July 23, 2017

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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: ‘DC Super Hero Girls: Summer Olympus’

DC Super Hero Girls: Summer Olympus Writer: Shea Fontana Artist: Yancey Labat DC Comics; $9.99 How are you spending your summer vacation? Perhaps you would like to spend it reading about how Wonder Woman, Supergirl and the other kids at Super Hero High in Metropolis are spending their summer vacation? That’s the premise of Shea […]

Poe: Stories and Poems adapted by Gareth Hinds | SLJ Review

POE, Edgar Allan. Poe: Stories and Poems. adapt. by Gareth Hinds. illus. by Gareth Hinds. 120p. Candlewick. Aug. 2017. Tr $22. ISBN 9780763681128.

Gr 9 Up –Hinds adds to his impressive library of graphic novel adaptations with this collection of stories and poems. In “The Masque of the Red Death,” a prince holds a massive party inside a fortified castle while his subjects die of plague outside his walls—that is, until a mysterious stranger appears at the door. In “The Cask of Amontillado,” […]

Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez | SLJ Review

ALVAREZ, Lorena. Nightlights. illus. by Lorena Alvarez. 56p. Flying Eye/Nobrow. Mar. 2017. Tr 18.95. ISBN 9781910620137.

Gr 4 Up –At Sandy’s parochial school, her talent for daydreaming, doodling, and wandering doesn’t endear her to the strict nuns, whose assignments the girl does her best to avoid. A bit of an outsider, Sandy is delighted when she meets a new friend, a strange, pale girl who gushes over her incredible artwork. As the protagonist’s flights of fancy begin to merge with reality, she must […]

Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid by Metaphrog | SLJ Review

METAPHROG. Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. illus. by Metaphrog. 80p. Papercutz. Apr. 2017. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781629917399.

Gr 4 Up –This retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s story about a young mermaid who falls in love with a human prince and sacrifices her voice in order to become human may bewilder readers who know only the more sanitized adaptations of the tale. But those who are familiar with or curious about the original will appreciate this faithful graphic novel […]

Graphic Novels: Dumas Revisited, a New Title from Lorena Alvarez, & More | July 2017 Xpress Reviews

This month’s graphic novels reviews include a manga retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo and Lorena Alvarez’s stellar Nightlights.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Interview: Rebecca Mock on ‘Knife’s Edge’

When the graphic novel Knife’s Edge is released this month, 12-year-old twin adventurers Cleopatra and Alexander Dodge will find their adventures at an end—at least for now. Will they find the treasure that is their inheritance? Will they manage to escape the dread pirate Felix Worley? Will Cleo ever kiss another boy? Will they ever […]

Interview: Hope Larson on ‘Knife’s Edge’

Writer Hope Larson and artist Rebecca Mock’s 19th century pirate adventure saga concludes this month with the release of Knife’s Edge, the sequel to their 2016 Compass South. That their story is a duology is appropriate, as their protagonists are also two in number: Twelve-year-old twins Cleopatra and Alexander Dodge. In the first book, the […]

Interview: Dana Simpson, Creator of ‘Phoebe and Her Unicorn’

I interviewed Dana Simpson, the creator of the Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novels, when I was writing the article “Just Another Day in an LGBTQ Comic” for SLJ. As often happens, it was a great interview and I could only use a few sentences in the story, so I’m running it in full today. […]

Teaching With Science Comics

The latest generation of science-oriented graphic novels entertain as much as they educate.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Download SLJ’s Sneak Peek Guide to Fall 2017 Books

Download this handy guide to over 150 of the most hotly anticipated fall titles, curated by SLJ editors. With info on ALA author signings and galley giveaways.

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton | SLJ Review

CLANTON, Ben. Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt. illus. by Ben Clanton. 64p. (A Narwhal and Jelly Book: Bk. 2). Tundra. May 2017. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781101918296. POP

Gr 1-3 –Donning a cape, Narwhal decides to become a superhero—after eating lunch, of course. Super Narwhal needs a sidekick, so pal Jelly is dubbed Jelly Jolt. In this second installment of the sweetly surreal series, the characters are true to form; delightfully ditzy Narwhal remains upbeat even when he initially fails […]

12 Marvelous Manga for Middle Schoolers

Looking for manga that’s appropriate for middle school readers but still high on the cool factor? From the sweet and light to the utterly bizarre, these titles have it all.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Preview: ‘Surfside Girls’

Kim Dwinell’s Surfside Girls has a timeless quality. With its likable characters, sunny colors, and supernatural mystery, it’s a perfect summer read. I got an early look at it a few weeks ago and was instantly smitten—it’s a mystery with ghosts and history mixed up into it, the sort of book I loved as a […]

Kindred by Octavia Butler | SLJ Review

BUTLER, Octavia E. Kindred. adapted by Damian Duffy. illus. by John Jennings. 240p. Abrams ComicArts. Jan. 2017. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781419709470.

Gr 9 Up –A searing, painful, but necessary graphic novel adaptation of Butler’s classic sci-fi work. It begins with a short glimpse at African American protagonist Dana’s beaten physical state in the late 1970s and jumps briefly backward in time as she unpacks in her new home with her white husband Kevin. She is abruptly ripped from her […]

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. […]

Exclusive: First Second Announces ‘The Last Pick’ by Jason Walz

We’ve got big news today: We’re delighted to bear the tidings of a new graphic novel from First Second: The Last Pick, by Eisner-nominated creator Jason Walz. And we have a couple of preview pages to whet your appetite. Here are the details: The Last Pick By Jason Walz Published by First Second in Fall […]

Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli by Ben Costa & James Parks | SLJ Review

COSTA, Ben & James Parks. Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: The Road to Epoli. illus. by Ben Costa. 208p. Knopf. Jun. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780399556135; pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780399556142.

Gr 6 Up –Rickety Stitch is a skeleton minstrel who travels throughout the fantasy realm of Eem with Goo, his jiggling cube of a sidekick. Unlike the other reanimated skeletons in this world, Rickety retains his personality, but he has no memory of who he was when he […]

Graphic Novels: The Latest from Bryan Lee O’Malley and the Archie Universe | June 2017 Xpress Reviews

“Scott Pilgrim” author Bryan Lee O’Malley unveils a new heroine, Snot Girl; fans of the Archie comics are in for a treat.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Interview: Dan Parent on Kevin Keller

This is one of a series of interviews I did while researching the article “Just Another Day in an LGBTQ Comic,” which appeared in the May 2017 issue of SLJ. When I started thinking about LGBTQ characters in children’s comics, Kevin Keller immediately sprang to mind, because when Kevin made his debut, in 2010, he […]