#QP2018 Nominees Round Up: Graphic Novels and Manga

Scorpia by Anthony Horowitz and Antony Johnston
Candlewick Press
Publication Date: August 15, 2017
ISBN: 9780763692575 

Glossy, full color graphics and an Alex who is drawn like an older teen make this fast-paced action-adventure graphic novel an excellent choice for reluctant readers.

It starts in Venice. Alex, following a tip from his nemesis, is doing a little digging into the death of his father. That digging leads him straight to Mrs. Rothman, head of band of mercenaries who identify themselves using the acronym SCORPIA:  Sabotage, Corruption, Intelligence, and Assassination. It is through Mrs. Rothman that Alex discovers how MI6 betrayed his father, and through her that Alex receives an invitation to join SCORPIA in its mission to disrupt relations between the UK and the USA by killing first a popular soccer team and then thousands of school children. Mrs. Rothman’s invitation is especially enticing as it is coupled with a video of Alex’s father apparently being shot by MI6 operatives. Will Mrs. Rothman and SCORPIA succeed? Will Alex be fully turned? Diabolical villains, explosions aplenty, and several near death experiences are gorgeously rendered in panels that keep the eye moving on pace with the action. This is a book that needs no book talking to capture and hold the attention of readers in both middle and high school who just don’t care much for reading–and it might be the push those readers need to transfer their affections to the narrative version.

Jodi Kruse


The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Vol. 1 by Akira Himekawa
Viz Media LLC
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
ISBN: 9781421593470

When the idyllic world of Hyrule is threatened by a villain from a world of darkness, a hero must rise. Our hero Link thinks he can hide from destiny and his past mistakes by living in a simple farming village. But when dark monsters overtake the land and Hyrule’s Princess Zelda is threatened he is confronted by the impish Mina and turned into a wolf. How can he save the world if he isn’t himself?

This series adapts the story from the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess video game. Non-fans should be able to follow the basic story and enjoy the action and manga art style.

Recommended for fans of Zelda video games, and action/fantasy manga.

–Jessica Ormonde


Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld
First Second / Macmillan
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
ISBN: 9781596439368 

Addison ventures into the Spill Zone, a toxic wasteland filled with frightening creatures, to obtain an item for a mysterious benefactor. Is Addison a pawn in a nefarious plot? Things are not what they seem in and around the Spill Zone.

A perfect blend of horror and science fiction. Beautiful full color illustrations change tone and color palette in and out of the Spill Zone. Not text heavy but a compelling story line. This one will have readers rereading and anticipating volume two.

–Dana Hutchins


The Manga Cookbook 2 by Koda Tadashi (The Manga University Culinary Institute)
Japanime Co. Ltd.
Publication Date: June 30, 2017
ISBN: 9784921205362 

This cookbook is more than a simple collection of ingredient lists and instructions! Each of the 26 recipes are presented in the style of a manga comic, with line drawings illustrating a group of friendly characters demonstrating preparations and providing friendly tips and advice. The dishes are grouped into categories such as Festival Food, Meals for Two, or Seasonal Sweets, and they range from the simple (such as Zarusoba, boiled noodles in a homemade broth) to deliciously complex.

The quirky presentation, including gorgeous color photographs of the food, will appeal to manga lovers and teens interested in broadening their cooking skills into Japanese cuisine.

–Carrie Richmond


Older Than Dirt: A Wild but True History of Earth by Don Brown and Michael Perfit
HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
ISBN: 9780544805033

Looking for a quick read? Looking for fun facts?

This 100 page, nonfiction graphic book explores fourteen billion years of the Earth!

The conversations between the groundhog and worm are a fun, entertaining, and engaging history of Earth.

Readers who love science will have fun reading this very comprehensive book.

–Kay Hones


Ali-A Adventures: Game on by Ali-A and Cavan Scott, illustrated by Aleksandar Sotirovski
Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 24, 2017
ISBN: 9781524770952

Ali is one of the best online gamers, and a new, exciting videogame is about to be launched. Ali is invited to be the guest of honor but the game turns too real when terrible alien robots show up.

Can he defeat the Tyantor robots? Ali has to transform from a gaming champion to a real life hero!

Teen readers will be rooting for Ali, his fans and his wonderful dog, Eevee, as they fight to keep the game from infecting the real world.

–Kay Hones

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.