Spring 2024

I'm Gonna Be a SMITH!, Book 1

Volume 1

From the Series Clock Striker

  • Interest Level: Grade 7 - Grade 9
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

Cast dreams of being a SMITH, and though she’s rather handy with her tools, no one in her small town ever realizes their dreams.

Besides, the legendary warrior engineers haven’t been seen in years and were never known for having female members. Fortunately, Cast meets one surviving member named Ms. Philomena Clock, who agrees to take her on as her apprentice, or striker.

Suddenly Cast is thrust into one deadly adventure after another. Cybernetic desperadoes. From cybernetic desperadoes to technology thieves and more, Cast has to use her mind and her remodeled robotics-lab prosthetic hand, which offers unfathomable offensive power in the form of scientific experiments. Need lightning? Cast can generate it from her hand! Cast’s mentor seeks to uncover an ominous mystery that explains what happened to the SMITHS and shines a light on a hidden power that may be within Cast herself.

Can Cast become a new member of the SMITHS? More importantly, can Cast survive the process to become a SMITH?

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Interest Level Grade 7 - Grade 9
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Graphic Novels, Young Adult
Category Diverse Books: Physical Disability & Illness, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diversity
Copyright 2024
Publisher Quarto Publishing Group USA
Brand Saturday AM Diverse Manga
Imprint Rockport Publishers — Quarto Library
Language English
Number of Pages 64
Publication Date 2024-01-01
Text Type Fiction—Science Fiction/Fantasy
BISACS YAF010010, YAF010050, YAF010030
Dewey 741.5
Dimensions 5.5 x 7.8
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Original artwork, Reviewed, and Table of contents

Author: Issaka Galadima

Issaka Galadima, also known online as Gladisk or GladiskStudio, was born in the Republic of Niger and currently lives in France, where he works as an app developer.

Author: Frederick L. Jones

Frederick L. Jones has a passion for promoting diversity. He combined his experience in the video game industry with his lifelong love of anime to create the diverse manga brand Saturday AM in 2013. He resides in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.


  • Texas Maverick Graphic Novel Readling List, Winner, 2024
  • YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens, Winner, 2024
  • New York Public Library Best Books for Teens 2023, Winner, 2023


School Library Journal

“This action-packed graphic novel adventure featuring tenacious female leads will leave shonen manga fans counting down to future volumes.”—School Library Journal


“There are a lot of action-packed panels full of life and lots of zoom lines in this fast-paced story of self-discovery and altruism. This might appeal to readers of Fullmetal Alchemist looking for something a little more lighthearted or even fans of Trigun who enjoy western-inspired, quippy stories.”—Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“Galadima and Jones’ graphic novel is filled with action and adventure and touches on multiple social themes. . . . Readers will eagerly anticipate more entries. A fantastic, refreshing series opener.”—Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly

“Galadima and Jones deliver an immersive reading experience complete with pulse-pounding action sequences and an amiable supporting cast led by a resilient protagonist. This tech-driven graphic novel series opener promises deeper lore and mysteries in subsequent volumes.”—Publishers Weekly