Cover image for The breakaways / Cathy G. Johnson ; colors by Kevin Czap.
The breakaways / Cathy G. Johnson ; colors by Kevin Czap.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : First Second, 2019.

Physical Description:
210 pages : chiefly colour illustrations ; 21 cm
When a popular student encourages her to join the soccer team, Faith signs up even though she has never played the game and learns about loyalty and friendship.
Added Author:


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
JOH Graphic Novel Junior Graphic Novels

On Order



Quiet, sensitive Faith starts middle school already worrying about how she will fit in. To her surprise, Amanda, a popular eighth grader, convinces her to join the school soccer team, the Bloodhounds. Having never played soccer in her life, Faith ends up on the C team, a ragtag group that's way better at drama than at teamwork. Although they are awful at soccer, Faith and her teammates soon form a bond both on and off the soccer field that challenges their notions of loyalty, identity, friendship, and unity.

The Breakaways from Cathy G. Johnson is a raw, and beautifully honest graphic novel that looks into the lives of a diverse and defiantly independent group of kids learning to make room for themselves in the world.

Author Notes

Cathy G. Johnson is a cartoonist and educator in Providence, Rhode Island. The Breakaways is her third graphic novel, after Gorgeous (2016) with Koyama Press and Jeremiah (2015) with One Percent Press. Cathy has also published shorter comics work with publishers such as Silver Sprocket and Youth in Decline. In addition to creating artwork, Cathy works as an educator in the New England area, serving many local communities within schools and community centers.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Tricked into joining the soccer team on her first day in middle school, Faith, a loner who is looking for somewhere to fit in, stumbles through practice and lands on the C team. Her teammates are other misfits who are more preoccupied with personal struggles than with soccer, and Faith gradually wins over many of them as friends. Faith also finds escape in her own inner life, which Johnson represents as a series of dreams with a warrior named Mathilda, with whom Faith visits a king and prepares to build a castle. Johnson (Jeremiah) presents an eclectic group of middle schoolers who are exploring issues of gender identity, sexuality, ethnicity, mental health, and more. Using minimal detail, the artwork realistically portrays the characters' relatable emotions and wide-ranging reactions. Her young people also represent a diverse array of sizes, shapes, colors, and notions of attractiveness. Johnson's graphic novel will resonate with readers who are figuring out who they are and where they belong. Ages 8-11. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.