Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal

Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal
Drawn & Quarterly
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
ISBN: 9781770464377

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. 

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Nominations Round-Up, Fall

Each quarter, the Selected Lists teams compile the titles that have been officially nominated to date. These books have been suggested by the team or through the title suggestion form, read by multiple members of the team, and received approval to be designated an official nomination. At the end of the year, the final list of nominations and each Selected List’s Top Ten will be chosen from these titles.


Amari and the Night Brothers. By B.B. Alston. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (9781725418295). 

Amari knows her brother isn’t dead. A briefcase in his closet leads her to a magical world—and the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, the place Quinton was working when he disappeared. Amari must use all her smarts and her heart to find out what really happened.

Artie and the Wolf Moon. By Olivia Stephens. Lerner Publishing Group/Graphic Universe, $16.99 (9781728420202). 

After Artie finds out her mother is a werewolf and that she lost her father to vampires, she must then battle vampires to save her friends and new wolf family while trying to practice her own potential wolf abilities.

Before the Ever After. By Jacqueline Woodson. 2020. Penguin Random House/Nancy Paulsen Books, $17.99 (9780399545436). 

Being the son of Zachariah 44, football star, has always felt like a dream to ZJ. But recently it’s been more like a nightmare, with his dad’s headaches, memory problems, and dramatic mood changes defining life in their house.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger, Art by Sara Kipin

Poison Ivy Thorns Cover Art

Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger, Art by Sara Kipin
DC Comics 
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
ISBN: 9781401298425

This original graphic novel offers a gothic take on the origin story of DC’s antihero/sometimes villain Poison Ivy. Teenager Pamela Isley’s father has taught her to keep her head down to avoid drawing attention to the horrible things going on in their mansion at night. Without any real friends and facing bullying and harassment at school, Pamela finds comfort in plants — her true passion. It often feels like no one else cares about plants like she does, and she finds herself turning to dangerous methods to save a nearby park. One day, a cute goth girl shows interest in her, and Pamela has to decide whether it’s worth the risk of being found out, both for her family’s secrets and her own.

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