Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2021) Nominees Round Up, November 26 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

My Riot by Rick Spears and Emmett Helen Book Cover
My Riot by Rick Spears and Emmett Helen

My Riot by Rick Spears and Emmett Helen
Oni Press
Publication Date: September 8, 2020 
ISBN: 9781620107768

Seventeen-year-old Valerie Simmons thinks her life’s dream is to be a ballerina until her first night at her new job at an ice cream parlor. Rioters throw a brick through the window, quickly smash the store, and move on. Val is left electrified. While her ballet instructor pressures her to develop an eating disorder and take up smoking, her new friend Kat takes her to a rock show that makes her feel alive. During a two-month grounding for going to the show, Val listens to mix tapes and begins to rethink her identity. She decides to learn the guitar so she can form a band. As music replaces dance as her passion, Valerie gets into the Riot Grrrl scene, culminating in a trip to a music festival in Olympia.  

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2021) Nominees Round Up, August 13 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Heartstopper, vol. 1 by Alice Oseman
Graphix / Scholastic
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
ISBN: 9781338617436

Charlie Spring is halfway through Year 10 (British equivalent to 9th grade) when he is placed into a new vertical class group and is seated next to Year 11 student Nick Nelson. Shy, openly gay Charlie is worried that rugby player Nick will end up being a bully, but the two strike up a friendship. As they grow closer, Charlie struggles with what he assumes is an unrequited crush, and Nick starts to question if his feelings for Charlie are romantic. And if they are, what does that mean in regards to his identity?

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, July 28 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
Graphix/ Scholastic
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
ISBN: 978-1338617436

When Charlie meets Nick in his new homeroom class, they immediately hit it off.  A fun and supportive friendship ensues; Charlie who is openly gay knows he has a crush on Nick who he assumes is straight.  Nick can’t stop thinking about Charlie and how great he is–which leads him to wonder what it means about himself…could he be gay too? 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, July 4 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Surviving the City, vol. 1 by Tasha Spillett and Natasha Donovan
HighWater Press
Publication Date: November 30, 2018
ISBN: 9781553797562

Miikwan and Dez are best friends, each grappling with family issues; Miikwan’s mom is missing and Dez’s beloved grandmother is ill. When Dez disappears one night, Miikwan fears that she has become one of the murdered and missing Indigenous women of their community. Miikwan, protected by the spirits of missing women, participates in a march to honor the stolen sisters of their community. There, Miikwan finally finds Dez, safe.

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Booklist: Asexuality and Aromanticism in Young Adult Fiction

In February 2016, the YALSA Hub published a booklist, Asexuality in Young Adult Fiction, as a response to teens wanting to see this kind of representation in books. It was a hard list to create as there were very few books at the time with any mention of asexuality or aromanticism, and most of the representation in the books listed is minimal at best. In that list, most representation was of side characters, or the word asexual was never explicitly mentioned. Over the past three years, some exciting books for teens have been published that center the Ace/Aro experience.

Asexuality in YA Fiction

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Going Viral – YA Books of Teens Managing Online Fame

There are many online platforms for sharing and creating art. Teens are taking advantage the various mediums of creating and sharing their works. But what happens when your work becomes a smash hit? How do manage instant fame? How do you take advantage of opportunity when it comes your way? Many new teen titles are exploring the effects of being or becoming an online sensation. Teens are relating to these stories both on the artist/creator end of things, and even though they may not gain instant fame, teens still have to navigate similar tricky waters in the day to day of who is a true friend, and how to manage negative comments and bullies.

The following titles are about teens experiencing internet fame:

Youtube Sensations

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee

Natasha “Tash” Zelenka has turned her literary crush of Leo Tolstoy to good use. With the help of her best friend, Jack, they have created a web series “Unhappy Families,” a modern retelling of Anna Karenina. When a famous vlogger gives a shout out to the series, it goes viral. Now she, along with the cast and crew, are finding what it means to be a hit sensation and are managing the adoration, and the trolls, coming their way. The instant fame is also creating tensions among the crew.  The story is paralleled with Tash, who identifies as a  romantic asexual,  navigating flirtations coming her way. Admist the fame and romance, Tash is also dealing with her older sister creating distance, her parents announcing a new sibling on the way, college applications, the impending end of the series, and the big “What’s next.”

Bang by Barry Lyga

Sebastian loves making pizza. Not your basic generic pizza, but pizza that starts with homemade dough, recipes he has thoughtfully researched, homemade sauce, and the best toppings and combinations. This isn’t enough to keeps the memories at bay though. When he was four years old, he shot and killed his baby sister, and now has plans to do the same to himself at the end of summer. When Aneesha, a Muslim girl, moves into the neighborhood she encourages him to create a YouTube channel with her about his pizza creations. Things start to shift in Sebastian’s outlook, until the YouTube channel takes off, and he is recognized, and called out for his painful childhood past. Continue reading Going Viral – YA Books of Teens Managing Online Fame