Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal
Drawn & Quarterly
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
In this thought-provoking and humorous comic, six cyclopes negotiate love, life, and the pressures of being “other” within the dominant “two-eyed” culture. Readers are introduced to characters including Etna, a ground-breaking cover model; Pol and Latea, lonely cyclopes looking for love; Bron, whose self-hatred led him to failed eye surgery; and Pari, a young woman with a two-eyed spouse who’s about to become a mother. The stories take place in everyday spaces of interaction, ranging from dog parks to doctors’ offices, highlighting the subtle bigotry hidden in even the most mundane of places.
Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal
Artie and the Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens
Publication Date: September 7, 2021
After venturing out into the woods alone against her mother’s instructions, Artie discovers her mom is a werewolf–which means, of course, that Artie is a werewolf, too. As Artie grapples with her new identity, she also learns that she’s part of a werewolf community with a major enemy: vampires. Epic battles ensue as Artie fights to unite her community and conquer the vampires.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Artie and the Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens
The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
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.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag
The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor by Shaenon K. Garrity and Christopher Baldwin
Margaret K. McElderry Books / Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
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.
Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of The Dire Days of Willowweep Manor by Shaenon K. Garrity and Christopher Baldwin
The Tea Dragon Tapestry by K. O’Neill
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
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.
Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of The Tea Dragon Tapestry by K. O’Neill
Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh
Gallery 13 / Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
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.
Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Thirsty Mermaids by Kat Leyh
Surviving the City, vol. 2: From the Roots Up by Tasha Spillett and Natasha Donovan
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
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.
Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Surviving the City, vol. 2: From the Roots Up by Tasha Spillett and Natasha Donovan
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Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley
Random House Graphics / Penguin Random House
Published: May 5, 2020
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.
Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2021) Nominees Round Up, May 7 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
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.
Continue reading Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2021) Nominees Round Up, April 30 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
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
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.
Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, September 12 Edition