All Summer Long by Hope Larson
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
In this coming-of-age story, thirteen-year-old Bina is left to figure out how to have fun during summer by herself when her best friend, Austin, leaves for soccer camp for a month. At first, she spends her days binging on TV shows and playing guitar, but she soon finds friendship with a person she didn’t expect.
Teens will relate to the story of losing and gaining friendships, and the struggle of maturing into young adulthood. Readers will appreciate the candid dialogue and humor. The art gives the sense of summer with it’s simple tones accented with orange, and panels show the progression and change of each character over a short time.
Fans of Larson’s previous graphic novels will readily enjoy this story about being yourself.
Water Memory by Valérie Vernay and Mathieu Reynès
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Marion and her mother have just moved to her mother’s childhood home with the hopes of making a fresh start. It’s a small seaside town, where mysterious rock carvings litter the cliffs, and a generations old mystery is tied to the sea. Marion faces rising tides, intimidating lighthouse keepers, and the anger of the sea itself to uncover a generations old family secret.
The illustrations feature atmospheric water colors that perfectly capture the feel of a town by the sea, sometimes gorgeous, sometimes stormy. Readers will identify with Marion’s need to uncover the truth despite the possible dangers, and her longing for personal connections.
Recommended for fans of Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier and the Bone series by Jeff Smith. Or any reader who likes a dreamy story with a scary edge.
Black Bolt Vol. 1: Hard Time by Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward
Publication Date: December 19, 2017
Blackagar Boltagon’s brother Maximus usurped his kingdom and switches places with Blackagar, meaning that instead of Maximus in prison, it’s Blackagar instead. Blackagar finds that the powers of his voice have been taken away.
Not only does Black Bolt have to prove to his fellow inmates that he is deserving of their trust, but he also has to prove to himself that he is worthy even without his powers working to full speed. Black Bolt, Crusher Creel, and Raava end up coordinating a prison escape, but the escape brings up more complications and Black Bolt’s loyalty and bravery are put to the test.
Black Bolt’s heroics and the electrifying colors contrasted with black expanses give this volume a strong and confident visual presence. This is a strong addition to the already rich Marvel universe, and perfect for fans of X men, Avengers and lone wolf hero types.