October 22, 2017

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Review: ‘Spinning’

Spinning Writer/artist: Tillie Walden First Second; $17.99 Spinning, 21-year-old cartoonist Tillie Walden’s 400-page graphic memoir, isn’t really about figure skating, although that is the ostensible subject matter. Indeed, few pages go by without a scene set in or around an ice rink, or featuring the protagonist going to or coming from a practice or competition, […]

Review: Knife’s Edge

After reading volume 1 of the Four Points series, I was left hanging. So were my students. One student, Albert* (Name changed), asked me when volume 2 was coming out. I told him the wait was a while, and he asked me to let the author and artist know that he was willing to help […]

Review: ‘Star Scouts’

Star Scouts by Mike Lawrence First Second, $14.99 Ages 8-12 Avani doesn’t get along with the other girls in the Flower Scouts troop in her new neighborhood. They only want to talk about boys and makeup, while she’s interested in rodeo, which means they put her down with country wisecracks. Then Avani is abducted by […]

10 Graphic Novels That Are Not Quite of This World

“Good Comics 4 Kids” blogger Brigid Alverson rounds up her top picks of graphic novels for teens publishing in fall 2017, which run the gamut from fairy-tale princesses taking over the kingdom to a boy falling in love with a ghost.

Review of the Day: Real Friends by Shannon Hale, ill. LeUyen Pham

Real Friends By Shannon Hale Artwork by LeUyen Pham Color by Jane Poole First Second (an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan) $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-62672-785-4 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. The autobiography assignment. I don’t pretend to know precisely why teachers give it out or what they hope child readers will get out of it. […]

Interview: Pénélope Bagieu on ‘California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before The Mamas & the Papas’

She is probably best known by the name Mama Cass, or perhaps by Cass Elliot, but the little girl who grew up to take on those names was first named Ellen Cohen by her parents. It is Ellen, and her journey to become Cass and one of the Mamas in The Mamas & The Papas […]

Interview: Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham on ‘Real Friends’

I’m a sporadic social networker. On the rare day, when I have a few minutes of down time, I will go online and try and catch up on either Twitter or Facebook. So the other day, when I had a few minutes (read: procrastinating), I realized that the release date of Shannon Hale and LeUyen […]

Review: ‘Bera the One-headed Troll’

Bera the One-headed Troll By Eric Orchard First Second; $17.99 The title of Eric Orchard’s fantasy adventure comic is a rather clever little gag in its own right, as trolls of Bera’s kind often have multiple heads, even if having only one head is the default state for everyone who makes up the reading audience […]

Review: ‘Tetris’

Tetris: The Games People Play Writer/artist: Box Brown First Second; $19.99 In this follow-up to his winning 2014 biography, Andre The Giant: Life and Legend, cartoonist Box Brown tackles another great subject, and another one that everyone knows of, but relatively few actually know the story of: Tetris, the surprisingly simple, surprisingly addictive video game. […]

Graphic Novel Siblings: Delilah Dirk and The Nameless City

The two books we’re talking about this morning might as well be graphic novel siblings. They share a lot of details in common: both are published by First Second, Canadian authors, 3 stars, action-hero female protagonists, male protagonists who drive themselves to exhaustion trying to keep up, and both are part of a larger serialized story. Even the […]

10 to Note: Fall Preview 2016

Here’s how these previews work: I look at all the books. I pick 10 that jump out to me. I share them with you. Here we go – this batch will all arrive in September, October, and November. Picture Books A Well-Mannered Young Wolf by Jean Leroy, illustrated by Matthieu Maudet October 3, 2016 | Eerdmans […]

Cover Reveal: ‘Science Comics: Flying Machines’

You’re seeing it here first: Today we have an exclusive first look at the cover for the latest entry in First Second’s Science Comics line, Science Comics: Flying Machines, by Alison Wilgus and Molly Brooks. We have a couple of the interior pages for you too with a look at the young Wilbur and Orville […]

Fusenews: Born and raised in South Detroit . . .

This blog has spoiled me beyond all hope or recognition.  Over the years I’ve used it to find nannies, to get books re-published, and now it has solved a mystery that lay dormant for years.  Back in November of 2009 I decided I wanted to track down a book from my childhood.  Writing stumpers into […]

“Back to School” | an SLJ Webcomic by Nidhi Chanani

An exclusive SLJ webcomic by the author of the forthcoming graphic novel “Pashmina.”

Review: ‘The Nameless City Vol. 1′

The Nameless City Vol. 1 Writer/artist: Faith Erin Hicks First Second; $14.99 One-time webcomics creator Faith Erin Hicks’ first published work was the 2007 graphic novel Zombies Calling, and over the course of the nine years since, she’s proved to be a particularly prolific creator, both writing and drawing her own work (original graphic novels […]

Roundtable: Happy 10 Year Anniversary, First Second!

It’s sort of like watching your friend’s kid growing up: You remember when they were born, but now they’re a big kid. They’ve grown up so much! That’s how I felt when I heard that First Second was celebrating their 10 year anniversary. I clearly remember looking at their first catalogs and being very impressed […]

Ten Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About First Second

So First Second comes to me and says it’s their 10th anniversary. Happy anniversary, sez I. They ask if I want to participate in the celebration by doing so kind of a post. My mind is a bit blank but I give it a think. Then I came up with the idea of the following […]

Cover Reveal: Volcanoes – Fire and Life by Jon Chad!

If you know me then you know I’ve a certain weakness for comics, graphic novels, graphic comics, and comic novels (?).  You draw it, I like it.  And every once in a while, First Second will offer me a little jacket to reveal in some manner.  It seems timely that with the announcement about the […]

Review: Little Robot

As the 2016 new releases start to flood the market, here’s a look at some of the titles we didn’t have a chance to review. Little Robot By Ben Hatke. First Second Books. 2015. ISBN 9781626720800 HC, $16.99. 136pp. Grades 2 and up Little Robot is by the artist best known for Zita the Space […]

Review: ‘Secret Coders’

Can a good story really be told while trying to teach kids how to code? With the push for more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning and higher STEM standards in our country’s public schools, it’s no surprise that someone out there is trying to incorporate good storytelling and science. But a story about […]