‘Cast No Shadow’ covers a pretty wide range of topics if you wanted to use it as a starting point for any sort of discussion. This is a book in which a young reader is confronted with issues of; morals, loss, grief, spirituality, duality of existence, social norms, relationships and, well, almost everything else besides.
The idea of making a graphic novel which deals with quite open questions which can engage a young reader is certainly a good one. I can’t knock this book for trying to do that.
However, the book jumps rapidly from one thing to the next without much linking anything together. In essence, the narrative isn’t strong enough to hold together so many ideas all at once. While I admire and praise Nick Tapalansky for choosing to tackle subjects not always seen in books for younger readers (and specifically in graphic novel format) I suspect this is a case of too many things being challenged and looked at all at once.
I will not give up on this writer, nor the ideas behind the book. This could lead somewhere very good in the future in a similar genre, but I could not in all honesty say that I would recommend this particular book to any of the children I teach, and that is never a great sign.