2020 Teens’ Top Ten Nominees Announced

The moment is finally here! Here are the 2020 Teens’ Top Ten nominees:

  1. #MurderFunding (#MurderTrending #2)* by Gretchen McNeil. Freeform/Disney Book Group. 9781368026277.
  2. Are You Listening?* by Tillie Walden. First Second/Macmillan. 9781250207562.
  3. Aurora Rising* by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Children’s Books/Penguin Random House. 9781524720995.
  4. The Beast Player* by Nahoko Uehashi. Translated by Cathy Hirano. Godwin Books/Macmillan. 9781250307460.
  5. Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Illustrated by Frances Castle. Candlewick Press. 9781536209419.
  6. Broken Throne: A Red Queen Collection* by Victoria Aveyard. HarperTeen/ HarperCollins Publishers. 9780062423023.
  7. Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic* by Sam Quinones. Bloomsbury Press. 9781620402528.
  8. The Field Guide to the North American Teenager* by Ben Philippe. Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins Publishers. 9780062824110.
  9. Frankly in Love* by David Yoon. G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House. 9781984812209.
  10. The Grace Year* by Kim Liggett. Wednesday Books/Macmillan. 9781250145444.
  11. Last Bus to Everland* by Sophie Cameron. Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan. 9781250149930.
  12. Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me* by Mariko Tamaki. Illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. First Second/Macmillan. 9781626722590.
  13. Lovely War* by Julie Berry. Viking Books for Young Readers/ Penguin Random House. 9780451469939.
  14. The Memory Thief* by Lauren Mansy. Blink Publishing/ HarperCollins Publishing. 9780310767657.
  15. My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant* by Laura Dockrill. Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books/Penguin Random House. 9781984849281.
  16. Opposite of Always* by Justin A. Reynolds. Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins Publishers. 9780062748386.
  17. Pumpkinheads* by Rainbow Rowell. Illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks. First Second/Macmillan. 9781626721623.
  18. Stolen Time (Dark Stars #1)* by Danielle Rollins. HarperTeen/ HarperCollins. 9780062679949.
  19. Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon* by Mary Fan. Page Street Kids/ Page Street Publishing. 9781624147333.
  20. These Witches Don’t Burn* by Isabel Sterling. Razorbill/Penguin Random House. 9780451480323.
  21. Warhead: The True Story of One Teen Who Almost Saved the World* by Jeff Henigson. Delacorte Press/Penguin Random House. 9780525647904.
  22. Wayward Son (Simon Snow, #2)* by Rainbow Rowell. Wednesday Books/Macmillan. 9781250146076.
  23. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya)* by Hafsah Faizal. Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. 9780374311544.
  24. Wilder Girls* by Rory Power. Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books/Penguin Random House. 9780525645580.
  25. With the Fire on High* by Elizabeth Acevedo. HarperTeen/ HarperCollins Publishers. 9780062662835.

* Denotes that a book is also available in e-book format.

Congrats to all the nominees! A video announcing the nominees and an annotated list is also available at http://www.ala.org/yalsa/teenstopten.

Teens are encouraged to read the nominees throughout the summer to prepare for the national Teens’ Top Ten vote, which will take place August 15 – October 12. The ten nominees that receive the most votes will be named the official 2020 Teens’ Top Ten. As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on in-person library experiences, this is a great opportunity to better utilize digital resources. We encourage teens to engage in digital resources, especially e-books and audiobooks offered by their libraries.

A digital image of a Teens’ Top Ten seal for nominated titles is available to publishers for licensing. Arrangements can be made through ALA’s Rights and Permissions office for publishers who need permission to reproduce the seal on a paperback edition of book jacket. Contact permissions@ala.org or Mary Jo Bolduc, (312) 280-5416 (phone) or (312) 944-8741 (fax) for information.

To learn more, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/teenstopten.

2020 Great Graphic Novels for Teens List Announced

The official titles of YALSA’s 2020 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list have been announced.

The list consists of 103 titles selected from 178 official nominations, which were posted and discussed in blogposts on The Hub. The books, recommended for those ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens. View the full list.

In addition to the full list, the blogging team chose the following titles as its top ten:

  • Bloom. By Kevin Panetta. Art by Savanna Ganucheau. First Second. 2019. $17.99. ISBN: 978-1626726413.
  • Cosmoknights: Book One. By Hannah Templer. Art by the author. IDW Publishing. 2019. $19.99. ISBN: 978-1603094542.
  • I Was Their American Dream: a Graphic Memoir. By Malaka Gharib. Art by the author. Clarkson Potter. 2019. $16.99. ISBN: 978-0525575115.
  • Kiss Number 8. By Colleen AF Venable. Art by Ellen T. Crenshaw. First Second. 2019. $17.99. ISBN: 978-1596437098.
  • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me. By Mariko Tamaki. Art by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell. First Second. 2019. $17.99. ISBN: 978-1626722590.
  • The Life of Frederick Douglass: A Graphic Narrative of a Slave’s Journey from Bondage to Freedom. By David F. Walker. Art by Damon Smyth, Marissa Louise. Ten Speed Press. 2019. $17.99. ISBN: 978-0399581441.
  • Pumpkinheads. By Rainbow Rowell. Art by Faith Erin Hicks. First Second. 2019. $17.99. ISBN: 978-1626721623.
  • Simon & Louise. By Max de Radigues. Art by the author. Conundrum International. 2019. $18.00. ISBN: 978-1772620351.
  • They Called Us Enemy. By George Takei and Justin Eisinger. Art by Harmony Becker. Top Shelf Productions. 2019. $19.99. ISBN: 978-1603094504.
  • Witch Hat Atelier. By Kamome Shirahama. Art by the author. 2019.
    • Vol. 1. Kodansha Comics. $12.99. ISBN: 978-1632367709.
    • Vol. 2. Kodansha Comics. $12.99. ISBN: 978-1632368041.
    • Vol. 3. Kodansha Comics. $12.99. ISBN: 978-1632368058.

The suggestion form for the 2021 Great Graphic Novels for Teens list is open. If you’d like to suggest a title to the blogging team for consideration as a nominee, please fill out the form.

A huge thank you goes out to the members of the 2020 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team for all their hard work in reading and selecting all the titles. Thank you again!

Members of the 2020 Great Graphic Novels for Teens Blogging Team are: Tina H. Lerno, chair, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA; Megan Baird, Yuma County Library District, Yuma AZ; Crystal Chen, The New York Public Library, Bronx, NY; Erin Durrett, Clinton-Macomb Public Library,Clinton Township, MI; Traci Glass, Nashville Public Library, Nashville TN;Thea Hashagen, Mill Valley Public Library, Mill Valley, CA;Lindsey Helfrich, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, CA; Kali Olson, The Blake School, Minneapolis, MN; Christine Pyles, Euclid Public Library, Euclid, OH; Celeste Rhoads, The American Library in Paris, Paris France; Loren Spector, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, CA; Becky Standal, Longview Public Library, Longview, WA; Allie Stevens, Calhoun County Library, Hampton, AR; Audrey Sumser, Stark Library, Canton, OH.

What the Dang Heck Is a Webcomic??

Screenshot of Sarah Andersen’s website as viewed on my phone.

Webcomics aren’t typically given much attention by library professionals — possibly because they can’t be owned or lent; nevertheless, we should be familiar with them. After all, our goal should be to connect people with materials they love, not just materials the library owns. Additionally, if we want to be deft, resourceful readers’ advisers, we need to be familiar with all kinds of reading materials, especially the kinds of things our patrons are reading.

If you’re brand new to webcomics, this post will give you a foothold in their vast, wild world. If you’re familiar with webcomics, please leave your favorites in the comments as well as any resources you find helpful!

Continue reading What the Dang Heck Is a Webcomic??

What to read on November 11th

Veterans Day

Remembrance Day

Armistice Day

On November 11th, one hundred and one years ago, the Armistice was signed to bring the First World War to an end. So far removed from that time and place, it can hard for readers to connect to the holiday unless they have a friend of family member in the military. Of course, there are some great books to help teen readers understand what happened so long ago.

 

  

Continue reading What to read on November 11th

Graphic Adaptations

I read my first Jane Austen novel after watching the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. From there I read the other books – and watched various movie adaptations of each. Movie adaptations are often used in schools a culminating activity, with some sort of compare contrast note-taking work. The thing is, a good adaptation can help readers before they tackle the original, giving them the sense of the plot and characters, as well as the big ideas the work addresses.

Some recent graphic novels can serve the same purpose – giving readers access to a work of literature before they tackle the original – whether for school or for pleasure.

Continue reading Graphic Adaptations

Understanding Microaggressions Through a Graphic Novel

Each year, the school where I work provides in-house professional development for its faculty and staff, and last year the focus was on microaggressions and implicit bias. I was lucky to be a part of the team who helped lead the PD sessions, which focused mostly on teaching the adults in our community how to recognize and deal with microaggressions at school.  

One of the most valuable resources I used during this process was the graphic novel As the Crow Flies by Mellanie Gilman (2018 Stonewall Book Award Honor, 2019 Amelia Bloomer Book List Selection). In an instance of true serendipity, we added the book to our library collection just as I was starting to work with the professional development team. When I read it, I realized how perfectly it illustrated microaggressions and their negative impacts (literally and figuratively). 

Continue reading Understanding Microaggressions Through a Graphic Novel

Women in Comics: Star Wars

With the latest Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, coming to theaters later this month, it seems like a great time to explore Star Wars comics. In the years since the first Star Wars movie was released, there has been a huge range of licensed books and graphic novels set in the Star Wars universe and many of these stories have been created by women. This list features a few of these comics. Star Wars fans will see some familiar characters and a few new ones as well, but throughout there is the same sense of adventure that is found in the movies. Whether you and your patrons are getting ready for the new movie or want more stories after seeing it, this list will have something to fit your need.

Han Solo coverCaptain Phasma coverRogue One cover

Han Solo by Marjorie Liu with art by Mark Brooks – Let’s start the list with a perfect read for Han Solo fans waiting for the new film to come out. In this action packed story, Han is convinced to help the Rebellion one more time and has a chance to compete in a race along the way. Liu’s story captures everything fans love about Han Solo and offers a thrilling addition to his legend. Brooks’ art captures the action perfectly contributing to a sense of tension and suspense throughout the story. Continue reading Women in Comics: Star Wars

Women in Comics: Fairytales & Fables

Fables and fairytales are some of the oldest types of stories around and they continue to be an important part of the literary world. With their combination of art and story, comics and graphic novels are a particularly great medium for this sort of story-telling. These are just a few of the multitude of great options that are out there for fans of fables and fairytales.

Troll Bridge CoverThe Little Red Wolf CoverThe Tea Dragon Society Cover

Troll Bridge by Neil Gaiman with art by Colleen Doran – In this modern day take on the classic tale of the troll under the bridge, a young boy goes wandering in the countryside only to encounter a troll living under a remote bridge. To describe the plot much more would be to give away the ending, but the story comments on many modern issues that go beyond classic troll stories, including technological process, urban development, and the choices each person makes and must ultimately live with. Doran’s artwork brings realism to a story that could have been completely fantastical and complements Gaiman’s story perfectly.

The City on the Other Side by Mairghread Scott and Robin Robinson – Opening in San Francisco shortly after the 1906 fire and earthquake, this book introduces readers to Isabel, a young girl who lives with her wealthy but remote mother. When Isabel is sent away to her father’s for the summer as her mother travels, she suddenly finds herself unexpectedly crossing the veil to the world of fairies where the Seelie and the Unseelie are at war with one another. Tasked with protecting and delivering a necklace that is important for ending the war, she finds herself on an adventure with new friends, including a Filipino boy who can also cross between the two worlds. This fun romp of a fairytale mixes fantasy and adventure well. It is being released later this month.

The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais – Told in a style somewhere between a graphic novel and a picture book, this story flips the typical story of Little Red Riding Hood on its head. In this case, the protagonist is a little wolf who always dresses in a red cape. When he is tasked with taking food into the forest to his grandmother’s house, he will encounter unspeakable danger. In this version of the tale, it is ultimately about revenge, guilt, and the unending harm that can come from both. The gorgeous artwork complements the story and makes for a great
reading experience.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill – From the author of Princess Princess Ever After, this delightful story follows Greta as she learns the dying tradition of caring for tea dragons from Hesekiel and his partner Erik. Tea dragons, which are small dragons who grow tea leaves on their horns and antlers, store the memories of themselves and their caregivers in the leaves that they grow and brewing tea from these leaves allows the drinker to experience these memories. However, because the process of cultivating their tea is long and difficult, few have continued the tradition. But Greta and her newfound friends, including Minette, a shy former prophetess, manage to rebuild the Tea Dragon Society for themselves. This is an adorable story with cute artwork and a great cast of characters. It is perfect for fans of Princess Princess Ever After and is sure to earn O’Neill even more fans.

Henni by Miss Lasko-Gross – In this modern fable, Henni is a young girl who lives in a dogmatically religious community where her freedom to be herself is strictly limited. Seeing her father attacked for daring to cross the religious leaders has a huge impact on her at a very young age, but still she stays a part of the community until she sees evidence of the true corruption of the tenets she was taught to believe in. At that point she flees into the unknown, desperate to find a just place where she will have the freedom to be herself. By setting this tale in a fantastical world populated entirely with humanoid creatures with the ears and tale of cats, Lasko-Gross makes this a relatable story that can feel applicable to so many situations. The emotional and moody illustrations and the terrifying obstacles that Henni faces throughout make it a powerful reading experience. And, by ending simultaneously with a moral and an open-ended final scene, Lasko-Gross makes the fable genre seem fresh and modern.

What are your favorite fables and fairytales in graphic novels? Let us know in the comments!

– Carli Spina, currently reading Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Women in Comics: Some Love Stories for February

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this month is a good time to consider the comics and graphic novels that you have on your shelf that will appeal to to fans of romance and love in all its forms. These books are just a few options for these readers.

Cover of The Prince and the DressmakerCast No Shadow coverI Love This Part cover

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang – Set in Paris in what seems to be La Belle Époque, Prince Sebastian is stuck between the wishes of his parents and his own wishes. His parents desperately want him to find a wife and have been setting him up on ever more pointless dates. He, on the other hand, wants to continue his life as it is, including his secret practice of periodically dressing in traditionally feminine clothes. When he meets Frances, who is an incredibly talented fashion designer and dressmaker, he quickly moves to employ her full time under the guise of having her serve as his personal tailor. Together they develop the fashion and persona necessary for him to take the city by storm as the daringly dressed Lady Crystallia. But, the pressure of his secret increasingly impacts both Sebastian and Frances and will test their friendship and their working relationship. Told with beautiful drawings and a fun-loving spirit, this is a great story about the pressures that society puts on people to conform and on the sorrow of having to hide your true talents and self.

Cast No Shadow by Nick Tapalansky and art by Anissa Espinosa – Greg is used to his quirky life in his off-beat town. He may not have a shadow, but that doesn’t bother him nearly as much as his town’s continual attempts to find the perfect tourist trap. What he isn’t expecting is to find a mansion nestled in the woods just outside his little town where he meets and falls for a beautiful girl. But, it wouldn’t be Lancaster if things were that simple. She may be funny and sweet and cute, but she’s also very definitely dead. As their relationship grows, he’ll not only learn why he is the only person who can see her, but also resolve some of his personal issues along the way. This is a story not only of a budding new relationship, but also a story about the power of family, friendship, and remembering those who have died.

Bingo Love by Tee Franklin with art by Jenn St-Onge and Joy San – This new comic is a love story across the years. After meeting and falling in love in the 1960’s, Hazel and Mari are pulled apart by the demands of society. They marry men, have families, and find a certain type of happiness. But when they find themselves at a church bingo evening when they are grandmothers, they find that the spark has not extinguished even after all of these years. Now they have a second chance for love and the opportunity for the happiness they always wanted.

Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt with art by Isabelle Arsenault – This comic tackles a lot of tough topics, including divorce, alcoholism, being siblings, and first love, but it approaches them all with a deft hand. The story follows Louis as he moves back and forth between his parents’ homes. Louis is in the throes of his first serious crush on a girl in his class named Billie. As they move between his father’s house and his mother’s apartment, he and his brother, Truffle, must confront the realities of their father’s struggles with alcohol. Throughout it all, Louis is also consumed by his efforts to work up the courage to speak to Billie. The story is a relatable and heart wrenching one about both family love and first love that will keep readers rooting for Louis throughout.

I Love This Part by Tillie Walden – Told with spare language and illustrations in black, white and shades of greyish purple, this story shows moments in the lives of two girls as they bond over music, make their way through school, and develop a relationship that shakes both of them. Despite the limited use of text, Walden conveys powerful emotions and makes the reader empathize with both of these characters as they struggle to make sense of their emotions. By the end, readers will be invested in the journey of the two characters and wishing for more of their stories.

What are your favorite comics and graphic novels about love and romance? Let us know in the comments!

– Carli Spina, currently reading A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers

Women in Comics – Looking Ahead to 2018

As another year begins, it’s time to look ahead to the exciting new comics and graphic novels by women that we can expect in 2018. Hopefully this list will give you something to look forward to as the new year starts!

Cover of All Summer Long by Hope LarsonCover of Be Prepared by Vera BergasolCover of Moonstruck by Grace Ellis Continue reading Women in Comics – Looking Ahead to 2018