McClintock. The black and white artwork, while simple and sketchy at times, suits the gritty tone perfectly while splashes of red are also incorporated throughout in an attempt to highlight and bring attention and importance to scenes of violence...Readers who are admirers of crime and detective stories will surely find I, Witness to be an enjoyable and satisfying read...Highly Recommended."

CM Magazine

"[The] plot is action-packed, and the illustrations are a wonderful juxtaposition to the text. McClintock does not shy away from the brutal realities of teenage life...Readers will definitely be able to relate to Boone's struggles with his conscience...This novel confronts teenage readers with the important question, 'Who will finally break the circle of intimidation?'"

Resource Links

"McClintock...shows her customary concerns with character development, fast and abrupt action, and the effectiveness of showing different viewpoints. Deas' dramatic black-and-white artwork is splashed with a bright blood red spilt across those panels where violence occurs. The story demonstrates the dark power of eyewitnesses who, either through a code of silence of fear of reprisal, don't share information when murder is committed...An effective thriller that raises questions about the complicity of silence on violence."


"Boone's reasons for not coming forward are complex and interesting...[and] the mystery Boone solves surrounding the unrelated murder will engage...The use of red as an accent in moments of violence is effective."

Kirkus Reviews

"An exciting graphic novel that involves the reader...Illustrations add impact...[and] enhance the story...Will appeal to many young adult and reluctant readers."

TriState YA Book Review Committee

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