I wanted to like 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente: A Graphic Novel by Wilfred Santiago, but I wanted a fuller biography of the Hall of Fame baseball player. The art work effectively evokes the poverty of Puerto Rico and the grit of industrial Pittsburgh, and I think Santiago succeeds in dramatizing the big games, but 21 is just highlights from the great Pirate outfielder's life with lots of gaps. Turn a page, and years have passed without explanation. Knowing baseball history, I am able to fill in the gaps, but I can't imagine a young reader can.
21 is still an attractive introduction to learning about baseball of the 1950s to 1970s. I hope it encourages young readers to probe further. A more complete profile of the Pirate can be found in Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball's Last Hero by David Maraniss. Dismiss the "last hero" idea though as there have been many worthy players after Clemente.
Santiago, Wilfred. 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente: A Graphic Novel. Fantagraphic Books, 2011. ISBN 9781560978923.