June 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin | SLJ Review

Gr 7 Up –Franklin’s first full-length graphic novel follows a love story between two black women.

The Promised Neverland: Vol. 1 by Kaiu Shirai | SLJ Review

Gr 10 Up –Grace Field House is home to 38 children and a cheerful matron whom all the kids call “Mom.” The children must follow rules and take a test every morning in place of formal schooling, but overall, they’re a big happy family.

Alpha by Bessora | SLJ Review

Gr 10 Up –Alpha does not consider himself “illegal”; he thinks of himself as an adventurer.

Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson | SLJ Review

Gr 7 Up –Melinda is already a pariah on her first day as a freshman at Merryweather High.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Gr 6 Up –Set in France, this work of historical fiction centers on Frances, a lowly dressmaker in a shop.

Graphic Novels: Romance, Roller Derby, and River Spirits | December 2017 Xpress Reviews

Swordplay and swooning abound in Scarlet Rose; two roller girls find their friendship tested; and a pair of tweens enter a beautiful new river realm in December’s graphic novel Xpress.

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

Buddha: An Enlightened Life by Kieron Moore | SLJ Review

MOORE, Kieron. Buddha: An Enlightened Life. illus. by Rajesh Nagulakonda. 160p. Campfire. Jul. 2017. pap. $16.99. ISBN 9789381182291.

Gr 8 Up –This phantasmagoric and dreamy graphic novel follows the life of Siddhartha Gautama and the spread of Buddhism, from the ancient city of Kapilavastu to all over the world. As the powerful rulers King Suddhodana and Queen Maya welcome a son into the world, the wisest elder predicts he will be one of two things: a mighty king or a great spiritual leader. […]

Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt | SLJ Review

BRITT, Fanny. Louis Undercover. Tr from French by Christelle Morelli & Susan Ouriou. illus. by Isabelle Arsenault. 160p. Groundwood. Oct. 2017. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781554988594.

Gr 5 Up –From the team behind the touching Jane, the Fox, and Me comes another poignant story of hope amid despair. Following his parents’ split, tweenage Louis is shuttled between his mother’s new apartment in the city and his childhood home in the country, now inhabited by his despondent father. As he travels between these worlds, his memories of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Mystery of the Ghost Ship by Philip Pullman | SLJ Review

PULLMAN, Philip . Mystery of the Ghost Ship. illus. by Fred Fordham. 160p. (The Adventures of John Black). Scholastic/Graphix. Jun. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781338149128.

Gr 8 Up –When Harvard student Danielle succeeds in tracking the legendary Mary Alice, a pirate ship that disappears and reappears across time, she becomes drawn into a conspiracy headed by the menacing Dahlberg Corporation. The Dahlbergs are after the secrets of the Mary Alice, and only Royal Navy agent Roger Blake opposes them. […]

5 Nonfiction Titles (and a Graphic Novel!) for Those Who Love the Sea

Just in time for summer are a number of well-written titles for beachgoers and budding marine biologists alike

Dept. H: Vol. 1: Pressure by Matt Kindt | SLJ Review

KINDT, Matt. Dept. H: Vol. 1: Pressure. illus. by Matt Kindt & Sharlene Kindt. 168p. Dark Horse. Jan. 2017. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781616559892.

Gr 7 Up –Matt Kindt delivers another amazing graphic novel with an imaginative premise. This is a highly unusual locked-room mystery, centering on an unexplained death that occurred in an undersea research station. Mia is sent down to the station to find out exactly what happened to her father. She doesn’t know if his death was […]

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld | SLJ Review

WESTERFELD, Scott. Spill Zone. illus. by Alex Puvilland. 224p. First Second. May 2017. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9781596439368.

Gr 10 Up –It’s a mystery why three years ago Poughkeepsie suddenly broke the boundaries of reality, giving life to demonic wolves and sentient twisters, or why its human inhabitants now hang suspended in the air like puppets. It wasn’t aliens, it wasn’t a nuclear attack, and the military isn’t talking. That isn’t Addison’s mystery to solve; all she has to do […]

Decelerate Blue by Adam Rapp | SLJ Review

RAPP, Adam. Decelerate Blue. illus. by Mike Cavallaro. 208p. First Second. Feb. 2017. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781596431096.

Gr 10 Up –Welcome to a brave new world that is marketing-forward and tech-heavy. Culture has been reduced to snippets of perfectly packaged and abbreviated elements. It’s a world run by the Guarantee Committee (GC), and the inhabitants are “protected” and monitored to ensure that they are keeping everything short. Students at Hyper High no longer study the classics; instead, they take […]

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Vol. 1 by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa | SLJ Review

AGUIRRE-SACASA, Roberto. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Vol. 1. illus. by Robert Hack. 160p. Archie Comics. Aug. 2016. pap. $17.09. ISBN 9781627389877.

Gr 10 Up –This horror flick reimagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch is a lushly cinematic and refreshingly grim departure from the charmingly sweet heroine of yesteryear. This isn’t your mother’s teenage witch: although Sabrina is dealing with common adolescent woes, she’s also consorting with the devil and feasting on a sacrificial goat. The story takes place in […]

Neil Gaiman’s How To Talk to Girls at Parties by Neil Gaiman | SLJ Review

GAIMAN, Neil. Neil Gaiman’s How To Talk to Girls at Parties. illus. by Gabriel Bá & Fábio Moon. 64p. Dark Horse. Jul. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781616559557.

Gr 7 Up –Two young men named Vic and Enn walk down the street, trying to find their friend’s party, when they come across a house playing loud music that draws them in. Vic has always been popular, and he tries to give Enn advice on talking to pretty girls. Both start […]

Archie Vol. 1. by Mark Waid | SLJ Review

Waid, Mark. Archie Vol. 1. illus. by Fiona Staples, Annie Wu, & Veronica Fish. 176p. Archie Comics. Mar. 2016. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781627388672. 

Gr 7 Up –Archie Andrews and the Riverdale teens have been reimagined by Eisner Award–winning writer Waid and “Saga” artist Staples with a fresh, 21st-century spin in time for the franchise’s 75th anniversary. While still keeping the boy-next-door charm and sweet sensibility of the original comics, this volume, which collects the first six […]

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 2: Squirrel You Know It’s True by Ryan North | SLJ Review

North, Ryan. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 2: Squirrel You Know It’s True. illus. by Erica Henderson. 120p. (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl). Marvel. Dec. 2015. pap. $14.99. ISBN 9780785197034. 

Gr 6 Up –In this latest adventure, college student Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl, saves a group of hostages, including her cat-loving roommate, Nancy, from robot dinosaurs. She encourages a mutated hippo with a fiery temper to become a demolition worker instead of robbing banks, and she […]

Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling by Tony Cliff | SLJ Review

Cliff, Tony. Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling. illus. by Tony Cliff. 272p. ebook available. First Second. Mar. 2016. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781626721555.

Gr 6 Up –Delilah Dirk has a chip on her shoulder. Of late, she lashes out at anyone who wounds her pride or name, even when the danger is great. As in Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (First Second, 2012), her faithful friend Selim acts as the voice of reason, but stopping […]