My Body in Pieces by Marie-Noëlle Hébert Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press Publication Date: April 6, 2021 ISBN: 9781773064840
My Body in Pieces by Marie-Noëlle Hébert is a book that allows many to feel heard. Teenagers today are challenged with taboo issues that our society has finally come to address. This memoir allows one to feel connected by means of learning the importance of self-confidence. Through graphite images, the author shares her journey with low self-esteem along with her desire to have a “perfect” body.
This book is ideal for a library’s graphic novel collection for young adults because any young adult can relate to the many messages that the author shares that center around loving yourself. While the story is intense and indirectly discusses suicide, this book can be read and discussed in the home, during support groups, or in therapy sessions as well. It is a great book to open up a conversation with teens about self-esteem and body image through the challenges of the author. Teens will be able to relate via the black-and-white drawings, and they will also be able to use this as a time to reflect about their own personal self-esteem challenges.
Boys Run the Riot, v.1 by Keito Gaku Kodansha Comics / Kodansha USA Publication Dates: May 25, 2021 ISBN: 9781646512485
Ryo spends his days at school and at home without letting anyone know that he is transgender. In his free time, it is only the clothes he wears that make him feel like his true self. When Jin—a new cisgender student who has to repeat the grade Ryo is in—runs into him at a clothing shop, they find that they both have the desire to wear clothes that reflect themselves. Ryo confides in Jin about his gender identity, and the two decide to start their own clothes business with Ryo designing and Jin marketing. Rounding out the group is cisgender classmate Itsuka, who is bullied for his interest in photography. The three work together to create a business that makes clothes that defy people’s assumptions about them.
Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.
Wait, What?: A Comic Book Guide to Relationships, Bodies, and Growing Up by Heather Corinna, Isabella Rotman, and Luke B. Howard Limerence Press / Oni Press Publication Date: September 3, 2019 ISBN: 9781620106594
Wait, What? is the perfect title for tweens and younger teens to explore and learn about changing bodies, relationships, and what it means to grow up. This title represents a diverse cast as they talk about love, sex, puberty, and more. With realistic illustrations, Wait, What? does not shy away from tough topics or uncomfortable looks at the human body.
This title is perfect for a library’s puberty collection or graphic novel collection as it is great in both realms. This is a great introductory overview about realistic body image and expectations without being preachy or condescending. Though teens might look and giggle at the illustrations of penises and vaginas, they are also learning that each body is different and works on a different timeline. Though middle school is the best age for this title, do not be shy in putting it in a high school library as not every teen comes with the same base knowledge of sex and relationships and not every teen’s body is on the same timeline.