March 17, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

8 Teen-Friendly Webcomics Coming to Print This Year

Here’s a sneak peek at some webcomics that will be traditionally published soon, along with others that are worth keeping an eye on.

Review: Monsters Beware!

As March begins, teachers and librarians may start thinking about celebrating Women’s History Month. And while a graphic novel about a feisty fictional heroine may not exactly fit the bill, it does celebrate strong women. Monsters Beware! By Rafael Rosado. Jorge Aguirre First Second. 2018. ISBN 9781626721807 PBK, $14.99. 170pp. Grades 3 and up Readers […]

Review: Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths by Graham Annable

Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths By Graham Annable First Second (Macmillan) ISBN: 9781626725614 $17.99 Grades 1-4 Out April 10, 2018 Find it at: Schuler Books | Your Library I eat the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch. If you know me, you might have heard me talking about this. Do […]

Books in Brief: Unicorns, Bears, and Indian Wool (Pashminas)

Razzle Dazzle Unicorn by Dana Simpson ISBN 978-1-4494-7791-2 $9.99 pbk Amp Kids, c2016 Unicorn Crossing: Another Phoebe and her Unicorn Adventure ISBN 978-1-4494-8357-9 $9.99 pbk Amp Kids, c2017 If young readers haven’t found Phoebe and her best friend the Unicorn, they have been missing out. Snarky, glib, and just plain fun, Phoebe and her best […]

Books in Brief: Sand, Swine, and Shadows

5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel ISBN 978-1-101-93586-6 $18.99 hc Random House, c2017 The first in a presumably five-part series, Sand Warrior creates a unique and colorful world. Oona’s sister was destined to light the ancient beacon to restore their planet and make it healthy again, but Oona is unable to control her […]

Graphic Novel Roundup

It hasn’t been an outstanding year for graphic format works with Printz potential — but a handful of books either have some buzz or have some potential, even if none of them are likely to be serious contenders. So read on for an alphabetical listing of graphic novels that might maybe could (but probably won’t) […]

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: ‘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 […]