February 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Killer Manga, a Whodunit, & Noelle Stevenson’s “Nimona” | YA Graphic Novels

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SLJ1504-Fic-YA-GNredstarStevenson, Noelle. Nimona. illus. by Noelle Stevenson. 272p. ebook available. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. May 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062278234; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780062278227.

Gr 7 Up –This celebrated webcomic, a mash-up of medieval culture with modern science and technology, is now available in print. Lord Ballister Blackheart, a knight, has assumed the role of a supervillain in order to expose the nefarious schemes of the kingdom’s front organization, The Institute of Law Enforcement. The kingdom’s champion is Lord Blackheart’s nemesis and former best friend, Sir Ambrose Goldenloin. Blackheart’s prickly relationship with Goldenloin further explores the limits of their friendship. Enter the title character, a brash young shapeshifter who doggedly follows Ballister until he agrees to take her on as a sidekick. Nimona’s skills as a shapeshifter up the ante in the ongoing rivalry between Ambrose and Ballister. Despite her anger management issues, the teen becomes Ballister’s invaluable ally and together they form an alliance of mutual trust and dependence. Action scenes dominate as Nimona shifts with Hulk-like ferocity from frightful creatures such as a fire-breathing dragon to a docile cat or a timid child. Dialogue is fresh and witty with an abundance of clever lines. A complementary color palette of Blackheart’s muddy browns contrasts with Goldenloin’s fresh transparent yellow-greens. Both color schemes highlight Nimona’s intense reds. Readers will note subtle visual differences in webcomic images. The print edition includes an exclusive epilogue not available online. At its core, Nimona is a story of rescue. Each of the main characters rescue allies, friendships, the Kingdom, and ultimately, themselves. VERDICT A vibrant solo work from “Lumberjanes” (Boom!) cocreator.–Barbara M. Moon, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue:

Balak, Michaël Sanlaville, & Bastien Vivés. The Stranger. illus. by Balak, Michaël Sanlaville, & Bastien Vivés. tr. from French by Alexis Siegel. 208p. (Last Man: Vol. 1). First Second. 2015. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781626720466.

McClintock, Norah. Tru Detective. illus. by Steven P. Hughes. 128p. ebook available. Orca. 2015. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781459803794. LC 2014952051.

Matsui, Yusei. Assassination Classroom. 192p. (Assassination Classroom Series: Vol. 1). ebook available. Viz Media. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781421576077.

Toriyama, Akira. Jaco the Galactic Patrolman. 248p. (Jaco the Galactic Patrolman Series: Vol. 1). ebook available. Viz Media. 2015. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781421566306.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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