Tag Archives: graphic novel
3 Oct

61ofDPYVeCL._SX354_BO1,204,203,200_

I first saw the cover on Twitter and, even then, not knowing much about Check Please, I knew I wanted to read it. I waited a few months for it to appear in my local public library’s catalogue. As soon as it did, I placed a hold.

It finally came and I brought it to school because I was hoping to talk about it with my kids. I did, but not for the reasons I thought.

You remember that old adage, don’t judge a book by its cover. Well, despite the cute cover – and cute illustrations throughout – this book is really not for 6th graders. The main character is a college freshman. There is some drinking and cussing and some mature themes. I held the book up for them to see and they all agreed it looked really appealing. I told them why I wouldn’t add it to our classroom library. And I told them that I bet some parent or grandparent somewhere will pick this book up for a middle or upper elementary school-age reader and someone will end up shocked. There isn’t anything really graphic, most of the mature stuff is implied. I told them I hoped they’d read it when they were a little older.

It was a very enjoyable graphic novel. It has an online presence and you can read some of it at this link: CHECK PLEASE!

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY: Eric Bittle may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It is nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking (anything that hinders the player with posession of the puck, ranging from a stick check all the way to a physical sweep). And then, there is Jackhis very attractive but moody captain.

A collection of the first half, freshmen and sophmore year, of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life. This book includes updated art and a hilarious, curated selection of Bitty’s beloved tweets.

A sequel, Check Please! Sticks and Scones is expected next year. I look forward to reading it…at home.

Advertisements

The Course of True Friendship

21 Jul

51Btll0bqJL._SX343_BO1,204,203,200_

I was excited when my hold on Real Friends came in. I was ecstatic when I saw there was a character named Adrienne, then, disappointed to find out she was the antagonist. Sigh. But that is probably the worst thing I can say about Shannon Hale’s graphic novel, excellently illustrated by LeUyen Pham.

Publisher’s Summary: 

Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.

Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?

Drawing on events from her own youth, Hale tells a tale most kids can relate to. In her afterward, she admits that she is telling only her side of the story. She also tells readers to be patient if they haven’t found their “group” yet.

In addition to tackling friendship issues, Real Friends gives readers a glimpse into life in a Mormon family, something we don’t often see in kidlit.

This is a book that is getting some Newbery buzz, and I highly recommend it.

 

A Way Without Words

28 Oct

I’d heard good things about Matt Phelan’s Snow White,  so I put it on hold at the library.

414pgqjpeyl-_sx258_bo1204203200_

When it arrived, I leafed through it, confused at first. I read the jacket flap and became totally intrigued by his alternate setting for this traditional tale.

Publisher’s Summary:The scene: New York City. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt. Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words “Another . . . More Beautiful . . . KILL.” In a moody, cinematic new telling of a beloved fairy tale, extraordinary graphic novelist Matt Phelan captures the essence of classic film noir on the page—and draws a striking distinction between good and evil.

 There are very few words in Phelan’s retelling of this classic tale. But words are not needed. The story is so familiar and his illustrations so detailed that the story tells itself. Check out the trailer:

The Arab of the Future

7 Oct

Riad’s Sattouf’s first autobiographical graphic novel, The Arab of the Future, opens simply.

unknown-1

The Arab of the Future was followed this year by Arab of the Future 2. 

unknown unknown

Publisher’s Summary: In The Arab of the Future: Volume 1, cartoonist Riad Sattouf tells of the first years of his childhood as his family shuttles back and forth between France and the Middle East. In Libya and Syria, young Riad is exposed to the dismal reality of a life where food is scarce, children kill dogs for sport, and his cousins, virulently anti-Semitic and convinced he is Jewish because of his blond hair, lurk around every corner waiting to beat him up.

In Volume 2, Riad, now settled in his father’s hometown of Homs, gets to go to school, where he dedicates himself to becoming a true Syrian in the country of the dictator Hafez Al-Assad. Told simply yet with devastating effect, Riad’s story takes in the sweep of politics, religion, and poverty, but is steered by acutely observed small moments: the daily sadism of his schoolteacher, the lure of the black market, with its menu of shame and subsistence, and the obsequiousness of his father in the company of those close to the regime. As his family strains to fit in, one chilling, barbaric act drives the Sattoufs to make the most dramatic of changes.

Darkly funny and piercingly direct, The Arab of the Future, Volume 2 once again reveals the inner workings of a tormented country and a tormented family, delivered through Riad Sattouf’s dazzlingly original talent.

These are really great graphic memoirs that I would feel very comfortable adding to my 6th grade classroom library. What Persepolis did for Iran, Sattouf’s memoirs will do for the Middle East. In these days of suspicion and misunderstanding of the “other”, these graphic novels provide some insight.

Margaret Goes Graphic

30 Sep

When I first heard that Margaret Atwood was working on a graphic novel, I was shocked. Then, upon reflection, I realized I shouldn’t have been surprised. She’s written novels, poetry, children’s books, non-fiction, short stories, television scripts, and libretti. As a he fan, I had to pick up a copy of Angel Catbird,  from Portland’s own Dark Horse Comics.

angelcatb

Publisher’s Summary: A young genetic engineer is accidentally mutated by his own experiment when his DNA is merged with that of a cat and an owl. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, pulp-inspired superhero adventure—with a lot of cat puns.

Strig Feleedus, the engineer mentioned above, is hired to complete a formula after his predecessor is killed in an accident. The night he solves the problem, he, too, has an “accident”. Strig survives, but the compound he’d been working on spills onto him, his cat and an owl.

61tvpbd5nml

The story is peppered with cat facts, like the one you can see in the lower left corner. Although I am a dog person, I rather enjoyed these facts.

As the story evolves, we learn there is a whole world of cat people as well as an evil rat person trying to take over the world.

angel-catbird-detail-2

The story is good, but my biggest complaint is the portrayal of Strig’s female sidekick. In her cat form, she reforms in a club wearing an outfit reminiscent of that of Princess Leia when she was Jabba the Hutt’s captive.

I probably wouldn’t have picked this one up if it hadn’t been written by Margaret Atwood. Overall, I thought it was pretty good.

Homo neanderthalensis

16 Sep

Neanderthals were a species of humans that went extinct. They co-existed with homo sapiens, made  tools,  kindled fire, and probably had a language. It seems like dry stuff, but Jeffrey Brown has brought homo neanderthalensis to life in his graphic novel Lucy and Andy Neanderthal.

9780385388351

Publisher’s Summary: For fans of the New York Times bestselling Jedi Academy books comes a hilarious new graphic novel series about two young cave kids living 40,000 years ago.

The laugh-out-loud adventure features Lucy and her goofball brother Andy, as the duo take on a wandering baby sibling, bossy teens, cave paintings, and a mammoth hunt. But what will happen when they encounter a group of humans?

Humorous and entertaining, Jeffrey Brown’s signature comical touch enlivens the scientific and historical content, including a special paleontologist section that helps to dispel common Neanderthal myths.

screen480x480

The book was really quite captivating. Brown has clearly done his research. The humorous story has bits of factual information dropped into the narrative just when I was wondering about some of the details.

images

Curious readers who like a little humor with their facts will find this an enjoyable read.

A step in the right direction

4 Aug

It’s August, so my mind is turning back towards school. I have my first training  of the 2016-17 school year today, a presentation by Kelly Gallagher. It will be fun to see colleagues again and go out for lunch, and generally start getting ready to go back to school. I am ready to change direction.

In her graphic novel, Compass South, Hope Larson;s characters have t change direction, too.

Unknown

Publisher’s Summary: It’s 1860 in New York City. When 12-year-old twins Alexander and Cleopatra’s father disappears, they join the Black Hook Gang and are caught by the police pulling off a heist. They agree to reveal the identity of the gang in exchange for tickets to New Orleans. But once there, Alex is shanghaied to work on a ship that is heading for San Francisco via Cape Horn. Cleo stows away on a steamer to New Granada where she hopes to catch a train to San Francisco to find her brother. Neither Alexander nor Cleo realizes the real danger they are in-they are being followed by pirates who think they hold the key to treasure. How they outwit the pirates and find each other makes for a fast-paced, breathtaking adventure.

This is the first book in a series entitled Four Points and is really quite engaging. The second book, Knife’s Edge, is due out in June 2017 and I am looking forward to reading it. This series would be perfect for readers in grades 4-7, who love adventure.

9780374300449

As I sit  here this morning, sipping my coffee and gearing up for the day, I feel like a ship, changing course in a very calm ocean. August is the month where that transition happens. Rolling home, back to work. Here’s a little musical interlude from one of my favorite Scottish bands that sort of sums up how I am feeling these days.

 

 

The Fat Squirrel Speaks

Knitting, spinning, and assorted awesomeness.

Global Yell Blog

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Jone Rush MacCulloch

Deo Writer: Musings to Spark the Spirit

Klickitat St. Readers

Just another WordPress.com site

Readerbuzz

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

PLUMDOG BLOG

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Gail Carriger

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Kate Messner

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Cybils Awards

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Someday My Printz Will Come

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh!

Opening books to open minds.

andrea gillespie

Inquiring My Way Forward

Kirby's Lane: A Place for Readers and Writers

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The Horn Book

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

The History Girls

A blog about children's & YA lit, with some basset news thrown in

Books Around The Table

A potluck of ideas from five children's book authors and illustrators

The Book Smugglers

Smuggling Since 2007 | Reviewing SF & YA since 2008

%d bloggers like this: