True crime, desperation, fraud, and adventure: From the impoverished young woman who enchanted nineteenth-century British society as a faux Asian princess, to the sixteen-year-old boy who "stole" a subway train in 1993, to the lonely but clever Frank Abagnale of Catch Me if You Can fame, these ten vignettes offer riveting insight into mind-blowing masquerades. Graphic panels draw you into the exploits of these pretenders, and meticulously researched details keep you on the edge of your seat. Each scene is presented in the second person, a unique point of view that literally places you inside the faker's mind. With motivations that include survival, delusion, and plain, old-fashioned greed, the psychology of deception has never been so fascinating or so close at hand.
In 10 impeccably crafted profiles, Barton (The Day-Glo Brothers) shares the stories of individuals many just teenagers who adopted false identities for amusement, profit, or survival. From Sarah Rosetta Wakeman, who disguised herself as a man to fight in the Civil War, to 16-year-old Keron Thomas, who in 1993 impersonated a transit worker to fulfill his dream of piloting a New York City subway train, Barton reveals the motivations behind and the consequences of each deception. The use of second-person narration is very effective, allowing readers to assume the identities of each individual. Barton's prose captures the daring, ingenuity, and quick thinking required of each imposter ("You can bluster and grumble with the best of them.... You use up your share of tobacco too," he writes of Wakeman). In the most powerful stories, assuming a false identity was a life or death decision, as with Soloman Perel, a Jewish teenager who joined the Hitler Youth to escape being killed, and Ellen Craft, a slave who disguised herself as a white Southern gentleman to escape to the North. Hoppe contributes dynamic comic book style panel art, not all seen by PW. Ages 12 up.