Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag

The Girl from the Sea Cover Art

The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag
Graphix/Scholastic 
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
ISBN: 978-1338540581 

Fifteen year-old Morgan is looking forward to finishing high school and leaving the small Canadian island where she lives. Her friends seem to not understand her, and she struggles relating to her angry little brother and divorced mom. When a mysterious girl named Keltie saves Morgan from drowning, they become friends– and eventually more– even though they both have secrets that threaten everything.

This graphic novel has colorful artwork with clean lines. Emotion is conveyed well through intimate character moments and expertly drawn facial expressions. Sparse text propels the reader through the story.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor by Shaenon K. Garrity and Christopher Baldwin

Dire Days Cover Art

The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor by Shaenon K. Garrity and Christopher Baldwin 
Margaret K. McElderry Books / Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
ISBN: 9781534460874

After jumping into the river to rescue a handsome young man on a dark and stormy night, Haley wakes in Willowweep Manor, a gothic mansion like those in her favorite books. She learns that the manor—and its caretaker brothers—are the only things keeping evil at bay in the “real world.” Together with this sibling trio, Haley must channel her knowledge of literary tropes to save Willowweep from an evil slime bent on destruction, all while becoming the hero of her own story.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of The Tea Dragon Tapestry by K. O’Neill

The Tea Dragon Tapestry Cover Art

The Tea Dragon Tapestry by K. O’Neill
Oni Press
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
ISBN: 9781620107744

In this stunning conclusion to The Tea Dragon series, we continue with the story of Greta and Minette as they look towards the future. Greta struggles to discover her own crafting style, while attempting to create an extraordinary piece to impress a master blacksmith who is looking to take on an apprentice. At the same time, Minette struggles to decide if she should stay or go after she receives an unexpected package from the monastery where she once trained. With the support and love from friends and family, Greta and Minette will decide the next phase in their lives and find out where their place is in the world.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh

Thirsty Mermaids Cover Art

Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh 
Gallery 13 / Simon & Schuster 
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
ISBN: 9781982133573

After running out of shipwreck wine, three drunk mermaids—or actually two mermaids (Pearl and Tooth) and a sea witch (Eez)—decide to transform themselves into humans to find more alcohol. Unfortunately, when they wake up with massive hangovers, Eez realizes she doesn’t know how to turn them back. Now they are stranded in the human world and have to deal with things like housing and jobs until they can find a way home.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Surviving the City, vol. 2: From the Roots Up by Tasha Spillett and Natasha Donovan

Cover Art

Surviving the City, vol. 2: From the Roots Up by Tasha Spillett and Natasha Donovan
HighWater Press
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
ISBN: 9781553798989

Miikwan and Dez’s story continues in this second volume of The Debwe Series. After her grandmother passes, Dez struggles with her loss and grief. She lives in a group home, but feels lonely and out of place. Dez’s romantic relationship with Kacey grows, but Dez hesitates to make it public. Meanwhile, Miikwan develops her own romance with new student Kiel, who is also dealing with a loss. The four attend an after-school gathering called Mino Bimaadiziwin, but when Dez tries to sit at the drum with the other young men, she is initially denied until an elder, Geraldine, intervenes. Miikwan also defends Dez, and Dez finally reveals her identity as a Two-Spirit person. The four students convince Geraldine that the old protocols are exclusionary and antithetical to Mino Bimaadiziwin or “the good life,” and Riel’s Auntie Alex is invited to share about Two-Spirit teachings. Afterward, everyone, no matter their gender or sexuality, is welcomed back into the circle.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2021) Nominees Round Up, May 7 Edition

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

Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley
Random House Graphics / Penguin Random House
Published: May 5, 2020
ISBN: 9781984896841

Jen lives in the city, but when her parents split up, she is forced to move out to the country with her mom. Not only will she have to spend the summer getting used to life out there, but she also has to deal with two new sisters and a stepfather. Working at the farmers’ market provides a welcome distraction, but Jen’s difficulty with numbers makes her interaction with customers slightly uncomfortable, and her sisters’ teasing does nothing to improve the situation.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, April 30 Edition

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

Lucky Caller by Emma Mills
Henry Holt / Macmillan
Publication Date: January 14, 2020
ISBN: 9781250179654

Nina’s senior year elective–radio broadcasting–forces her into an unlikely group project with a diverse cast of students, including her neighbor and childhood crush, Jamie. Meanwhile, she navigates group work and these blooming romantic feelings for her sort-of friend while also trying to resolve family issues: a difficult relationship with her somewhat estranged father and her mother’s looming remarriage. Nina’s relationship with her sisters features as a prominent force in the novel, one that keeps her grounded and helps her sort out the deeper issues in her family. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, September 12 Edition

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

Lumberjanes, vol. 11: Time After Crime by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, and Ayme Sotuyo
Boom! Studios
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
ISBN: 978-1684153251

After the adventures of Parent’s Day, Molly realizes that the summer will soon come to an end, and she will have to return home to judgmental and unaccepting parents without the support of her fellow Lumberjanes. Trying to find any way to stay just a little longer, Molly thinks that Jo’s new device will locate the source of the camp’s time anomalies, and maybe the key to making summer last just a little longer. Locating a mysterious voice in the forest, Molly strikes a deal to make her dreams a reality. However, when camp suddenly turns into an apocalyptic-like treehouse world, Molly realizes she may have accidentally made everything worse instead.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, August 8 Edition

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

Lumberjanes, vol. 10: Parents Day by Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, and Ayme Sotuyo
Boom! Studios
Publication Date: December 11, 2018
ISBN: 978-1684152780

It’s Parent’s Day at Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, and the Lumberjanes are ready to tell their parents all about their camp adventures—but maybe leave out the supernatural stuff, just in case. Camp leader, Rosie, has a supernatural creature-free scavenger hunt planned for their campers and their families. However, a local trickster creature has other plans. The Lumberjanes must figure out how to foil the trickster’s plans, keep their families safe, and somehow try not to let their parents figure out the stranger side of camp in the process.

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#GGN2019 Nominees Round Up, September 13 Edition

Forgiveness is Really Strange by Masi Noor, Marina Cantacuzino, and Sophie Standing
Singing Dragon
Publication Date: February 21, 2018
ISBN: 978-1785921247

In this short graphic novel, social physiologist Dr. Masi Noor and The Forgiveness Project Founder, Marina Cantacuzino, explore the concept of forgiveness by summarizing the most recent research and exploring personal stories of forgiveness in extreme situations. The authors present the intricacies of forgiveness in a clear balanced manner, demonstrating the personal and social ramifications of choosing retribution over forgiveness, yet also the harm of forgiving in situations like domestic abuse when forgiveness only gives more power to the perpetrator. The quotations and interviews of individuals who chose forgiveness in extremely challenging situations make the otherwise scientific presentation personal and emotional. The moving stories showcase those such as South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Chairman, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, parents who lost children in the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and both victims and perpetrators of racial and sectarian violence.

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