December 13, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Review: ‘Swing It, Sunny’

Sunny Side Up, the story loosely based on the lives of sister-and-brother team of Jennifer and Matthew Holm, wrapped up so well that it never occurred to me there would be a sequel. But lucky for me, there is! Although the story will be better understood by those who have read the first volume, this […]

Review: Mighty Jack and the Goblin King

I have to admit, I didn’t exactly remember all the details of where I had left off in volume 1 of the Mighty Jack series. But it didn’t make a difference. While this is a solid volume 2 that doesn’t exactly stand on its own, it’s easy to pick up the pieces and move on […]

Review: The Wendy Project

I particularly adore when authors (and artists) take a (classic) work and they tear it apart and create something new—but recognizable. There’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, countless fractured fairy tales, and this year I read a dystopian version of Peter Pan. So picking up a copy of The Wendy Project was a natural choice […]

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: ‘Compass South’

The worst part of this book? That I already finished. After all, when I first noticed it was 224 pages, I thought, even in comic form this might keep me busy for a little while—but before I knew it the book was done and I wanted more! The good news? There are three more planned […]

Review: Child Soldier

This title offers young readers a glimpse of a turbulent region that is in another part of the world—but it’s not for sensitive readers. Child Soldier: When boys and Girls are used in War By Jessica Dee Humphreys & Michel Chikwanine. Claudia Davila Kids Can Press. 2015. ISBN 9781771381260 hc, $17.95. 48pp. Grades 5 and […]

Review: Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans

The children I work with on a day-to-day basis have no real memory of an event that has changed the course of our country’s history. While for those of us sitting in New York City and in many other cities in the United States (the world!), Hurricane Katrina was far away, but with the TV […]

Review: ‘Archie,’ vol. 1

Back in August the Good Comics for Kids crowd discussed the release of the “New Archie,” a new series from Archie Comics. Recently, I noticed that the first six issues had been published as a trade paperback, and since I’m not a fan of single-issue comics (I hate waiting so long between issues to get […]

Review: ‘Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Alamo All Stars’

I’ve read a number of short graphic novels about the Alamo. Those books were fine, but they were aimed at a school library market that was looking to cater to libraries needing accessible reads for assignment purposes. By no means did they spark the love of history like the Nathan Hale series generally does. While […]

Review: ‘The Other Side of the Wall’

Back in December, when I ran my Book Fair, I was surprised this unobtrusive paperback by Jennifer A. Nielsen become an instant best seller. You see, A Night Divided, had the best possible sales rep—an excited and enthusiastic reader. One of the students had already read the book, and he practically sold a copy to […]

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 […]

Review: ‘Punky Brewster’

Since starting my own family, I’ve noticed that people in my age bracket are reviving the fads of their childhood. I presume that besides the money-making motivation, entrepreneurs realize that adults want to share the fun parts of their childhood with their kids. I certainly get a huge kick out of my three-year-old who routinely […]

Review: Bone Tribute Edition

I’ve always been open and honest about being a late comer to the comics world. I’d only read a handful of comics until 10-12 years ago, when I decided to bring comics into my school’s library. I then started to read sporadically, until I joined ALA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens selection committee. Only then […]

Review: ‘The Baby-Sitters Club: Kristy’s Great Idea’

Was it in honor of Scholastic’s 10th anniversary or was it because Raina Telgemeier titles are in such high demand? Is that why Scholastic reissued the Babysitter’s Club in color? Back in May, I spoke to a Scholastic rep at Book Expo and she said that both were considerations. Mostly, she explained, it had to […]

Review: The Courageous Princess

The Courageous Princess was part of my library’s core Graphic Novel collection. Though I hadn’t more than glanced through the title at the time, I had purchased it, because at the time it was one of the few female heroines in comics. And I liked it even more that this female heroine wasn’t scantily dressed […]

Review: Space Dumplins

Craig Thompson is most noted for his award winning titles Blankets and Habibi. In a departure from his adult titles, Thompson has ventured into the world of comics for kids in this excellent futuristic space adventure. Space Dumplins By Craig Thompson. Graphix. August 2015. ISBN 9780545565417 HC, $24.99. 320pp. Grades 4 and up Violet loves […]

Review: Roller Girl

This summer I challenged myself to read as much as I could. I made sure to keep my house inundated with books, which between the loads of reserves I placed at the public library and the many books I still have from Book Expo America, is not a problem. I also wanted to do a […]

Review: ‘Baba Yaga’s Assistant’

A little realism. A little creepiness. Fairy tale stepmothers and stepsisters. This book has a little bit of everything to attract all type of readers and will leave all of them more than satisfied. Baba Yaga’s Assistant By Marika McCoola, art by Emily Carroll Candlewick Press Grades 6 and up Masha was mostly raised by […]

Review: ‘Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories’

Sora, Donald, and Goofy continue on their journey to find their friends Riku and King Mickey, who were locked in the darkness. They are detoured along the way by a mysterious hooded stranger who leads them to the ominous Castle Oblivion. There, they may find clues that will lead them to their friends—but at the […]