Your teens have spent the year slogging through European history, sociology, chemistry, and classic books all year. Before they completely forget what it’s like to read for fun, get a graphic novel in their hands. These titles range from strangely humorous to uncomfortably serious, and there’s a reader out there for every one of them, guaranteed.
INZANA, Ryan. Ichiro. Houghton Harcourt. 2012. ISBN 9780547252698. JLG Level: GH: Graphic Novels High (Grades 9 & up)
Inzana artfully blends reality and myth in this intriguing story of a teen searching for his identity, both as a young man and a Japanese American. Absorbed in the memory of his long-dead soldier father, Ichiro lacks interest in his heritage until he moves to Toyko to live with his grandfather. He is soon immersed in the legends and spirit world of Japanese culture, and must focus on all he’s learned to find his way back home. A visual stunner.
ROMAN, Dave. Teen Boat! illus. by Green, John. Clarion. 2012. ISBN 9780547636696. JLG Level: GH: Graphic Novels High (Grades 9 & up)
This absolutely hysterical book features a teen boy who has the ability to transform into a boat—actually, a small yacht. Though this ability comes in handy, sometimes the change is unexpected and leaves Teen Boat high and dry. Best reason to read it? This compelling pitch from illustrator John Green at the recent Toronto Comics Art Festival!
BELLSTORF, Arne. Baby’s in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and the Beatles. First Second. 2012. ISBN 9781596437715. JLG Level: GH: Graphic Novels High (Grades 9 & up)
Baby’s in Black tells the tale of romance between Stuart Sutcliffe, the “fifth Beatle” and Astrid Kirchherr, a German photographer and friend of the band. Using charcoals and an understated presentation of the situation, Bellstorf focuses on the love and mutual respect Sutcliff and Kirchherr had for each other with the backdrop of the groundbreaking historical events that led to the formation of one of the most influential rock and roll bands ever. Not just for Beatle fans.
ANTHONY, Jessica and Rodrigo Corral. Chopsticks. Razorbill, 2012. ISBN 9781595144355. JLG Level: GH: Graphic Novels High (grades 9 & up)
This visually stunning and well-told story depicts a different kind of graphic novel. Told completely with newspaper clippings, photographs, artwork, and screen shots of IM conversations, readers learn about Glory Fleming’s rise in the music world, a romance with her new next-door neighbor, and her obsession with the song “Chopsticks. Though the story is expanded online, the print version is completely self-contained. A complicated but rewarding “read.”
Junior Library Guild is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at www.JuniorLibraryGuild.com.
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