Graphic Novels

 

 Dahl, Michael. PRINCESS CANDY: SUGAR HERO, Illus. by Jeff Crowther.
      Minneapolis: Stone Arch Books, 2010. 34p.   Gr. 2-4   Juv

      Halo is just an average girl until her Aunt Pandora sends her  jar of "Fuego"--a fire-hot candy which gives Halo super powers. Halo gets them just in time to stop her nemesis, Doozy, from stealing the test answers. Students will be drawn to the bold colors and the cartoon format, but adults may be put off the idea of extra-strength powers coming from candy. Isn't candy supposed to deplete you of energy and rob you of vitamin B?  Too bad the author couldn't be a little more creative and health-conscious in these times with childhood obesity and related health issues a real concern.
      Mary Olmsted, Librarian, Tahquamenon Area School Public Library, Newberry, MI

Gunderson, J. SECRET WEAPONS: A TALE OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.  Illus. Jesus Aburto. 
         
Mankato, MN: Stone Arch Books, 2009.  49p.  ISBN 978-1-4342-07524; hb. $23.93    Gr. 2-3    Juv 

          This graphic novel is set during the 1775 battle of Lexington and Concord during the Revolutionary War.   Fourteen-year-old Daniel wants to join the militia, his father wants him to stay in Concord and work in the family blacksmith shop.  Daniel thinks it is pointless until he finds a secret stash of weapons.  While the book is a graphic novel, the cartoon aspect of it is interspersed throughout the text of each chapter.  The reading level of the book is set for Grades 2 & 3, but the interest level is directed toward grades 3-8.  Of interest to educators are the glossary, events timeline, discussion questions, and writing prompts.  This book is one in a series of four historical fiction/graphic novels published under the heading Graphic Flash.
         
Chris Collins: Director, L’Anse School/Public Library

Kibuishi, Kazu. AMULET:  Prince of the Elves series, Book 5. Illus. by Kazu Kibuishi.
      New York: Graphix, 2012. 199p. ISBN 978-0-545-20884-5 pbk $12.99. Gr. 3+
  JUV

      If you are a fan of amazingly detailed artwork then this book is for you. If you're looking for a quick book to read then you will be glad to know it only lasted me for 45 minutes.  I wanted it to last me for a few days not barely an hour, but you can't expect for a Graphic Novel to last that long.  Tthis book is one you need to read.  I’d give it 4.5 stars out of 5.
     
Tyler Rushford, student, Munising High School, Munising, MI

Lane, Dakota. GOTHIC LOLITA. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008.
       194p. ISBN: 978-1-4169-1396-2 hb. $17.00   Gr. 9-12   Y.A.

       Gothic Lolita is about two girls who live very far away from each other. Chelsea lives in Los Angeles and Miya lives in Tokyo. The girls find each other through a girl bloggers website. Miya and Chelsea are both obsessed with dressing like gothic lolitas. Both girls were in the habit of posting enteries every day or so. After Chelsea loses her brother, Memphis, she stops posting blogs for three years. Both Miya and Chelsea want to talk to each other, but they never do and always delete what they say.    
       Miya wants to run away from home that she is staying in and take her brother with her. Miya’s mother had died awhile ago.  An American comes to stay at the house where Miya is. The American is Chelsea's mother, but Miya doesn’t know it. Finally one day Miya decides to break the silence between them and posts a blog entry about all that has happened.  Amazingly, Chelsea replies back. The reason she was silent for three years is because she lost her brother in a huge fire and the family couldn’t cope with the loss. Chelsea’s mother is also running away from living with the death of her son.  She ultimately decides to take Miya and Akio home with her. 
       Phyllis King, Librarian/ Amber Buck, Library Helper, North Central Area Schools

Lassieur, Allison.  LORDS OF THE SEA;  THE VIKINGS EXPLORE THE NORTH
        ATLANTIC.
  Illus. by Ron Frenz and Charles Barnett III.  1st ed. Graphic History series. 
       
Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2006.  32p. ISBN: 0736849742 hb. $18.95  Gr. 3-7  JUV.

            In four chapters, this graphic novel tells the story of the Viking's exploration of the North Atlantic Ocean and discovery of new lands.  The chapters range from four to eight pages in length.  Text boxes range from one to four sentences in length.  The illustrations are well done and appropriate to the text.  The book concludes with more specific information about the Vikings, a glossary, internet sites accessed through "FactHound" using a special code, further reading, a bibliography and index.  The graphic text and easy to read text should appeal to many ages of children.   
            Denise Engel, Director, Wakefield Public Library, Wakefield, MI

Marsh, Robert.  MONSTER AND ME.  Illus. by Tom Percival.  Minneapolis:
     Stone Arch Books, 2010.  33p.  ISBN: 978 1 4342 1589 5     Gr. 2-4  FIC

     This brightly illustrated graphic novel will appeal to boys and girls alike, with an African-American girl and her pet monster, Dwight, as the main characters.  With a nod to The Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens and The Adams Family, this story about Gabby finding a place in the school play for her pet monster, who is usually kept out, is ultimately about inclusion. Back pages include writing prompts, a glossary and "How to Draw a Monster.The monster, who looks like an over-sized stuffed animal, does have some sharp teeth, so this  should appeal to reluctant boys. Recommended for collections needing slim, advanced-early reader books with a boy appeal.
     Mary Olmsted, Librarian, Tahquamenon Area School Public Library, Newberry, Mi

Rosinsky, Natalie, M. WRITE YOUR OWN GRAPHIC NOVEL. Minneapolis, MN: Compass Point Books, 
            2009, 61p. 978-0-7565-3856-7; hb $24.95      Grades 5 - 7   Non-fiction.

This book is a how-to-guide for writing and/or illustrating a graphic novel.  The graphic novel is a popular format in the telling of all kinds of stories from adventures, legend, science fiction, fantasies, fairy tales, autobiographies, history, and science.  The book is divided into ten chapters beginning with the getting started part of writing, through the development of characters and viewpoints, and concluding with the next step, publishing.  Included in the book are a glossary and index.  The author has used tips from successful graphic novels for examples.  The book could be used by teachers of English, Computer Skills, and Art. 
          Chris Collins, Director, L’Anse School/Public Library

Sherman, M. Zachary. BLOODLINES: EMERGENCY OPS. Illus. Ray Bermudez.  Boodlines Series. 
      Stevens Point, WI:  Stone Arch Books, 2012.  88p.  ISBN: 978-1-4342-3766-8 hb. $23.32.   Juv. FIC

      It is the Vietnam War and Captain Anne Donovan is a nurse working at a place called Hotel Meatball or the U.S. Army's 8th Field Hospital.  The helicopters arrive with the wounded from a battle zone needing immdediate medical treatment.  Bloodlines is a series of books about the Vietnam War done with artwork similar to graphic novels.  The books contain information beyond the story to inform the juvenile reader about this war and time period.
       Christine Collins, Library Director, L'Anse Area School/Public Library

Smith, Jeff.  LITTLE MOUSE GETS READY.  Illus by author.  New York, NY:
          RAW Junior, 2009.  32p.  ISBN: 978-1-935179-01-6  $12.95 hb. Gr. K-2  E PIC

          "A first comic for brand new readers" describes the format for this "toon "book by Jeff Smith.  Readers meet Little Mouse at home in a farm field as he gets ready to go to the barn with his family.  He goes through the many detailed steps of getting dressed, just like most children do each morning, only to be reminded that mice don't need to wear clothing.  Smith's innovative story resembles a comic book, using snapshot-like frames to move up close and then zoom out. The rest of the story is told in speech bubbles between Little Mouse and his Mama. 
         
Smith is the author of the "BONE" series of graphic novels.  This is his first book for young children.  The definition of facial expression and body positioning, along with the color quality of the illustrations makes this book well suited to readers who appreciate storytelling as a combination of image and text.

         
Lynette Suckow, Peter White Public Library, Marquette, MI

Wooderson, Philip.  GUARD DOG. llus. by David Burroughs. Mankato, MN: 
      Stone Arch Books, 1999. 80p. ISBN: 978-1-59889-829-3 hb.$16.95.     Gr. 5 - 9     

      Teenager Ryan plays video games much more than his parents would like. His friend Steve shares his interests. 
And perhaps it is these video games that stimulated their sleuthing skills when their father's wood carvings, packaged 
for sale at a crafts sale, were stolen from the family car parked in their garage. As the boys seek to solve the "crime," 
they place themselves in danger. There are lessons to be learned about quick judgments and resulting misperceptions.  
This suspenseful story doesn't require a lot of reading, but  is well told through the colorful illustrations. 
     Judy Bennett, Qualification: Clerk, Ironwood Carnegie Library

 

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